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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Learning Chinese through Music

Have you ever sung to read-along cassette tapes when you were younger? I used to have several read-along stories, but we also had a multiplication tables cassette. My mom bought it for us to be able to memorize our multiplication facts faster.

Surprise! Now that I’m a parent myself, I still remember the lyrics to that multiplication song. Turns out the part of the brain that processes language, is also the part of the brain that processes music. Therefore, it is easy for us to remember words when learned together with music.

The implication for those of us raising bilingual kids, using music for our kids to learn Chinese words will help them with remembering words better. Childbook has several sing-along cassettes that have simple songs with starter words for small kids. A customer favorite is Teach Me Chinese and Let’s Sing Mandarin. For bigger kids, you can look for Chinese pop songs and ask what sounds catchy to them. It will help a lot with remembering words and understanding phrases.

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