Beginner Level Chinese

Learn like a Child

How did you learn to speak your mother language? Do you remember? Probably not, you were quite young, weren’t you? Well, if you have (or had) young children or spend time around people who do, you might guess that the process goes in stages something like this:

Stage 1 (0-6 months) is the listening stage. The baby hears people, especially Mom, talking, and learns to recognize the sound of Mom’s voice. Near the end of this stage, a baby starts to vocalize, to make seemingly random sounds.

Stage 2 (6-12 months) brings more sounds, but mostly unintelligible. However, the baby seems to understand some words and is responding to them.

Stage 3 (1-2 years) is usually when they begin to respond to simple requests, can point to things and begin to name things and even start putting words together into rudimentary phrases or short (but grammatically incorrect) sentences. They love to listen to things over and over.

Stage 4 (2-4 years) is when their language seems to improve every day! Sentences get longer, grammar mistakes begin to disappear. They get more talkative and start asking lots of questions.

Learning a second language as an adult is a more deliberate process, but jumping straight into a textbook isn’t necessarily the best way to start.

At Ten West all of our Chinese teachers are trained in the GPA (Growing Participator Approach) method and if you have never studied Chinese before, they can help you use the same principles in learning Chinese that children use to learn the language. You’ll progress at a faster rate than children, of course, but you will start with listening and recognizing words before progressing to speaking and then learning vocabulary and grammar rules from textbooks.

Why not learn Chinese the ‘natural’ way at Ten West?

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