May 2013

In a recent release from The New Zealand Herald, Prime Minister John Key has praised the advantages of learning Mandarin as a second language, claiming that:

“Any student going through school today, faced with the choice of learning Mandarin or another language, would be well served to think about learning Mandarin.”

We certainly agree! There are 250 000 New Zealanders of Chinese ethnicity, many of whom we believe would benefit from being able to reconnect with their cultural heritage through studying Mandarin.

Furthermore, there is a strong correlation that links bilingualism with social and cognitive development that any child – regardless of their ethnic background – could certainly benefit from. Dr Russell Cross, senior lecturer in language and literacy education at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, says that learning a second language equips children to expand their world view as well as enhancing their problem solving ability.

The sense of achievement and self-efficacy that children experience when they learn another language is “not just a mark on a test” but rather a “social skill” that equips them to think more globally and appreciate the differences in others. Not only this but learning a second language also bridges the cultural divide by teaching children new ways of interpreting the world around them, and allowing them to see and experience the richness of other cultures.

“Once you start to speak another language, you understand different ways of being and relating… It opens your eyes up to new ways of thinking.” – Dr Russell Cross

In The Leader, one of our Mandarin Stars franschisees Iris Liu drew a similar comparison between language and development, saying:

“Learning a second language has great cognitive and educational benefits for a child, with children who understand a second language often being more creative, globally aware and flexible in their thinking.”

At Mandarin Stars we hope to encourage our students to develop this confidence, adaptibility and open-mindedness in all areas of their lives!

Click here to see Mandarin Stars Christchurch’s media release.

Click here to see Mandarin Stars elsewhere on the net.

Click here if you would like your child to be in the draw for a FREE term of Mandarin lessons!