In the United States, many children learn Spanish or French as a second language. So at first, the idea of having your child learn Mandarin instead may seem a little odd. However, there are absolutely some advantages to having your child learn Mandarin in an in-school or after-school program. Here's why.
1. Mandarin is the most common language in the world.
1.1 billion people speak Mandarin worldwide. This means there are more Mandarin speakers than English speakers. With the language being so common, your child's ability to speak Mandarin will mean there are more people who they can communicate with. Some researchers think that Mandarin will become even more of a global language in the coming years, so being able to speak it will make it easier for your child to communicate around the globe. (Mandarin is not only spoken in China, but also in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Mongolia, Taiwan, and even Malaysia.)
2. Mandarin allows for the reading of Chinese history.
China and other eastern nations have rich histories, but these histories are largely unknown to western scholars since the accounts of these histories are written in Mandarin. Learning Mandarin will enable your child to read these texts so that they can develop knowledge of and a passion for Chinese history. They can share the knowledge they glean from Chinese history with their friends and family in the U.S., helping to expand global knowledge of other cultures' origins.
3. Businesses are hiring people who speak Mandarin.
Whether you like it or not, many U.S. businesses are outsourcing some of their work to China. As such, they need to hire American workers who speak Mandarin in order to communicate with these people. Regardless of what field your child one day decides to work in, being able to speak Mandarin will make them a more sought-after candidate and should command them a higher salary.
4. Learning Mandarin helps teach fine motor and artistic skills.
Writing Mandarin requires that your child draw various characters. There is an art to this. They need to make the characters very precisely and without error so that they are readable. This will help fine-tune your child's motor skills and handwriting, and it may also serve to boost their creativity and artistic style.
If your child has the option of taking Mandarin classes, definitely consider enrolling them. Your child will learn a lot more than just a language.
For more information, contact an after-school Mandarin program.