In a country with 11 official languages it seems strange to have chosen an Asian language to teach in our preschool. While no language is more important than another and learning ANY language is beneficial to a child, there were two main reasons we opted for Chinese over any other language:
1. Chinese is a tonal language and from a completely different family of languages. With a foundation in a tonal language, a person will find learning other tonal languages like Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese much easier. Languages like Portuguese and French are in the same language family as English and so in order to give a child the widest range of linguistic skills possible for future development in language, Chinese was selected.
2. We chose Chinese at LinguaMites for it’s usefulness: Standard Chinese, generally referred to as ‘Mandarin’ by Westerners, is the official language of China and Taiwan; it is also one of the official languages of Singapore and the United Nations. It is estimated that about 1 billion people speak Chinese as a first language while it is also the fastest growing second language in the world. The opening up, and subsequent growth, of China’s economy over the past few decades has lead to increased interaction with Chinese speakers for people across the globe. Africa has experienced significant attention from China on a political, economic and social level, a trend that creates both opportunities and challenges for Africans. At LinguaMites we are firmly convinced that the only way to ensure that the opportunities are leveraged and the challenges overcome is through engagement, mutual understanding and friendship. We therefore believe that LinguaMites equips our future generation with the skills, sensitivity and passion to turn Africa’s future into an opportunity for all.