It is a pleasure to have your child learning Chinese in my class this year. As you may know, Chinese is spoken by more people throughout the world than any other language, including English. It has become increasingly important for Americans to learn the Chinese language and understand Chinese culture.
Children are at an ideal age to begin learning a new language, especially a language so different from their own; it takes many years to learn any new language well. An early start with Chinese will give learners the opportunity to develop useful language skills over a number of years, at the same time, they will enrich their understanding of the world and become more skillful with their native language.
If you come to visit our classroom, you will see that the lessons are presented in Chinese and without translation into English. It is natural for children to learn first through listening and responding. As they become more confident with the language, they will begin to speak more Chinese all the time, and the songs, rhymes, and chants they learn in class will probably also become very familiar at home! Because written Chinese is so different from written English, it will be introduced very slowly, one character at a time.
Even though you may not speak Chinese yourself, there are some things you can do at home to help your child learn this new language. Show interest in the Chinese classes and enthusiasm for the fact that your child is learning Chinese. Invite your child to show what has been learned, but please do not ask for a translation into English as your child is still new to the language. Since that is not a part of what we teach (translation is a very advanced skill), your child may be frustrated and feel unsuccessful. I will regularly post the “I can” statements on the website, so that you can know what is realistic to expect from your child. If the “ I can “ Statement is : I can greet someone in Chinese,” you might ask your child, “how do you greet someone in Chinese?”
If you have questions or concerns about our Chinese program, please feel free to contact me.
I look forward to our work together with the Chinese language and culture.
We are very excited to have you as a student at Walnut Street School! Something that is very special here at Walnut Street School is Mandarin Chinese class. We are the only Elementary Chinese program in the Des Moines metro area. Huang Laoshi will speak mostly in Mandarin during Mandarin class. You do NOT have to understand every single word. You just need to listen for the main words and you will be able to understand what you should do. The more time you spend listening to Mandarin, the easier it will be for you to understand. Huang Laoshi does NOT expect you to understand all of the words and it is always a good idea to ask questions. Below are some tips：
* Watch Huang Laoshi when she is talking.
* Watch your friends to see what they are doing.
* Ask Huang Laoshi to repeat any directions.
* Ask your friends for help.
* Practice the vocabulary and sentences on the website.