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China Institute Launches New Programs for Children

China Institute Launches New Programs for Children

China Institute recently added Mandarin Munchkins and Study Hall for children.

China Institute recently added Mandarin Munchkins and Study Hall, two new programs that teach children about the Chinese language and culture. Both programs began in mid-September and have open enrollment.

Mandarin Munchkins is designed for toddlers 18 months to 2 years with their caregivers. It's held Tuesdays and Fridays from 10-11am and previous knowledge of Mandarin is not required. The interactive class uses sing-alongs and storytelling to teach children Mandarin. Word association is an important part of this class, as toddlers are at a good age for grasping and learning a new language, according to Shenzhan Liao, China Institute's director of the School of Chinese Studies. 

For example, each time an instructor sings or says “Ni Hao,” the Mandarin word for “hello,” the children respond with movements such as shaking hands with their caregivers or giving a high-five to the instructor as a form of greeting.

“By doing this multiple times, it gradually builds the connection,” Liao says. “These activities are designed so all their senses will be motivated. And that is actually really key. That's why with language, Mandarin in this case, music and movement have to alternate and interact with each other.”

Study Hall is an after-school program for children of all ages in which experienced instructors who are native speakers of Mandarin are available to help students with their Chinese homework. Study Hall is held on Thursdays from 4-5:30pm.

Go classes are scheduled to be added February 2018. In the strategic board game players take turns placing black and white stones on a board and try to capture the opponent's stones and surround empty space to make points of territory. The ancient game of Go originated in China several thousands of years ago. China Institute's Go classes will be led by Mingming Yin and Ryan Li, professional Go players and experienced Go instructors. Beginner-level Go classes will be offered for students ages 5½ and older. China Institute has a free Go demo class scheduled for Dec. 2 from 11-11:45am. Go classes, for children ages 5½-11 and individuals ages 11 and older, will be held in 12 sessions during select times on Fridays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, starting early February 2018.

Founded in 1926, China Institute's mission is to bridge the United States and China by sharing insights and deepening trust through the pillars of education, culture, and business. Mandarin Munchkins and Study Hall are both held at the institute's location in Lower Manhattan. A satellite location on the Upper East Side offers additional programming.


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Main image: In China Institute's Mandarin Munchkins class, toddlers participate in sing-alongs and storytelling to learn Mandarin with their caregivers.
Courtesy China Institute