So much so that The Australian has recently reported that beginning studies early in life is linked to a 41% boost to the likeliness of earning a university degree.
Imagine the endless possibilities of enrolling your child in second language courses at a young age… This could be the spark to a career in exotic countries, a head start to a job as a government advisor or overseas ambassador, and would help them form a deeper appreciation for cultures around the world for the rest of their life.
It’s certainly something you’d never regret. And learning Mandarin is a great choice, because it’s both the world’s most spoken language and, according to The Confucius Business Institute, University of Leeds, one of the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers.
“I’m future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons”
In Nicole Webb’s article, “I’m future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons – we all should be doing the same,” her statistics demonstrate an important point – China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, and Chinese visitors are expected to pump over $13 billion into the Australian economy by the year 2020.
These findings are a strong and compelling reasons to prepare for the future of the country and to learn one of the world’s most popular languages!
So perhaps you’ve just discovered the amazing benefits to learning a second language. On the other hand, maybe you’ve wanted to explore this possibility and enrol your little one in language courses for a long time.
But there’s one thing you may not be sure of – is it worth it, and what is my child actually going to do during class time?
We’re here today to tell you exactly what happens during a day at Mandarin Stars.
Going strong for 10 years, Mandarin Stars is Australia’s leading extra- curricular Mandarin Chinese language program for children that has been researched, developed, and taught to young Australians since 2008.
Here’s what we teach a range of learners in a typical day:
Morning Immersion-Based Mandarin Chinese Playgroup Classes
9:30 am to 10:15 am
Bubs & Tots Classes for 1 & 2 Year Olds!
Morning classes involve teaching our little ones in our Bubs & Tots Class, ages 1-2 years. The children have 45-minute sessions of learning Mandarin in a full-immersion Mandarin Chinese learning environment. There is lots of singing, dancing, structured play, puppet shows, craft, and stories! It’s a jam packed 45 minutes of fun, all conducted in Mandarin!
The children follow lao shi’s (teacher’s) direction and easily engage in the program with our bright and cheerful trained Mandarin Stars educators. For parents who do not speak Mandarin, we find they enjoy learning right alongside their children…it’s quite wonderful to see!
Did you know?
Children seriously have an amazing ability to learn and remember languages, even from birth.TIME Magazine online reads, “As it turns out, the language that an infant hears starting at birth creates neural patterns that the unconscious brain retains years later, even if the child completely stops using the language.”
10:30am to 12:00 pm
100% Immersion Mandarin Stars Preschool Class for 3-5 Year Olds
The late morning is reserved for our Preschool class, for children ages 3-5 years old. We start with a welcome song, a puppet show, some singing, dancing and movement. In addition, we have plenty of structured language games (all of which are designed to not only teach and develop the child’s listening and speaking skills in Mandarin, but to also develop early maths, numeracy, memory and overall cognitive skills) morning tea, sometimes some “cooking” (making spring rolls, orange juice, fruit kebabs, and veggie skewers), craft time, and dedicated ‘Workbook time’ where we begin to introduce Chinese characters and work with the children in completing some fun worksheet activities that are carefully related to our topic of the week.
100% Mandarin is spoken in our classes- all crafting, language games, singing and movement is lead by our friendly teachers in Mandarin!
Our program is centered upon instilling a love for learning Mandarin and teaching the children strong listening and speaking skills in Mandarin. For this reason, we teach most of our classes in 100% Mandarin. We want for them to be able to communicate in Mandarin, to be able to use the language practically: introduce themselves and their families, talk about their likes and dislikes, ask for what they want, and develop a strong foundation for future fluency in the high school years.
Morning class wrap-up
It’s truly non stop fun delivering our 100% immersion based playgroups in the morning that are developed to be truly child centric, emergent and play based.
After a morning of teaching fun in Mandarin, and after the children leave, the teachers and I take time to reflect on what the children have learnt and how they have reacted to and engaged with our program. It’s so wonderful to work with such passionate educators here at Mandarin Stars, many of whom are teacher-trained across Early Childhood to Secondary Education. We also update our afternoon Mandarin SuperSTARS teachers who are teaching remotely at our numerous Mandarin Stars After School Language Clubs at local Primary schools (we have over 25 in Sydney alone!) on new emerging ideas for their classes, program updates and any other important information that can make their classes more engaging.
Mandarin Stars teachers are ‘Creative teachers on the go’!
By using online social media platforms, the discussion and planning for our students isn’t limited to our regular face to face staff meeting. Our Mandarin- obsessed instructors like to share ideas, strategies, and tips on the go, which works extremely well for idea generation! It’s especially great for our teachers that deliver classes remotely.
Mandarin SuperSTARS Classes for kids age 5- 12 years
Our SuperSTARS classes are generally offered to children in two age groups: 5-8 years and 8-12 years. However, we do have some high-schoolers who choose to re-enrol to top up on their listening and speaking skills. We find that some of our Year 7 and Year 8 high schoolers re-enrol to practice their listening and speaking skills whilst at the same time spending time learning Chinese grammar, reading and writing in their formal classes as part of their in-school secondary based curriculum. We have found that our focus on listening and speaking in the high school years really compliments our students’ overall learning of Mandarin and can help support their high school Mandarin.
Our popular Mandarin SuperSTARS classes are offered generally as After-School Clubs anywhere from 45 mins to 1 hour between 3-5 pm. They can be delivered directly at schools after school or at a nearby Mandarin Stars language school.
The classes start with warm-up activities, as well as lots of language games to both learn through play based activities and practice the speaking topic of the week. There may also be craft activities, Chinese food making, singing, and dancing.
Our Mandarin Stars students love the language games and the teachers are always thinking of how to creatively develop their own games when thinking of new language activities to make learning Mandarin even more fun.
As a final project for their SuperSTARS course for the term, students create an End-of-Term Presentation to bring together all that they’ve learnt, gaining the skills to present on a range of topics.
Seasoned learners and beginners alike, from Kindy to Year 7…. everyone is encouraged to present, even if for only one minute, and all students are encouraged to speak in Mandarin as much as possible in our immersion-based learning environment.
After learning Mandarin with Mandarin Stars, students have a strong foundation in Mandarin Chinese and are very well-prepared for high school Mandarin. They’ve also developed their confidence, a strong self-esteem, and appreciation for Chinese language, history and culture. They adopt a genuine ‘Can do… can speak… can learn… I am a great learner of Mandarin’ kind of attitude. By the end of the program, students are able to easily present themselves in Mandarin, describe their families, and speak on a wide array of topics. More importantly, our Mandarin Stars students have not only developed strong listening and speaking skills in Mandarin (… did I also mention that translation is a favourite activity from Mandarin to English for many of budding 9- 12 year old Translators), but are truly inspired to learn the language in future years.
So, if you haven’t already… why not sign up your child for a fun and free trial of our program today? You’ve got nothing to lose and an entire world of knowledge to gain.
“Recently at my mother’s 60th b’day, Niharika sang “Happy B’day to you” in Mandarin in front of a group of about 100 people. Everybody really appreciated this a lot.” – Swapna (mum to Niharika)
We provide highly focused and play-based Mandarin classes for children ages 5- 12 years.
All of our programs are Immersion-based learning, and by teaching the children Mandarin, we are paving the way for future learning. By starting from a young age, they can easily develop the hearing, pronunciation, and confidence required in learning a new language.
Mandarin is the most commonly-used language on Earth and your child will experience lifelong benefits by starting to learn today! Learn more about Mandarin Stars and book a free trial on our website.