As parents, we all want our children to hold on to the knowledge they've worked hard to acquire throughout the school year. This is especially crucial when it comes to Chinese language skills, considering it is not a primary language in most parts of North America. Even for families who speak at home, reading & writing Chinese needs upkeep in the summer. However, keeping up with Chinese proficiency can be challenging during the summer, with various activities and travel plans, especially if Chinese is not the primary language spoken at home.
But don't worry! We have some practical tips to help your child maintain their Chinese skills during the summer months. Let's explore them together!
Make Language Learning a Family Affair
One of the most effective ways to ensure your child maintains their second language skills is by involving the whole family in the learning process.
Parents can learn alongside their children or even ask their children to teach them what they've learned. This not only reinforces their understanding but also creates a meaningful bonding experience for the entire family. For example, families who went through our Panda Mandarin classes can use the review content and audio summaries provided after each class in the Seesaw app.
No matter your proficiency in Chinese, you can incorporate Mandarin or Cantonese into your daily activities and outings, creating a richer Chinese language environment. Plan playdates with Chinese-speaking friends, try out authentic Chinese restaurants, and play Chinese songs or podcasts during road trips – there are so many possibilities!
Connect with Native Speakers
Exposure to native speakers is invaluable for language development. Look for opportunities for your child to practice Chinese with native speakers, whether through formal gatherings, casual encounters, or even while travelling.
Even if your child isn't fluent yet, encouraging them to use basic greetings and words will help refine their speaking skills and boost their confidence. For example, if you're asked by some native speakers to take a photo of their family, you can count 1,2,3 in Mandarin before pressing the button. Most native speakers appreciate the effort and are happy to provide guidance.
Use Online and Offline Language Learning Resources
As mentioned, if your child is learning with us, the audio and text summaries we share on the Seesaw app after each
class are excellent tools for reinforcing learning and preventing any regression.
Having printed materials on hand can be helpful when internet access is limited during travel or other activities.
In the absence of Panda Mandarin's additional learning materials, there are numerous other online and offline
resources tailored to accommodate the demands of a busy summer schedule.
Join a Language Enrichment Program
Enrolling your child in a summer language program provides structured learning opportunities and consistent language exposure. Panda Mandarin offers full-week summer camps and weekly classes for different age groups and proficiency levels.
With options for both in-person and virtual classes, Mandarin and Cantonese instruction, and flexible payment terms, our once-a-week summer classes can easily accommodate your travel plans while ensuring your child's continued language development.
Among all other summer activities, it’s definitely important to prioritize the continued development of your child’s Chinese skills. By increasing their day-to-day exposure to the language and considering summer classes or summer camps, you can relax without worrying about their learning loss during the summer.
Do you have other ideas or suggestions to help with Summer language learning? Please comment below to share!