Enrolling your little one into an immersion preschool may prove to be a wonderful choice in setting the tone for educational excellence. Studies have found that the process of incorporating a second language into early childhood education can help to improve cognitive abilities and expand complex thought processes. Crossing Borders Preschool is proud to be your go-to daycare center for language immersion programs in Houston. Our child development center focuses on delivering a comprehensive approach to immersive language learning, delivering instructions in a way that is both productive and fun.

Learning a new language can be a challenge, especially when the new dialect differs from your own native tongue. Today, we’ll look at a few challenges that many Westerners face when learning Mandarin. If you are interested in learning more about our language immersion preschool, be sure to contact us today!

Tonal Intentions

Mandarin is a tonal language, creating unique challenges for learners trying to grasp the translation and overall meaning. The meaning of your words will depend heavily on the use of four main tones and one neutral tone. Each tone is unique and provides a vastly different meaning to each word. It’s also important to remember that many Chinese words often rely on one or two syllables to get the job done, making it more crucial to get the tone right on the first try. Erring on one syllable can derail your entire sentence! Our preschool focuses on clearly defining these tones and providing ample examples for how to utilize them.

Expansive Vocabularies

Beyond the tone, your vocab will be challenged when learning Mandarin. Also known as the common language, Mandarin is composed of a unique blend of many other languages. This results in a number of Chinese words that are similar in structure and have nearly the same meaning. While new speakers can get by with the standard vernacular needed to communicate their thoughts or intentions, native speakers will actually have a wide range of word choices that may be lost on the newer party. Our teachers will work with students to understand this complication, as well as provide helpful tips for guiding your student on how to best approach a whole new language.

Grammar Differences

Those that learn Chinese will quickly find out that there is no conjugations or tenses involved with the language. Therefore, it should very simple to pick Mandarin up and begin speaking fluently, right? English is a very complex language that relies heavily on conjugation and context to provide insight into the sentence when something is unclear. Our reliance on grammar may prove challenging for those who are fluent speakers. Words can also be strung together to change the overall meaning of the phrase. English speakers who like to break down sentences by word may become confused when they look at the list of words in total. Again, context and intonation are important! While speaking in the Chinese dialect may prove challenging at first, it’s helpful to know that the writing system is universally adapted.

Writing Efficiencies

The skill of writing the Chinese language has proven to be a major point of contention for non-native speakers. The Chinese characters, or hànzì, rely on a system that utilizes numerous unique patterns and symbols to express thoughts and emotions. Mandarin can be reinforced through writing, but it’s important to remember that the style of this alphabet makes it so that new learners are learning another language in addition to the spoken version. Being consistent and supportive for your student is how we approach this process, and our teachers strive to make each and every activity fun and engaging!

While learning Chinese may be intimidating, the language itself is actually fairly simple to understand. With nearly 1.2 billion speakers, this language dominates others in terms of population. Learning a new language may prove beneficial in future endeavors in both terms of communication and cognitive functioning. Crossing Borders Preschool is here to actively engage with your young student with a number of proven practices and techniques, delivering immersive language development every step of the way. Our language immersion programs in Houston provide English speakers with the opportunity to learn a new dialect. The benefits of our immersion preschool can prove to be plentiful, especially when compared to traditional preschools. Contact us today to learn more about our child development center!