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How to teach Chinese to your kids as a second language? – One day lessons for smart Children

January 1st, 2010 - by Huang Jason

“How to teach Chinese to a child as a second language?” If you ask this question and looking for the answer here, obviously your kid take Chinese as a foreign language and know little about it.

There are many reasons for a child to learn Chinese at an early age. It’s believed that learn a second language in an early age is much easer than learn that as an adult.

  • You may feel that Chinese language is very important to the kid’s future.
  • You may just want to inspire his various interests and want him to be smarter.
  • Your kids may be too young to go to a Chinese language school and you want him to learn some basic Chinese language knowledge first.
  • You are a language teacher and want to find some products or applications for kids’ Chinese learning.

Ok, if you are parents, you don’t even need to find a teacher. In some cases, these expensive tutors do not have the experience to teach a kid Chinese. And what children need to learn at the very beginner stage is really so simple, that you can do that at home.

Some tricks to teach Children Chinese as a foreign language.

a) It is important to try and only use Chinese the entire time in the classroom with the children. If they don’t understand something you say, show them. If you do not know Chinese, it’s also OK. You can learn with your kids together.

b) Demonstrate as much as possible and remember to use many games, songs, and activities to get them moving. For example, it is a good idea to learn with your kids, and then make some poker with your kids, and play with them. You may invite several children to do these together.

c) Never force the children to speak. They should enjoy the lessons and not feel stressed about going to Chinese class. The best way to get them to speak is to show them a picture and to say something like ‘Is this a bird, or a cat?’ and try to use a word that they already know.

d) Use some videos, cartoons, funny software which they may be interested in.

e) Don’t expect a child can speak too much Chinese. The most important things are his interest on the language, the development of IQ and the confidence of learning something.

Steps for Children’s Chinese Learning

Now we will show you how to do that step by step, and provide everything you need to teach a child Chinese.

Step 1 Prepare to learn Chinese

Determine what you want to teach, learn some background knowledge of Chinese language, and know where to start.

Step 2 Tools, applications, products and resources for Chinese learning

Download some good Chinese software and use the abundant free online Chinese learning resources.

Step 3 Use Chinese with your kids.

To learn, play and use Chinese language with your kids.


(To be continued…)


7 Responses to “How to teach Chinese to your kids as a second language? – One day lessons for smart Children”

  1. Berta Gibert Cardona says:

    I am 47, I want to learn Chinese, i live with 4 people people who speak Chinese and and teaching Spanish to one of them, a very nice girl who wants to learn English and Spanish well, so I want to learn Chinese as well, to be able to help her better. If I tried she would be more involved, and not so overwhelmed with the task.

    I HAVE A problem with my foot and my back so I have to do it at home. Our economy is not so great, let`s put it this way, so if you could help us in any way, I would appreciate it very much.

    By the way, I am a Ph.D from The University of chicago a long, long time ago, but I am Spanish and I live in Barcelona.


  2. Paul says:

    I thought you were a couple of years older than me?

  3. sunny says:

    I would like to give you help, but I don’t think it’s practical, as I am in England. It’s a pity you are too far away. I think it’s possible you can find some help from your nearby chinese community (if there is any). Wish you good luck and have fun!

  4. Yizhong says:

    Hi Jason,

    I am a Chinese student, and I want to teach Chinese to my supervisor and my co-workers. Is there any suggestions about this situation since they are adults? Where should I start? From the history of China, Chinese culture, or else?

    What will be good for next stage? Strokes? Since strokes are the simplest.

    Thank you

  5. alexis says:

    i want to learn chinese language

  6. Jung says:

    Hi Jason,

    I totally agree that making games with kids is very effective at teaching Chinese to kids.

    My six year old daughter is learning Chinese as 2nd language so I decided to write an iPhone app called Hanscript that teaches kids how to write Chinese characters. At first, she was only interested in coloring the letters and not so much into writing the characters. I then decided to add some game elements into the app where she needs to practice writing characters in order to gain points. The more points she earned, the more mystery characters got unlocked. Now she is practicing Chinese every day and being really proud of her achievements!

    Thank you for this useful website. I’m very impressed with the 3000 HSK animation that you created!


  7. Ying says:

    I am teaching a 6 year old American boy. I tried Chinese cartoons (free and plenty here tv.sohu.com/comic) as well as tried saying Chinese verbs (such as run, jump, walk and play, etc.) so he is supposed to actually run, walk, play when he hears the sound. He is not very interested in cartoons. I want very much to try playing games with him in Chinese. But I have not found much resources on games that are designed for Chinese learning. Please post resources for me in this forum on recommendation of games. Thank you.

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