Learn to Speak Chinese with the aha!Method
The aha!Method teaches language the easy and effective way. We have taken successful concepts that native speakers use to teach their own children and we incorporated them into our program:
- Provide children a learning environment that is comfortable yet stimulating
- Learn to speak Chinese gradually, by slowly introducing new phrases reinforced with their English translation
- Repeat new phrases constantly using a variety of different learning materials and teaching approaches
- Build upon this foundation to introduce new phrases
- Keep it fun!
We considered “immersion-type” methodologies in which a child is thrown into an entirely foreign language environment. While immersion is clearly the best method if the child is in a foreign country and constantly presented with language interaction opportunities, it is extremely difficult for a child who does not have the benefit of that environment to gain a great deal. Because of the difficulty of simulating true immersion, we have developed the Migration to Immersion Method™ (MTIM™). Using MTIM™, we place an English speaking child into an English language environment that they are comfortable in, and slowly introduce Mandarin Chinese, phrase by phrase. We teach phrases, rather than solitary words, because we believe it is important to teach children how to express complete thoughts in their appropriate contexts.
In our “Let’s Go Guang!” Mandarin Chinese learning system, the Chinese phrases are repeated side by side with their English equivalent, to the point that by the end of the 30 minute episode, they become second nature and the child no longer needs the help of the English translation. In addition, as all children learn differently, we use different mediums to continuously reinforce the same phrases as spoken in the feature program. Our other learning materials include a storybook, flashcards, CD and the episode related features on the website. Within each feature program we include 1) live footage focused on Chinese landmarks, everyday life, food and culture, 2) mini-lessons to reinforce key phrases repeated throughout the episode, and 3) phrases set to familiar sing-a-long songs. Each episode in the “Let’s Go Guang!” series builds upon the phrases learned in the prior episode, and therefore each episode becomes increasingly complex in its use of Mandarin Chinese. Whereas the English/Chinese language ratio in earlier episodes leans heavily toward English, this pattern reverses in later episodes.