Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Follow Jade Learn Chinese Let's Visit Chinese Kindergarten|
Actor: Jade Qian and children
Director: Jade Qian
Award-winning Follow Jade! Learn Chinese: Let's Visit Chinese Kindergarten introduces Mandarin Chinese to children in an engaging and interactive way. Kids will spend the day with children at a Chinese kindergarten, while ... more »
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"ages 2-6, approx. 30 min."
o-namae desu | From: the other side of forty | 03/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From the back cover: "Ages 2-6. Approximately 30 minutes." Generally OK, but not much material. (Hello, you/me, what-is-your-name/my-name-is, numbers 1-10, colors, milk/juice/water, sun/moon/rain. Oh yeah, and butterfly/spider, so they can do half-English, half-Mandarin songs, including "itsy bitsy spider" with the sun/moon/rain! Little bit of culture, e.g. yogurt but no milk at the market, and different counting on your fingers.) Six native and non-native kindergarteners speak (and sing), besides teacher Qian. The tones seem fine, though of course Jade doesn't make a big deal out of them because: first lesson, little kids, etc. (A VHS reviewer made much of the "total physical response" with motions for the kids to make corresponding to words; yet this is used only twice -- once for "I" which requires NO physical anything to memorize. Lame at best, but not problematic.)
I gave it three stars because it (like some foreign-language-instruction items) was kind of expensive for what you get. Thirty minutes for thirty dolla seemed intentionally priced-up for library purchase. As does splitting two Follow Jade episodes, at 30 min. each, onto 2 DVD's instead of just 1. (On the other hand, the Annenberg/CPB "Dragon's Tongue" Chinese videos are dramatically more expensive than their "Destinos" Spanish videos, too.) Ask your library first, or if you purchase it yourself, be sure to donate it to your library after your child learns & outgrows it!
Quick comparison & recommendation: Follow Jade for 3-5 years. (Light on material, and games a litle slow-paced. But has humans, not cartoons, moving their human mouths, which helps a lot at first.) Billy & Benboo for 6-7 years. (More material, a little too fast for the rank beginner, but has a booklet, and hanzi characters. With repetitions, sooner or later you get it all. Crummy slide-like "animation".) At age 8 and up, your child (and you) will probably get more from the regular adult Pimsleur audio course, which sort-of has a story line."
UrbanDixie | Wellesley, MA United States | 01/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this for my nearly 19 month old son. He loves it. He stood still and watched all 30 minutes of it the first time I put it in the DVD player. We have other language tapes in German & Russian (languages that we speak at home and that he is learning) but he's never repeated new words while watching those videos as he has with this one. In comparison to the cartoon Billy & Benbu video for learning Mandarin, this video lets you also watch the teacher's mouth as she correctly pronounces words. While my son likes the low budget cartoons in Billy and Benbu, he is much more captivated by the real, older (school age) children in this video. Two areas for improvement: (1) I find it too short (30 minutes) for the money. I wish it were 45 minutes long with a bit more content. (2) The video includes some children's songs that are used only as a transition between learning segments (not to be confused with the other songs that are a separate learning section toward the end of the tape). These transition songs are useless for the non-Mandarin speaker as there is no translation/explanation of them for the student. That said, I would not let these two issues stop me from purchasing this DVD. My son likes to watch it and is repeating words; his grandparents and I like it too, and we're all learning Mandarin!"