Young children have an amazing natural ability that allows them to easily learn foreign languages. The Chinese language is quite complex, but because of this great ability, children are often able to pick it up quickly and easily with the right learning tools. Language DVDs that entertain and engage children can be great teaching aides. There are many options available for children to learn the Chinese language on DVD. Because all children learn differently, it is important to find the right language learning system.
The Little Pim series is specifically geared towards babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. It utilizes three theme-based DVDs to create a unique immersion method. The teaching method focuses on simple phrases and everyday activities. Using both animation and live action video that focuses on real children, the DVD is able to relate to the child that is viewing the language course.
Their products are available to purchase direcly through the Little Pim website. The individual DVDs are available for around $18 and The Little Pim Gift Set Plus: Chinese (Mandarin) for Young Children is available for around $75. The gift set includes a boxed set of the three DVDs, a Little Pim plush doll, and flash cards all in a reusable, see-through tote.
The Little Pim series has received a number of positive reviews. Most parents agreed that their children did learn a few Chinese words from viewing the series. One parent goes on to say that it was good for language exposure but not necessarily for fluency. Overall, kids and parents alike seem to like this DVD set.
The Follow Jade! Series targets children between the ages of two and six. The teaching method that is used in this series was developed by Jade Qian. As she taught her own daughters how to speak Mandarin Chinese, Jade was able to fine-tune her own teaching style. She started teaching their friends and other children who had an interest in the language. Eventually growing to teach more than one hundred children, Jade has developed a special activity-based method of instruction. She makes the system fun, approachable, and utilizes phrases and words that the children can use in their everyday lives.
This method includes two different DVDs for about $20 each. They offer the two DVD set for around $36. The DVDs for this system can be bought online.
This series has received many great reviews. Most parents who reviewed the video agreed that their children really enjoyed watching and learning. One parent points out that she focuses on teaching words more than phrases, but this parent still goes on to give the video five out of five stars.
Baby Learns Chinese
The Baby Learns Chinese method focuses on teaching children from infancy to six years of age. This robust system is spread across several different DVDs and focuses more on individualized topics and themes for each lesson. The method incorporates images that children can easily relate to as well as rhyming music to engage the children. The characters are taught to be pictures that represent an object, which helps children to better understand the written language.
The DVDs can be purchased online for around $25 each. Boxed sets are also available for around $70.
The reviews on this language learning system state that the DVDs are well made and appealing but are not going teach the child a complete language. The reviews were split. Some parents felt that their kids loved the system and developed a broad Chinese vocabulary, while other parents claimed the DVDs were boring or not entertaining enough for their children.
The Professor Toto animated DVDs follow The Thibaut Technique®, focusing on children between the ages of two and eight. This system features several stimulating animated characters through DVD, colorful workbooks, and CDs. The children are constantly engaged and immersed in the language as they sing and interact in the classroom lessons. Professor Toto is designed to work for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school students alike. This language learning series is associated with The Language Workshop for Children. This school has been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine, People, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, BBC, Fox, and other major media sources.
The complete kit is available on the Professor Toto website for around $200. This kit includes four DVDs, two audio CDs, two activity books, and three reference books. Starter kits are available for around $30.
Reviews on the Professor Toto learning system say that this is a nice resource for introducing a foreign language to a child. The interactive DVDs encourage kids to use the language properly. One reviewer suggests that the parents participate along with the child to make the most of the learning experience.
The Muzzy language learning system focuses on the fact that children have a natural ability to learn a foreign language by simply exposing them to that language. This system uses a multisensory teaching technique to appeal to all types of learners. With a natural immersion the child learns the foreign language just as they did their native language. The Muzzy system teaches children about everyday topics from people and places to transportation.
The Muzzy system is available for purchase on their website for around $200.
This system received mixed reviews. Some parents noted that this is a great introductory course for young children while others claim that the Mandarin version of these language DVDs doesn't hold up to their other languages. Overall, the parents who reviewed this language system did not recommend it to others.
Systems for Everyone
There are several options for children to learn the Chinese language through DVDs. The most important part is finding the system that works for the individual child. What works for one family, may not work for all families. The key is finding the right blend of education, fun, structure, and entertainment for the students and viewers.