We all know that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s a critical part of the learning process. It’s often hard, however, for students to move beyond the fear of embarrassment, especially when schools and testing generally reward being right. And for tweens and teens wanting to impress peers, the risk from making a potentially embarrassing mistake feels even greater.
When I recently attended the “meet the teacher night” at my daughter’s high school, her Spanish teacher kicked things off by sharing a bit about his philosophy. “I want kids to make mistakes in my class,” he said. “If they aren’t making mistakes, that means they aren’t trying new things. That’s why in my class, I reward mistakes.”
I wanted to hug him. Getting students to feel comfortable making mistakes in front of others can be a real challenge. And my daughter’s teacher was on to something – making mistakes is absolutely critical for foreign language learning.
We all know that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s a critical part of the learning process. It’s often hard, however, for students (especially older ones) to move beyond the fear of embarrassment, especially when schools and testing generally reward being right. And for tweens and teens wanting to impress peers, the risk from making a potentially embarrassing mistake feels even greater.
Palo Alto, CA– November 2, 2017 – PandaTree Inc., the language learning company, announces the launch of its proprietary interactive foreign language learning platform for kids. The new platform allows students to talk via live video with their PandaTree tutor, while interacting with PandaTree’s proprietary, standards-based language curriculum. The company also announces it has raised an additional $1.5 million in a seed equity round.
The new WebRTC-based platform supports a more interactive and fully integrated curriculum. During lessons students can be doing a virtual 3D tour of a Mayan ruin or the Great Wall of China with their tutor, working on a project, or playing a game. “The new platform boosts learning because students are engaged. We view these innovations as just the start of a much more immersive virtual foreign language learning experience,” says Rich Matsuura, PandaTree co-founder and product lead.
By Dimaris Barrios-Beltran, PhD and Kristina Klausen, MBA
Have you ever tried to “speak Spanish” by putting a bunch of O’s on the end of English words? If so, you might have noticed this strategy doesn’t take you too far. While there are similarities between English and Spanish, there are also some significant differences that can cause confusion for students at first. Understanding a bit about how Spanish works will help you support your child when it comes to common pitfalls and challenges in learning this language.
By Dimaris Barrios-Beltran, PhD and Kristina Klausen, MBA
How hard is it for kids to learn a particular foreign language? That is often one of the first questions many parents ask when considering foreign language education for their children. Because Spanish is similar to English in several ways, and because many aspects of Spanish and Latin American culture are familiar to students in the United States, Spanish is considered one of the easier foreign languages for children to learn. In this post we’ll look at some of the features that make Spanish easier for kids to learn, and in part two we’ll look at some of the challenges that Spanish learners face. Continue reading “Is Spanish a Difficult Language to Learn? Part OneFeatures that make Spanish easier than you might think“
Learning a new language is both exciting and challenging, and the younger your child starts a second language, the more easily she will learn to speak it. Immersion programs for children, particularly Spanish and Mandarin, have been growing very rapidly and are often over-subscribed. If your child is lucky enough to be learning a foreign language in an immersion program, you may feel unsure how to support her–especially if you don’t speak the language yourself. Don’t worry. There are ways to help your child on the language-learning journey.
In Part One of this series we looked at some surprising ways that Mandarin Chinese is easier to learn than other languages. Children learning Mandarin are happy to discover that Mandarin has no verb conjugations and no irregular spelling or grammar. That said, Mandarin has a reputation for being a challenging language – so for parents who are interested in having their children learn Mandarin we’ll take a look at the challenges and how they can be addressed.
Chinese has a reputation of being a tough language to learn, but have you ever wondered why that is? Nearly a billion people in the world speak Mandarin Chinese – so clearly learning it is possible. However, if you’re a parent thinking about having your children learn Mandarin as a second language, you probably want to know more about whether Mandarin Chinese is a hard language for kids to learn.
What might surprise you is that, in some ways, Mandarin is easier to learn than English. In this article we’ll take a linguistic perspective and look at what makes Mandarin easier to learn than you might think and, in Part Two we’ll look at what makes Mandarin challenging.
We often get asked by parents for recommendations about Chinese books for kids to read, so we’re thrilled to support the launch of Great Chinese Reads’ Recommended Chinese Reading List. Experts at Great Chinese Reads reviewed more than 2,000 books and selected 50 for inclusion in a leveled, searchable database available for free to parents, educators and students. PandaTree was delighted to work with Great Chinese Reads to bring their list to life online. Here’s a discussion with Great Chinese Reads Founder, Stella Su.
January 29, 2017, Palo Alto, CA: The non-profit organization, Great Chinese Reads, together with the language learning company, PandaTree, announce the launch of an expert-selected Recommended Chinese Reading Listfor students in kindergarten through sixth grade who are learning Mandarin Chinese. The list of 50 recommended picture books is now available for free to parents and educators in a searchable database at PandaTree.com.
What if there was one thing you could do that would help grow your child’s brain, improve her problem solving skills, help her do better on standardized tests, prepare her for better paying jobs of the future, deepen her empathy and cross-cultural understanding and give her tools to unlock a lifetime of greater connections and richer experiences? You would be all in, right?