As we all know, children and adults have different learning systems and methods. Who do you think is more outstanding? GoEast’s Veronica老师 here goes over some of the differences, and talks about children learning Chinese online.
What is the Chinese class for children like
As a teacher who taught Chinese to children in Thailand, I can assure you there is a big difference between the Chinese class for children and that for adults.
First of all, there is an important difference: children obviously need more interesting class activities.
Many of the teaching methods we advocate, such as TPR (Total Physical Response), can be well used and played in the K12 classroom. This means whatever you say, you add body movements, and children respond with whole-body actions. So when I teach the word 自行车 (Bicycle), I will show the students as if I’m riding a bicycle!
Compared with adults, children are more willing to mobilize more senses in learning, which is of great help to learning. It’s more than just looking at the teacher and writing down notes. Kids are playing the words!
Secondly, Chinese classes for children do need some time for managing the kids, but this is not limited to language learning, as is the case with any youth curriculum. Of course, experienced Chinese teachers with a K12 certification (which all GoEast teachers for children have) can guide their classroom rhythm and discipline with ease — regardless whether it’s offline (Shanghai) or online.
Why children should learn the Chinese language in their childhood
The term critical period originally came from developmental neuroscience. According to the classical view, the critical period is a time window for the early development of organisms. In this window, the system is open and can be constructed or rebuilt under the influence of environment input. After this critical period, the sensitivity of the environment to the system or specific system response attributes will have less impact as in the critical period.
Most linguists believe that language, as an advanced cognitive function, also has a critical period of learning and development. The key period of phonetic learning is earlier, followed by syntax and grammar, while vocabulary learning may last longer.
Knowing this, it’s clear that for children: to start learning Chinese as soon as possible will help them a lot, in fact, the sooner the better! However, we are not telling adults to be discouraged. On the contrary, what we want to say is that “the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago and now!”