5 MINUTES WITH
CHRISTINA YOU, THE FOUNDER OF MANDARIN IMMERSION PROGRAM
Why we think a fun Mandarin learning program is requisite?
The world we live in, the idea of ‘I’ll travel and work’ is much stronger than it ever was before. Individuals have advantages in the workplace as employers are increasingly seeking workers with knowledge of different languages and cultures. We all know Mandarin is the most spoken language other than English in Australia. In fact, “Enrollments in Mandarin study among state school students have more than tripled since 2011. In 2019 it first became a top-five language among state school students.” said by Madeleine Heffernan on The Age’s educational page June, 2019.
What is an Immersion Program?
“Immersion is a technique used in bilingual language education in which both the native language and the second language are used for instruction in a variety of topics.” Research has shown that these forms of bilingual education provide students with overall greater language comprehension and better exposure to other cultures, in a native-like manner. On the other hand, in traditional submersion programs, bilingual students generally receive all of their instruction in their second language. These programs are often referred to sink-or-swim programs, because there is little support for the students.
What age group is the program designed for?
Our program is specially designed for ‘Early Immersion’ — forming a solid foundation of learning Mandarin. We believe, it is much easier for children under 6 to learn a second language, because it is the time they are acquiring language, no matter their mother tongue or not. Our Mandarin Immersion program provide a strong basis for fluency later in life and help our students gain appreciation of learning Mandarin.
How do you teach Mandarin in the Montessori way?
Taking account limitation on exposure time in a Mandarin environment, we try to apply most of the principles of Montessori education in our program. We carefully prepare our classroom before each lesson and display our sensory-based material from left to right in progression order on open shelves. The structure of our lesson is in corresponding with the five key areas of Montessori method: Practical life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and culture.
A practical life activity example —— set up the table:
We take time to introduce the items used in this activity: plate, spoon and fork, cup and placemat.
We giving the child Mandarin words for the items they will be using.
We show them how to set up the table by repeating the items in Mandarin.
“Your turn.” We use simple games to reinforce the new words they are learning, and repeat this process in various ways.
The children will be shown how to pack up their learning materials for the next student to use.
Tell us more about your teachers?
Our qualified staffs need to be native Mandarin speaker and also very fluent in English, who love children and are passionate about teaching.