My son is really learning a lot in our Parents and Tots Language Stars* class. He's bringing more and more words home every week. I heard him saying "wash hands" in Chinese yesterday as he was playing. He also repeats phrases used in class and likes saying that things are big or small in Mandarin.
He especially enjoyed this week's activities. The theme was dressing for winter. You should have seen his eyes light up when the teacher pulled teddy bears from her bag! He pays absolutely no attention to any stuffed animals at home, but in class you would have thought it was his favorite toy ever! Other kids evidently felt the same. One little girl even carried her bear around for the whole class period!
The teacher had the cutest little outfits for the bears. Each piece of clothing corresponded to a winter clothing word we were working on for the week. Here's a picture of my son's bear with his shoes and gloves on:
Bear with his xuē zi (boots) and shǒu tào (gloves)
After dressing the bears, we then took the clothes off and put them on a clothesline. It seems simple, but the little ones liked the tiny clothespins. They are just hard enough for little hands to be novel and interesting! Plus, it provided students with yet another opportunity to hear and use their new clothing words. I think this is what I found most impressive: Class is arranged to provide children with the chance to practice the vocabulary words as many times as possible. I didn't count, but I am sure that each new word was presented at least 20 to 30 times--even enough for me to catch on!
A cute little clothesline with tiny bear clothes
Not only am I hearing my son bring many of the words he is learning home, but he is also showing interest in writing Chinese. Class is only part of the influence; watching his big sister is the rest. When it was time for her to write her one character for the day, he insisted on doing a page, as well. I have to admit that I didn't think he could do it. Boy did he surprise me! He can't hold the pen quite right yet, but he did an amazing job.
My son does some big boy writing.
Appropriately, the word is dà, or BIG!
I am so proud of my son and his progress. I am so thankful that my children are able to go to classes at Language Stars and get an early start on their Mandarin!
Thanks for reading!
*We receive 50% off our tuition for blogging about our experiences in class.