About Mandarin

In 2018, we launched our Introduction to Mandarin program supported by our parents and with great success. What started as part-time Chinese teachers’ employment, teaching children in small groups, has in 2022 evolved into us having full-time Chinese teachers providing all round care thus offering the children an immersive language learning experience. Tonal languages are especially beneficial to be exposed to at a young age. Without exposure to the tones when young, it becomes substantially harder to learn to differentiate them when older. We are pleased that we did not reduce our English and French staff levels, and the Chinese teachers were an addition to our team.

Introduction to Mandarin. Lantern in Les Petites Etoiles Bilingual Montessori - Angel

Engaging Mandarin Learning Approaches

Our Mandarin teachers encourage the children’s language development through songs and stories with a strong emphasis on puppets and picture cards to enable the children to understand and participate no matter their level of knowledge of the language. Art and creative development have also been a great tool in bringing groups of children together to work and listen to the mandarin through everyday play. Imaginative play has been a handy and engaging tool for our Mandarin Teachers.

Mandarin Language and Chinese Culture

The children are getting exposure to the language, but they can also learn about Chinese culture, which we feel is very important and connected to the language. We have a big celebration for Chinese New Year, and the children also participate in learning how to make different Chinese food such as dumplings. We also try to make sure that we have some dishes within our menus that reflect the Chinese culture.

Integration of Mandarin in Montessori Education

We have also added activities to our Montessori shelves to reflect our Mandarin curriculum by adding learning how to use chopsticks to our practical life shelves as well as the mandarin number and letter characters so that our older children can begin to make the connection between language and symbol, as they do with English and French.

A positive impact on cognitive and linguistic development

Introducing Mandarin to babies offers numerous benefits that can positively impact their cognitive and linguistic development. Early exposure to a language with a unique tonal and character-based structure, enhances babies’ ability to discern sounds and develop advanced listening skills. This early start not only lays the foundation for future proficiency in one of the world’s most spoken languages but also boosts overall brain development by engaging memory, problem-solving, and multitasking skills. By integrating Mandarin into their early education, we provide children with valuable tools for future educational and career opportunities in an increasingly interconnected global society.

Please note

Starting in September 2024, we are excited to introduce Mandarin in the babies’ classroom at our Tufnell Park nursery, expanding to toddlers in 2025, and to all children by September 2026.
In Angel, Crouch Hill, Paddington, and West Hampstead, we will continue our introduction to Mandarin in each classroom.