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  • Writer's picturePanda Mandarin

What People Might not Consider When Thinking of Learning Mandarin

Updated: May 18, 2023

Whether your child has been learning Mandarin already, or you're considering it for

them, it's important for both parent and child to understand why they are learning the language.

It's a Heritage Language

Young child learning Mandarin

One of the main reasons is children learn for cultural orheritage reasons. Perhaps one or both parents come from a Chinese background, or none at all. In any of these cases, comin

g to a family-friendly environment that is welcoming of different family backgrounds is an important starting point where your child will feel welcomed. Common considerations specific for families that come from a Cantonese background include:

  • "Will this affect my child's Cantonese?"

  • "Will they get confused with Mandarin?"

  • "How can I help them if I don't speak Mandarin?"

  • "My family is not of a Mandarin background so should they still learn?"

The short answer is it's definitely ok for them to learn Mandarin, or even both! The long answer to each are personal & specific, but we have found that children are resilient and adaptable. With the right support from their families and their teachers, they can learn Mandarin successfully. At Panda Mandarin, our small class sizes, engaging teachers, and support outside the classroom provide key tools to help our students thrive.

Toddler learning Mandarin with his mother

It's Regret or FOMO

Is your child learning because of regret? It's a common sentiment for Chinese born in North America, who either had a bad experience learning Chinese when they were younger, never learned at all, or immigrated at a young age and lost their heritage language. They want to give their children a different experience with a "non-traditional" language program.

Another off-shoot of this is FOMO...or fear of missing out! While a real feeling, it should not be a driving factor for enrolling your child in a Mandarin class. The danger of this would be that your feeling does not align with those of your child, and can result in them feeling like they are forced or pushed into learning. Both these cases, it's important to sit down with your child to discuss why it's important for them to learn Mandarin and give you a chance to hear from them. This is also a great opportunity to create some fun and excitement about learning a new language, especially at a program like Panda Mandarin.

Students practicing Chinese writing

It's Future Opportunity

Could learning Mandarin be a great future opportunity for your child? It absolutely can be. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language globally, with over a billion native speakers. It is also the most widely spoken language in Canada after the official languages of English & French. Learning Mandarin equips your child with the ability to communicate with people from a different background and experiencing meaningful cross-cultural exchanges. That said, proficiency in Mandarin does not happen overnight and is a journey. Especially for families that don't come from a Mandarin-speaking background. Panda Mandarin can help provide the environment, curriculum, and tools to help support your child from toddlers to teenagers!

There are a number other reasons to learn Mandarin. Regardless of your reasons, it's important to talk to your child why you would like them to go to a Mandarin language program and not feel like they are forced to. Our goal at Panda Mandarin is for your child to want to learn and to want to come to language school. If you have any questions or want to better understand how our programs can benefit your child, come for a FREE trial class or contact us!


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