The Benefits of Being Bilingual
Speaking more than one language is becoming increasingly common in the US. Being bilingual not only gives adults a competitive advantage in the working world, but research has shown that learning multiple languages increases children’s aptitude for learning and awareness of themselves as global citizens.
Results from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) show that students who had studied a foreign language for 4 or more years outscored other students on the verbal and math portions of the test. Scientific research has found that being bilingual can have a profound effect on human brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age. Some studies also have found that learning another language can enhance knowledge of English structure and vocabulary.
Why Should my Child Study Mandarin Chinese?
Along with English and Spanish, Mandarin Chinese is the most widely-spoken language in the world, and with rapidly increasing trade, manufacturing and cultural links, China is a country of exponentially increasing global importance. Learn to speak Mandarin and you can communicate with millions of people around the world.
Why Start Now?
Learning a language at any age is beneficial. However, according to Center for Applied Linguistics, the human brain is more open to linguistic development during the years between birth and pre-adolescence. Children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are more likely to develop native-like pronunciation. When children have an early start and continue their language studies through high school and college, they are able to achieve levels of fluency that would otherwise be impossible with the late start of most language programs in schools.
Why an Immersion Program?
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, immersion programs are the fastest growing and most effective method for language learning available in U.S. schools. Dual immersion instruction is based on the philosophy that students learn language best through use as opposed to more traditional, explicit instruction. Students at Maylan learn in a fully immersive environment where they are guided in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the language of instruction, be it Chinese or English.
Is Chinese Difficult to Learn?
In many ways, Mandarin Chinese is much easier to learn than European languages due to its relatively uncomplicated grammar. Unlike French, German or English, Chinese has no verb conjugation (no need to memorize verb tenses!) and no noun declension (gender and number distinctions). For example, while someone learning English has to learn different verb forms like “see/saw/seen,” all you need to remember in Chinese is just one word: “kan.” While in English you have to distinguish between “cat” and “cats,” in Chinese there is only one form: mao.
Each year more and more students around the world are studying Mandarin as a second language with enthusiasm and success. If they can learn it, so can you!