Starting To Learn Chinese At 3 Years Old Will Have The Best Effect

There is an increasing number of teaching practices and researches to prove that learning languages should start from a very young age. The education experts point out that children will experience the 'Explosion Period' of learning language at 3 years old, from verbatim speech to large output of language. Children in this age will more easily accept the language and the culture elements brought with. This means that learning Chinese in this period will allow for fast memory of vocabulary and a strong imitation ability. Especially for children who learn Chinese in a bilingual way and have natural study environment created, they will have stronger language foundation.

Singapore has an environment of language diversity, which is helpful for children to accumulate the language knowledge. The challenge is how to help them overcome the psychological barrier of using their mother tongue more frequently. By reading interactively, children can not only develop their interests in reading, but also improve their interaction ability. Interactive reading refers to using the words or pictures to start a conversation with children when parents read with them together. For example, when reading a picture book, parents can ask children open questions like 'What do you see','What happens to the figures in the story','Have the problems figures face been solved' according to the pictures. If older children read books mainly with words written, parents also can have conversation with children about the plot based on the meaning of the titles.

Children who learn bilingually may not own rich vocabulary initially, but the words and pictures in the books provide clues. Children may not understand every word, but he can understand the content by guessing. Through the interactive reading, we can increase our children's own knowledge and allow them to have greater language output. If their intuitive response when answering questions is in English, parents should not interrupt their thinking process by asking them to answer in Chinese. Parents can repeat children's answer in Chinese after they finish, showing them the correct expression. For older children with stronger self-study ability, they can search for words they are unsure of on the electronic dictionary. In this case, parents should encourage them to do so.