8 ways to prepare your child for Primary 1 Mandarin

December 02, 2019
  • 1 / 9

    Preparing your child for Mandarin will be a breeze if you start early.

    Fiona Walker, group managing director of the Julia Gabriel Group, shows you what you can do to increase your child’s exposure to a second language.

    Related: Diana Ser’s most important tip for parents who want bilingual kids

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  • Reading
    2 / 9 Reading

    Children love stories. They also love the bonding that develops as a parent reads to a child. Make it a bedtime ritual and enjoy the language together. If you are not a confident reader, sit with him and listen to audio books while you follow the book.

    This is a great way to increase vocabulary while the child absorbs the expressive dynamic of the language. Create a space on the bookshelf for books in your child’s second or third language.

    Related: Diana Ser’s top tips for teaching kids Chinese

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  • Singing
    3 / 9 Singing

    This is a fun way to learn language and you don’t have to be a good singer. When words are matched to melody, we remember them more easily. This is an enjoyable way to build vocabulary. Learn the songs yourself and sing them with your children at home.

    10 ways to prepare your child for Primary 1

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  • Games
    4 / 9 Games

    There are many good games on the market, for example, matching pictures and characters, magic box or picture dominoes.

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  • Labelling
    5 / 9 Labelling

    Introduce objects around the house using their name in the second language during conversation.

    Related: 6 bilingual immersion preschools in Singapore that help your kid love Mandarin

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  • Role modelling
    6 / 9 Role modelling

    Even if you are not a good Mandarin speaker, show a personal interest in learning the language. Encourage your child to use the words at home that they learnt at school. Ask him what these words mean, and use them yourself. This is very empowering for a child because he will enjoy becoming the “teacher”.

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  • Play dates
    7 / 9 Play dates

    Arrange your child to get to know and have fun with other speakers of his second or third language.

    Related: 10 ways to make learning Mandarin fun for toddlers and preschoolers

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  • Travel
    8 / 9 Travel

    Visit countries or neighbourhoods where the language is spoken. This provides one of the most dynamic learning opportunities for children. Be immersed in a language-rich environment with him and learn together.

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  • Expectations
    9 / 9 Expectations

    If your child has had limited exposure to the language, don’t expect him to become fluent and score full marks on all tests. Be positive and cheer him on. Your attitude will influence how your child feels about the language, which in turn impacts his progress.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    7 tips to help your child ace the weekly spelling test in Primary 1

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