Mandarin Chinese for kids
Summer vacation is coming quickly and K12 students are getting ready to leave their school for two whole months! While taking a long rest is something they truly deserve, it is important to remind every parent that enjoying summer vacation hides a negative impact on every student: the summer slide. Summer slide is a backward movement many K12 students make over summer break when they forget what was taught to them in the previous school year. According to a Brookings Institute article, the average student loses a month of academic-calendar learning each summer. To prevent the summer slide, planning some summer learning is essential, especially when it comes to language learning. Indeed, students learning a language need to practice and repeat to maintain and improve their level.
The negative impact of summer slide for Chinese language learners
This summer slide effect is even more exacerbated when it comes to Chinese language, since it is a whole different writing system.
Students that don’t practice Chinese during several weeks are very likely to forget how to write the characters, how to pronounce the tones correctly or how to make a grammatically correct sentence.
Acquiring Mandarin language skills takes a lot of time, and it would be a pity to lose an important part of what they have learnt just because of a 2-month break.
Language skills require practice and repetition
Memorization is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental aspects of learning a foreign language. Our brain is naturally not very good at retaining new information, so it is necessary to optimize this activity through effective techniques.
Hermann Ebbinghaus, a famous 19th century German psychologist, has established a forgetting curve, representing the speed at which we forget the information we learn.
Illustration of the “forgetting curve”. If you do not review what you’ve learnt, the information is quickly erased from memory. On the other hand, each repetition makes forgetting slower.
Learning Chinese (or any other foreign language) on a regular basis without long breaks helps students not only to learn new things but most importantly not forget them. Thus, even though summer vacation is supposed to be a time for students to rest, it is important to encourage them to continue working on (or at least review) their language courses, at least on a weekly basis (though 10-15 minutes per day is more ideal).
Advantages for students to learn Chinese
Learning Mandarin can be a huge advantage since China is set to become the world’s largest economy by 2020, meaning that students mastering Chinese will have huge working opportunities in engineering, science, finance, marketing, English teaching, and many other fields.
Apart from working opportunities, studying Mandarin also allows students to discover a culture that is more than 5,000 years old, making the Chinese language one of the oldest languages still in use. Even today, Mandarin language, literature, philosophy and politics still play an important role in dictating global trends.
TutorMing Online Chinese Classes Summer Package
In order to encourage K12 students to continue practicing and enhancing their Mandarin skills during their summer break, our online Chinese teaching team has created a Summer Package for K12 students to help them to improve on a regular basis.
In TutorMing, we provide one-to-one or small group (max. 3 students) online Chinese classes for K-12 students with certified and experienced Chinese-native speakers. Our Chinese classes are designed to give students systematic training in four aspects of Chinese language: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Parents get to choose when to take the class, which gives them a lot of freedom in the organization of their child’s class schedule. In case of a program change, parents can cancel the class 4 hours before it begins. In addition, a 24H IT service is provided if any technical issue happens.
If you have an interest in having your child improve their Mandarin, click below to discover our online Chinese classes Summer Package.