How to Teach Your Kids Chinese

Posted by Rebecca Wu on July 20, 2017

How to Teach Your Kids Chinese

At What Age Should Kids Learn Chinese

If you’re a parent thinking about having your children learn Mandarin as a second language, you probably want to know when is the best time to let your kids start learning Mandarin Chinese.


No matter you plan to learn Chinese locally or learn Chinese via skype, always keep in mind that pronunciation is key when it comes to learning Chinese. There are several different tones (read more here) so in short – if you want to be able to speak it with a native accent, the earlier you start, the better. For children, it would be best if they could start learning before the age of 12. However there is no age limit for true bilingualism. It can take place at any time.


Younger children are more likely to develop a native accent in their second-language. Since Chinese is such a tonal language, younger children have a definite advantage because of their ability to pick up differences in tone and sound.


Young children can pick up sounds and vocabulary effortlessly. As Mandarin is a tonal language, ‘the earlier the better’ is the rule and it lasts a lifetime.


How to Teach Chinese to Kids

It is much easier for young children to understand Chinese characters if they are able to associate physical objects to them. You can print out Chinese characters in a large font along with their pinyin, and tape these Chinese characters flashcards around the house on the object that they describe. " Couch (沙发Shā fā)," "refrigerator (冰箱bīng xiāng)," "dinner table (餐桌 cān zhuō) " are just a few examples of the flashcards you can create.


By starting with Chinese characters that kids can visualize, you are creating an immersive environment for Chinese learning, and making Chinese characters seem much more approachable and fun.



The most important aspect of teaching Chinese to your children is to maintain their interest in the subject. There is a large variety of Chinese children's books available on the market today, covering everything from cooking, to nature, to even comic books! Try to pick books in a subject that your children would normally be interested in.


Coloring and Activity Books for Chinese

When your children are able to read at a basic level in Chinese, you can then buy them Children's books in Chinese. Chinese children's books are usually written with pinyin next to the characters, to help sound out the phonetics. These books will be fantastic resources to help expand your children's vocabulary as well.


Take Chinese Class Online


Finding a Chinese tutor online is not that difficult, with online education becoming more popular and efficient. Most online schools such as MeetMandarin provide their first class for free before you subscribe. This is good, because you can make an assessment of the class quality, teacher, with nothing to lose. Besides these factors, it’s also necessary take consideration of flexibility of class arrangements, post-sale service, internet connection problems, etc. 


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