By Mandi Gould
What kind of after school programs in Toronto should you be choosing for your family? Do you and your kids speak Mandarin at home? Would you like to?
For those of us of Chinese heritage, speaking Mandarin can be a wonderful way to connect with our culture, history, and roots. Language strengthens the ties between generations, building a healthy respect for our heritage in our children.
Of course, that's not the only reasons to learn Mandarin in Toronto! In fact, many who are not of Chinese heritage recognize that Mandarin after school programs can provide significant advantages and opportunities for their kids in their future.
In order to learn to speak Mandarin, you need to find opportunities to practice the language with others. It's next to impossible to learn a language from classes alone, let alone from textbooks or apps. You need to speak Mandarin with others in Toronto, and the best way to do that is to engage directly with the Mandarin community.
That's one of the reasons why Panda Mandarin's after school programs for kids are so popular! Not only do we provide exceptional Mandarin language training, but we also welcome children into the Mandarin speaking community, offering them opportunities to practice, engage, and feel connected with the language in practical, everyday ways.
So, why should you enroll your kids in a Mandarin after school program? Here are just a few reasons:
After School Programs in Toronto: Mandarin Culture and Heritage
Multiculturalism is one of our greatest assets in Canada. We are not a melting pot; we are a mosaic. We celebrate our unique cultural differences and origins. However, it isn't a perfect system. Canada is primarily an English-speaking country, and even French is not particularly prominent in the GTA. With only English being spoken in most after school programs in Toronto, it limits children's opportunities to speak other languages in everyday situations.
Children deserve to know where they came from. By allowing children to retain and develop their Mandarin speaking skills, parents give them the gift of their cultural heritage. This deepens relationships with parents and grandparents and extended family. Unfortunately, many young children who arrive here as immigrants quickly lose their Mandarin language abilities once they are fully immersed in the English-speaking culture. If children of Chinese heritage are born here, parents will often attempt to teach them Mandarin by speaking it with them from an early age.
In both these situations, while the kids might use a little Mandarin with their family, they will be communicating with their friends in primarily in English at school. As a result, when confronted with their native language at home, responding in English will be their first instinct. And that's understandable. After all, they want to fit in with their friends at school, the vast majority of whom likely speak English as their sole language.
But children should not have to sacrifice their Mandarin for English. They should be comfortable and confident speaking both languages!
Mandarin After School Program: Future Opportunities
On any list of skills that can help your future career prospects, learning a second language is right at the top.
Being able to functionally communicate in another language opens doors unavailable to the vast majority of the Canadian population. Not only can speakers of two languages provide translation services, but they may also find opportunities in entirely new job markets. While French tends to be the primary second language taught in Ontario, the second language that many consider to be the most advantageous to learn is Mandarin.
As one of the two main dialects of the most populous country in the world, Mandarin has over 1.2 billion speakers worldwide. China is also the world's second-largest economy, making significant investments in industries ranging from telecommunications to infrastructure in third-world countries. Imagine the future business opportunities that could help set your child apart from the competition when they can confidently speak Mandarin.
You want to do what’s best for your child. When you enroll them in a Mandarin after school program, you'll not only be connecting your child with their cultural heritage, but also giving them an incalculable advantage for the future.
Why Take Mandarin After School Programs in Toronto?
One of the critical parts of learning a new language is immersion. If you aren't regularly put in a position where you're actively encouraged to use the language, then the grammar and vocabulary become little more than trivia. To learn to speak a language, you actually need to use it.
While most students begin second language training in junior high school, that can be too late to become fluent and naturally comfortable with the language. Luckily, at Panda Mandarin, we offer children an opportunity to start at a younger age when it’s much easier to learn. This is one of the main advantages of Panda Mandarin's after school programs for kids.
After a day of being immersed in English language classes, perhaps with some French mixed in, it's wonderful for children to have a fun and educational environment where they can actively practice and improve their Mandarin. The pressure of only speaking English with their peers is removed, as everyone in the kids after school program will be focused on speaking Mandarin too.
We offer after school classes in Toronto from September to June for children ages 6-9 (grades 1-3) and ages 9-12 (grades 4-6). And the best part? The kids love it! We truly create a Mandarin language speaking community for kids so that your children's Mandarin language training becomes a part of their regular academic and social schedule.
It’s also possible to offer a Mandarin Program at your child's school. If you are interested, please contact us to find out more.
Whether your child has Chinese heritage or your family simply wants to broaden their cultural and linguistic horizons, Panda Mandarin offers the finest in Mandarin language classes in Toronto. If you'd like to sign up for a free trial class, click here. Or if you already have a class in mind, you can sign. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.