When my daughter was approaching her fifth birthday, she begged to learn Chinese. At the time, I really struggled to find resources that were geared to non-native speakers. I was recently provided a copy of A Little Mandarin – a music CD of Chinese Children’s Classics – in exchange for my honest review. I wish that I had known of A Little Mandarin when we first began learning Mandarin Chinese!
The tunes are very catchy – just as all classic children’s music tends to be – which makes the learning of Mandarin enjoyable for everyone. The 15 songs give a true feeling of the culture while also providing a fun way to learn and appreciate the language.
Created by a mother who wanted to make music that would encourage the learning of Mandarin Chinese for her own children. Toni Wang’s fresh take on these classic songs will allow children to become familiar with new Chinese songs and classic songs they may already know and love.
I’ve played A Little Mandarin several times when friends have been over for play dates and to my amazement, our non-Chinese-speaking friends have started singing along!
The CD is perfect for use in a homeschool co-op or after school club. It can be used where the focus is on the language and culture of China. It is also a great tool for those looking to integrate a short unit study on China into their social studies or geography curriculum.
You can listen to the introduction of each of the songs right from their website. You can also download the lyrics (with both simplified Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation).
Though the songs are geared for younger ages, it provides a great audio resource to use with older kids. One of the ways I intend to use this CD is to have my kids write out the lyrics to the songs (either in characters or pinyin) as they listen to the audio. They can then check their own work by referring back to the website.
I expect my kids to practice their language skills everyday. The more resources I have available to us, the more I can assure the activities are varied enough to keep their interest.