Children should not be 'forced' to learn

Updated: 2012-03-09 17:08


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In response to a proposal made by a representative to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference that "Chinese kindergartens should stop teaching English," reader Seneca on the China Daily Forum writes:

In a kindergarten, kids do not study; they learn to interact and play, and by playing with each other they acquire skills. They develop their language in this way too.

You can introduce English to kindergarteners and there will be no extra mental burden if you do not cram it into the kids' heads. The important thing is: Kids act and interact, and action speaks louder than words but words can accompany action. If it is the right words, the language - any language - enters the kids' minds.

Chinese kindergartens seem to function like early bootcamps with parents paying extra for every academic subject taught. This approach surely defeats the purpose of a kindergarten. A good language program for kindergarteners would involve Total Physical Response teaching, i.e. doing things together and verbalising what is being done.

That is how a kid acquires his or her first tongue.