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Children at Bright Horizons Wandsworth Common Day Nursery and Preschool have begun learning Chinese Mandarin and Tai Chi as part of its new language and culture programme.
The nursery in south-west London has introduced the new programme as part of its core curriculum, which includes gardening, physical and music and art programmes.
China’s growing global influence prompted the decision to choose Mandarin for the language and culture programme.
Experts in education and business alike are increasingly coming to see Mandarin as a major international language of the future, and gaining early knowledge of Mandarin could provide children with a critical advantage in their later lives. Cultural activities, such as Tai Chi and paper cutting, will be included as part of the kidsunlimited programme.
Caroline Wright, head of early years at kidsunlimited said: “There are many proven benefits to children learning a second language, not least strengthening their ability to communicate in a first language as brain connections are stimulated and improved. Additional benefits include increased confidence and self-esteem and improved vocabulary in the child’s first language.
“Children who learn another language also see improvements in overall cognitive development including increased creative thinking, and development in problem solving abilities, benefiting mathematical understanding,” she added.
Art, stories and songs will be incorporated into the language and culture programme, encouraging children to learn through playful activities.