Teaching children different languages when they are young has proven to be incredibly successful, but language classes also have the stigma of being boring and dull. That is definitely not the case with Fun With Chinese Characters.
Run by Merrianne Moore, Fun with Chinese Characters aims to teach the Chinese language in an oral and performance based way to young children. Merrianne has a background in Theatre Studies, and spent 7 years in Beijing where she studied at the Beijing Opera. “I was studying next to 11 year olds. It was embarrassing at times” she recalls, but this also gave her a unique perspective on how children learn when exposed to the arts.
Fun with Chinese Characters teaches Chinese through acting/movement, storytelling, and music. These classes are for the whole family, since kids are more likely to participate if they see their parents doing something. The classes are taught by a native speaker with a strong theatre background and language teaching experience. Kids are divided into a preschool imaginative play group for 3 – 5 year olds and a theatre/creative dramatics group for gradeschoolers ages 6-13.
Kids get to use their imaginations and participate in the stories, all the while learning a different language. It’s almost as if learning Chinese is secondary to the story, music, tumbling, and everything else there is to do in the class. Plus, the children, and you, get to learn about the Chinese culture in the process.
Classes start Saturday September 24th. The class fees are $325 for 11 weeks of classes. Siblings are $100. The fees include a CD of music, a final performance and access to a collection of DVDs that families can borrow. There are free trial classes being offered on Saturday, Sept. 17th. One at 9:30am for 3-5 and 10:30am for 6 and up for those who want to check out everything there is to do at Fun With Chinese Characters.