Cebu City – Learning another language is a good investment in your child’s future. Studies have shown that this makes the brain stronger. In fact, multilingualism has been linked to faster executive functioning and an increased ability to focus.
While English is used as the medium of instruction for higher grade levels in the Philippines, learning another language could also help learners become competitive in the future.
Based on World Economic Forum’s Power Language Index, Chinese is second only to English among the 10 most useful language in terms of competitiveness.
The Childlink Learning Center and Childlink High School Inc., which offers pre-school up to senior high education, are among Cebu-based schools offering Mandarin Chinese subject.
Maria Theresa Tio, Childlink founder and school directress, explained that the school teaches Mandarin Chinese to prepare the students to become part of the global community.
“We know that the Chinese language is one of the most used language in the world. This is very helpful in the business. This is very helpful in whatever kind of profession you will have, especially in our own local community,” she pointed out.
Ms. Ilyn Chua, president of the Childlink Parent and Teachers Association for school year 2020-2021, agrees with Ms. Tio’s outlook on the Chinese language.
Ms. Chua considers the Chinese language as an essential tool for people to be globally competitive.
Chinese speaking people are growing worldwide, so learning how to speak the language will be an advantage, Ms. Chua said.
Aside from teaching Mandarin Chinese, Childlink also tackles the culture and tradition using art as a medium so students could grasp and understand the language better.
Two of the school alumni, Ronnell John Binueza and Daniel Hans Tan, admitted that learning Mandarin Chinese helped them appreciate the Chinese culture and tradition.
“Learning Chinese does not only help you know the language, but it also helps you understand Chinese culture and tradition. It widens your view of the world, as it is not just mere alphabets, but a way of life,” Binueza explains.
“Well, Chinese language has helped me reconnect with heritage,” said Tan. He added that it helped him really appreciate traditional Chinese writing.
Because he knew how to speak Chinese, Binueza was able to assist a Chinese customer who found it difficult to place his order at a fast food chain or help companies communicate with Chinese clients and shareholders.
For her part, Grade 10 student Andrea Eloise Rentuza said ‘learning this language provides a new perspective on aspects of communication and connection to other people.’
On the other hand, Grade 8 student Jamela Aranduque said being able to speak Chinese allowed her to make new friends and satisfy her curiosity for the language.
Learning At An Early Age
According to Ms. Tio, Mandarin Chinese is a required subject at Childlink since it is classified as a Chinese school. The language is taught starting at the preschool level up to senior high school. She added that school’s teachers for the Chinese language subject include native speakers who are based in Cebu or those come from Taiwan.
She also cited the advantage of students learning Chinese at an early age since they could easily assimilate the language.
Research finds that children who are proficient in other language show signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility. Also, learning another language helps develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and listening skills. This will also help improve memory, concentration and the ability to multitask.
Childlink also ensures that they maintain the quality education the school is known for even if classes are conducted online because of the pandemic.
Aside from conducting group classes, Childlink teachers also have one-on-one sessions with students for Chinese and other subjects.
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Childlink continues to provide quality education as well as character development to its students. As a school of character, Childlink has nurtured its students to develop that sense of responsibility so they become productive and caring members of the community.