If you primarily speak English at home, it can be hard to get your kids to pick up Mandarin as a mother tongue language. There seems to be two extremes when it comes to speaking Mandarin fluently and doing reasonably well in the Chinese language at school. On one hand, there’s a plethora of Chinese enrichment programmes aimed at children from as young as three months of age. On the other, parents congregate on popular online forums to share tips on how to secure mother tongue exemption for their children in primary school.
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You already know the benefits of bilingualism. During a child’s schooling years the academic advantage is evident. Later in life, it can help open doors to new careers and other opportunities. But getting started and sustaining the interest level in a second language; particularly Mandarin, can be daunting. How do parents overcome this bilingualism barrier?
Here are tips from parents and educators who have successfully raised or taught bilingual children.
TEXT: Young Parents Team