Learning Mandarin for Kids

One of the main fears of parents is, can my kids cope with Mandarin. From a young age, we worry about our children’s ability to cope with being bilingual. Learning mandarin for kids can be a daunting task, but can we help them cope better?

Most of the time, this is what we see in Singapore. In order to help our children cope with their Mandarin, we “pile” them up with remedial classes and tuition from Day 1.

As Singapore faces a problem where Academic Results weigh high in every parents’ report book, many of us are facing these challenges.

These were some of the questions that we asked at the Julia Gabriel Bloggers’ forum. Seeking Fiona’s expert advice, I asked for her opinion on this topic.

Parenting Advice:

Our Julia Gabriel expert personally believes that it is down to:


If you expect your child to be a real linguist and effectively billingual, then the increased exposure will surely help! For as much time as the child spends on English, the SAME amount of time has to be spent on Mandarin.


If you are “ok” with conversational Mandarin, then it is a whole new ball game. Most importantly, we must also know that every child is different and each have different abilities.

Exposure must also be “fine-tuned” with balance.

If you “drill” a child too much in anything, it takes away the “fun’” element of learning and the child will really hate the extra work load.

Hands up for all the ACS and St. Andrew’s Boys out there who suffered from this syndrome!

I really hated Mandarin when I was young, as it was all about memorizing and more memorizing!

It will definitely be cruel, if I did the same thing to my children and make Mandarin boring and a real “Downer”.

Looks like I must really sit down and think about what I want for my kids.

Click on the link to read  about a previous post about Parenting issues from the Julia Gabriel Centre of Learning.

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