When looking for Chinese or Korean classes for your child, you might be picturing a room with desks arranged neatly in rows. However, the best language immersion opportunities could be through “extracurricular activities” that might surprise you.
I’m going to share a few non-traditional “language lessons” that my Chinese-Korean-American daughter has tried. I will also suggest other classes on our wish list.
Classes that focus on Chinese and Korean speaking instead of reading and writing
If you can find extracurricular activities held in Chinese or Korean, you’re killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Hands up if you want to save time plus maximize the experience of speaking minority languages!
These non-academic classes focus on listening and speaking language skills rather than reading and writing.
Furthermore, unique hands-on experiences are one of the key steps to acquiring second languages. In order to keep up with the dominant language, new memories must be made in the minority language.
5 fun, non-academic Chinese and Korean classes for kids
Take a look through these non-academic Chinese and Korean classes, and explore 10+ ways to find a foreign language teacher for your child. You might discover more learning options for your child.
1. Music lessons in Chinese or Korean
Does your child play an instrument, or are you considering starting lessons?
Email your local colleges and check classified ads for bilingual teachers who offer private or group instrument lessons.
For a few months this year, my daughter took piano lessons from a teacher who was born, raised, and educated in Beijing, China.
During the lessons, the teacher spoke to her almost exclusively in Mandarin.
Since my daughter can read Chinese, her piano teacher took notes in Chinese. This gave my daughter a chance to read individual handwriting.
However, the focus was on speaking fluent Mandarin.
Singing camps and children’s choirs
2. Arts and crafts in Chinese and Korean
Bilin Academy 彼邻画社 is a online program that offers drawing lessons in Mandarin Chinese or English. They also offer lessons on calligraphy and the popular Chinese game, Go.
We also tried a local group art class led by a Chinese mom but didn’t continue due to lack of time.
I wasn’t able to find online Korean art lessons, but I hope this article inspires someone to launch a web program!
Crafts and activities
If you can’t find a local art teacher who speaks Chinese or Korean, you can ask your teacher to explore our fun Hands-on Activities Library!
3. Dance lessons in Chinese and Korean
Oh how I wish this was an option locally for my dance-loving daughter!
Traditional Korean dance lessons can be found in Los Angeles and New York City, while Kpop studios are popping up all over the country due to growing popularity!
4. Sports camps in Chinese and Korean
Check if local Chinese and Korean immersion programs offer sports camps (eg, soccer, basketball, baseball) with bilingual coaches.
Martial arts are also an important part of Chinese and Korean culture.
Taekwondo is Korea’s traditional martial art that teaches self-defense. Through this sport, you can learn about Korean culture, count in Korean, and see if your local Taekwondo master will teach the class in Korean.
For Chinese learners, consider Kung Fu and Tai Chi classes!
5. Cooking lessons in Chinese and Korean
Once a month, we have been setting aside one Chinese lesson to make authentic Chinese food (eg, dumplings, garlic rice) with our teacher!
Cooking is an important practical life skill, and the multi-sensory experience naturally broadens vocabulary and comprehension.
At the same time, your child can learn about basic techniques, utensils, ingredients, nutrition, and kitchen safety.
Look for local schools or chefs who are willing teach cooking in Chinese or Korean.
Or you can ask your Chinese or Korean tutor if this is something you can do during weekly lessons!
Keep an open mind with non-academic Chinese and Korean classes
I hope some of these fun Chinese and Korean classes will be available in your area!
If you travel to Asia, look for programs that offer art, music, dance, sports, and cooking!
Remember to talk to teachers email or do a trial to confirm that they will use the target language consistently during class.
What if you can’t find any Chinese or Korean teachers in your area?
Thanks to modern technology, Chinese and Korean online tutoring programs could be great options for your family.
Online language tutors may offer more flexibility, especially those who live in small towns with limited cultural opportunities.
Has your child tried non-academic Chinese and Korean lessons? How was the experience?
Has your child enjoyed learning Chinese and Korean language and culture outside of traditional classrooms?
How did the class impact his or her minority language skills?
Please share your recommendation and experience in the comments below!
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- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker
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