Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time is just like a regular story time, but in Mandarin! Children can enjoy and participate in the songs and stories that they already know and love, whilst absorbing and networking the sounds of Mandarin. Meaning is conveyed and understood using facial and body expression, gestures, images and props.
Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time not not only gives children an early exposure to the sounds of a language other than English, the safe and familiar routine and community setting helps to validate and normalise communication in a different language: a real embracing of multiculturalism. Most of all it’s fun and parents and carers get to learn Mandarin alongside their little ones!
We also use kinesthetic gestures with our key words allowing children to exercise their multiple intelligences while they enjoy the songs! The gestures we use are AUSLAN sign, so children will get to pick up some AUSLAN vocab in the bargain 🙂
Who is the Story Time for ?
Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time is great for babies, toddlers and primary aged school children and their parents. Both Mandarin and non-Mandarin speaking families will have fun!!
When: Wednesdays 10.00am – 10.40 am
Age group: Babies, toddlers and early primary (older primary also welcome as an intro to our other classes)
Cost: $10 per student per session (Babies under 12 months free with paying sibling)
Where: Brighton, Brisbane, Qld
NB: This class is a casual class and new comers can start at any time of the term/year! Best way to let me know you are coming, or for further info is on our Mandarin Motion Facebook page. Alternatively you can contact me on this website.
You will also learn how to access at home all the songs that we sing, and tips on how to continue your Mandarin learning journey at home as a family. Each session’s songs will be linked on our Mandarin Motion Facebook page.
If my child doesn’t know any Mandarin, do I wait for a beginner story time class to start?
With a story time, there is no set progression pathway, vocab lists, or curriculum! Children can join in at anytime of the year.
My child does not know any Mandarin, how will he/she understand or participate in a Mandarin Story Time?
Song, with dance and interaction is the main activity in our class, and children enjoy the music and rhyme, and easily learn the words to sing along! Even if they don’t know exactly what they are singing word for word, they are networking the sounds and sentence patterns of Mandarin. The stories we read are often simple and repetitive, and involve some form of interaction. Facial and body expression, props and pictures convey meaning and games and classroom instructions are accompanied by the action. It is a safe and fun learning environment, no expectations or assessment, so children can just ‘be’ while they enjoy a dance and a sing along, in Mandarin!
What do I need to bring?
Just yourselves! Be a little early though, so that you and your child are comfortably settled for the start of the class. Being part of our welcoming Hello song is important for your child to feel in a safe environment to experience a story time in Mandarin!
Do I need to be present at the class with my child?
I encourage parents to not only be present, but participate in the class with their child. You probably won’t pick up the Mandarin as quickly as your child in a story time setting (we adults learn differently!), but by singing the songs together in class, will make it easier for you to continue the Mandarin learning journey together at home when you access the songs and videos on the website. Participating together adds much more meaning and fun for your child, plus you get free Mandarin classes with a unique perspective not offered at any university! Kids also love correcting your pronunciation!
My baby/toddler isn’t ready to sit through a story time, do I wait till they are older?
The best time to start a story time in another language is 0-12 months old! After that, the earlier the better! So babies and toddlers are most certainly welcome, and a range of early childhood and primary aged children can make for a lovely group. Because of the songs and movements, together with parental involvement, often toddlers can make it enjoyably through the session! If your toddler wishes to leave the group at any time for their own pursuit of interests, just be with them to minimise disruption of the classroom and the group. They will still be taking in the sounds, and will probably wish to rejoin the group when the next activity or song that interests them again starts.
My child is upper primary, but has no previous Mandarin. Is the story time too babyish for them?
When you imagine a typical library story time in English, with nursery rhymes and picture books, it seems a little babyish for a grade 4 or 6 child! But when you think about it, those rhymes and stories are how we learn our first language…it only makes sense for our older kids to be given the opportunity to get that same foundation in a second language. Remember the story time is in MANDARIN, and even though they may outwardly joke it is ‘babyish’, inwardly they will secretly enjoy it, once they understand that it is quite a challenging situation they are being put in, but in a safe, fun environment! The activities we do can be adapted for older kids, and many older kids also like to feel that they are helping the little kids!
Are you qualified to teach Mandarin?
I am a qualified teacher, with LOTE (Language Other Than English) and Chinese teaching specialisation. For more info about me and my qualifications you can check out the about Miss Donna page , or browse our many blog posts!
I really want my child to have a progressive pathway in Mandarin. Is there a more structured class?
I love taking children on Mandarin learning journeys and would be happy to discuss individual or group classes catered for specific goals. I would highly recommend though, that children attend a story time environment for a little while before more formal study. Listening to stories, participating in games, singing songs etc. will provide a fun motivating orientation to Mandarin, networking the sounds and sentence patterns and building a foundation that will make future formal study of the language a breeze!!
My child can understand and speak Mandarin at home, but cannot read. Is there a class for background speakers?
Please feel free to chat to me about reading and writing programs, I can cater a pathway for such individual needs. Coming along to a story time is still a good idea though, as participating with other kids at all different levels and backgrounds can normalise the experience of learning a language other than English, and give background speakers a motivational orientation to formal learning.