Ever since I reviewed A Little Mandarin CD my five year old daughter L. has been obsessed with learning Chinese. I tried researching online resources, but was both overwhelmed and confused with my search results. There’s so much out there and it’s tricky to distinguish between what’s good and bad quality material when you don’t master the topic yourself. So I was psyched at the opportunity of reviewing a set of Mandarin Chinese language learning books for Multicultural Kids Blogs!
Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) – Set 1 is part of the Chinese immersion series compiled by Language Together. Basically it’s made of ten flashcard stories that teach thematic words, high frequency expressions and fun sentences through the adventures of sweet characters like Claire, Teddy, Mighty Mike, Ernie and Rosie. The language Together Learning System is designed to speed kids language acquisition through the unique Spot Color Immersion method, humor, visual stimulus and simple repetition.
Written by Germaine Choe and illustrated by Nancy Meyers, this particular set covers vocabulary related to family, fruits, numbers, snacks, toys, colors, body, clothes, animals and shapes. Besides being a story based language learning system and therefore fun for kids, a big advantage of this program is that you can listen to the audio narration of the stories for free online. The English translation is also available at the end of each flashcard story. So it’s possible to make your own attempt of reading through the booklets, correct pronunciation via the audio tracks and cross check with the English translation any time during the learning process.
Once I received this set, I tried a couple of the flashcard stories with L. and she thoroughly enjoyed them. We had fun trying to pronounce the words and then attempting to improve listening to the audio tracks. The English translation also helped clarify any misunderstanding. I think it’s a good resource for self directed study at a beginners level, very attractive and well designed especially for young children. Definately a great Christmas gift if you have a little one interested in this language. I will for sure keep on using it for my daughter to pick up some basic Chinese vocabulary!