Preparing You and Your Child for Mandarin Immersion Programs

With globalization’s impact no longer deniable, more and more public (and private) schools around the U.S. are offering dual language programs starting from elementary school. Mandarin Immersion Parents Council estimate nearly 280 Mandarin programs exist in 2019. States with the most dual language programs include Utah, followed by Minnesota, Hawaii, Louisiana, and California. This article … Read more

Living in California? Sign Up for Little Chinese Readers State-Sponsored Homeschool Funding

Homeschooling your child(ren) in California (or planning to keep up with the children’s Mandarin progress for the summer)? We have exciting news to share! Little Chinese Readers is now an approved vendor for three homeschool charter schools – Valiant Prep Charter School, Peak Prep Academy, and Summit Academy. What are homeschool charter schools and how … Read more

Learning Mandarin With (Lots of) Reading and Spaced Repetition

All Mandarin learners know the hardest part about the language is the need to memorize thousands of unique Chinese characters to achieve elementary level literacy. Spaced repetition has long been a popular strategy for utilized by students learning Chinese to review new vocabulary. Recently, one of the leading Chinese learning blogs Hacking Chinese wrote an … Read more

Chinese Phonetics – Pinyin 拼音 and Zhuyin 注音

Unlike English, French, or Spanish, Chinese is not a phonetic language.  However, two popular phonological systems are often used to help beginners (and native children) learn the Mandarin sounds – Hanyu pinyin 拼音 and zhuyin 注音.  In the early 20th century, literacy level was less than 45% for men and less than 10% for women.  To improve literacy among … Read more

Teaching Your Kids to Read and Write Mandarin at Home (for Chinese-Speakers)

If you are a Chinese-speaking parent living in a non-Chinese-speaking country, chances are your children have a much more advanced in speaking/listening Chinese than they are in reading/writing Chinese.  Part of the reason is that speaking/listening occur more naturally (especially if both parents are fluent Chinese speakers and Chinese is the primary language spoken at home) while reading/writing … Read more

5 Easy Steps to Start a Bilingual Playgroup

5 Easy Steps to Start a Bilingual Playgroup

Many bilingual parents notice that their children, who are perfectly comfortable speaking in one of the parents’ native languages at home, suddenly starts to resist speaking it when they enter formal schooling where the primary language used is English.  This is completely normal because children naturally want to make friends at school and doing so require … Read more

How Long Does It Take To Learn Chinese?

How Long Does It Take To Learn Chinese?

It depends… but the following formula serves as a good rule of thumb. Time to Learn Chinese = Level of Proficiency x Age of Learner Let’s break the question down.  Unlike the English language, Chinese isn’t alphabet-based.  A Chinese character contains an indication of both meaning and pronunciation.  There are more than 100,000 Chinese characters but practically speaking, literacy … Read more

Learning Chinese Slows Down Brain Aging

Learning Chinese Slows Down Brain Aging

Stay Young By Working Out Your Brain Latest research shows that learning a new language strengthens your brain and the more you do it, just like physical exercise, the more you build up your “brain muscles.”  In 2014, researchers at Penn State University studied 39 native English speakers’ brains over a six-week period where half of them … Read more