7/4/11

Teach Kids Chinese With the aha!CHINESE Language Kit

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The Let's Go GUANG learning
kit includes a DVD, storybook,
audio CD, two sets of flash cards,
and parent/educator guide

Image: ahaChinese.com
In an effort to teach my 2-year old daughter Chinese (half of her heritage), I bought the DVD Baby Learns Chinese. While the songs were cute, the entire disc was in Chinese instead of bilingual with English. Annoyingly the DVD featured almost all boys, perhaps reflective of Chinese society which generally favored sons. In my next attempt to find a good learning system, I discovered two VHS tapes called Ni Hao Little Friends from the early ‘90s that my sister had used with her kids. Though my daughter loved the dancing, singing, and lessons, the production quality was pretty horrendous.

When I met co-founder Karen Wu Audi from aha!Chinese, I was thrilled to discover an award winning children’s educational language product that used a systematic bilingual method to teach Chinese Mandarin. I am not fluent in Chinese, so I wanted something that both my daughter and I could learn from and enjoy. I received the aha!Chinese Volume 1 set called Let’s Go GUANG. Targeted to 2-8 year olds, the DVD teaches over 50 useful words, phrases, Chinese culture and history.

My 2-year old loves watching Let's Go GUANG
Photo by M.Adcock
Unlike many other language methods that encouraged just straight memorization of words, the aha!Chinese method weaved language learning into story lines using repetition, mini lessons, and songs to organically teach Chinese to viewers. The bilingual songs were set to familiar nursery melodies kids already loved like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

“[In the DVD] we place an English-speaking child into an English language environment that they are comfortable in and slowly introduce Chinese, phrase by phrase,” said Karen. She continued, “In addition to solitary words, we immediately teach phrases and complete sentences because we believe it is important to teach children how to express complete thoughts in their appropriate contexts.”

The DVD was structured in three sections: 1) The animated adventures of sister and brother Ling and Kai as well as their dragon friend, Guang, 2) A live action short showing kids making jiao zhi (Chinese dumplings), and 3) A review using mini lessons.

The development and production team of Let’s Go GUANG included linguists from the Beijing Foreign Language institute, former George Lucas animators, an Emmy-nominated composer, educators, and a Broadway singer.

Awards and recognition received have included:
  • Dr. Toy’s Top 10 Educational Products
  • Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products
  • iParenting Media HOT Award Winner, Disney Internet Group
  • Mom’s Choice Award, Gold Recipient, Educational Products

Results: My daughter really loves the DVD and squeals in delight when I tell her we’re going to watch Let’s Go GUANG. She dances to the songs and tries to follow the lyrics. In just a few weeks she has picked up how to say some Chinese words. The catchy songs stay in my head, and I find myself singing them to my daughter. I am happy with the product and recommend it to other parents who want to teach their kids Chinese, too.

The Let's Go GUANG learning kit
Image: ahaChinese.com
Special Discount for Bicultural Mama Readers
Bicultural Mama readers can receive a 25% off any aha!Chinese purchase by using the promo code bcmamasave25 when ordering online at www.ahachinese.com. All products offer a 30 day risk-free guarantee.

Highlights of available products include these below (see website for more details):
  • Let’s Go GUANG Learning Kit - Comes in a beautiful full color box set that includes a DVD, storybook, audio CD, two sets of flash cards, and parent/educator guide for $49.95.
  • DVD only - $24.95 via Amazon.com only
About aha!Chinese:
Based in New York, co-founders Karen Wu Audi and Janet Lin Lawson are both U.S. born and fluent speakers of Mandarin Chinese. They conceived the idea for aha!Chinese when they taught their own children about Chinese language and culture.

aha!Chinese website: www.ahachinese.com
aha!Blog: bit.ly/ah3Lvx
Fans of Guang video on YouTube: bit.ly/jOEwW1
Preview of Let’s Go GUANG: ahachinese.com/video.html

Disclosure: Author received a product sample solely for the purpose of this review. Author did not receive any other compensation and will not receive any proceeds from sales of this product. All opinions expressed are those of the author.

4 comments:

  1. This is great - I would love to give this a try for my kids, thanks for the great review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a great DVD for kids to learn another language.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great review. I always like learning about new products. My daughters would love to learn another language.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks like a really interesting series. Wish I had this when my kids were younger!

    ReplyDelete

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