The Magazine of Santa Clarita — August 2011
Change Language:
When Will Your Child Start Learning Chinese?

We know it's best for our children to learn a second language. We were often told foreign languages are best learned at a young age. And we understand that the most culturally rich, most spoken, and most useful and with lifetime benefits foreign language is Chinese. But, it hasn't really occurred to us that our children should be learning it now. To most parents, Chinese is too hard, with countless characters to memorize, complex ways to write and strange sounds to pronounce. Plus, no one at home can understand let alone help. Chinese is simply too foreign.

The problem these parents have is that they are thinking logically like an adult. Young children are way smarter when it comes to learning a language. They immerse in role-play, stories, songs and games to have fun. They learn without thinking they are learning. By the way, Chinese has a relatively uncomplicated grammar. It has no verb conjugation (no need to memorize verb tenses!) And no noun declension (e.g., gender and number distinctions). The basic word order of Chinese is subject - verb - object, exactly as in English. Numbers 0 to 9 are all single syllable - the real secret of Chinese students' math superiority, believe it or not.

SCV Chinese School, a non-profit organization, established in 2009, grew rapidly from about 20 K-12 students to more than 200, despite the economic downturn. We implement and explore fun ways of teaching Chinese language. Through our creative methods, children are enriched with communication, social skills, and understanding of Chinese culture alongside learning the language. We currently offer weekend classes, before and after school classes at several local elementary schools, and elective courses at two local Charter schools.

The ultimate environment of learning a foreign language is immersion in which the target language is used as the means of instruction. In-class activities, such as math and those outside of the class, such as meals or everyday tasks, are conducted in the target language. Students gain almost-native proficiency by age 10-11. Chinese immersion programs nationwide have grown dramatically in recent years. Many have achieved stunning success not only in language, but quantifiable improvements across the academic spectrum. SCV Chinese School has established an exploratory working group to start the first SCV immersion program. We welcome your participation and support.

For more information, please feel free to contact: Principal Li, via email: principal@scvchineseschool.com or by phone at 661-505-8020 and online at: www.scvchineseschool.com.
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