Celebrate the Chinese New Year By Learning Mandarin with Kingka

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Resolve to have your children learn Mandarin Chinese with Kingka, a matching and memory game, for Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger. Kingka teaches over 160 Chinese characters and up to 10,000 words and phrases. Kingka was created by Sholeen Lou-Hsaio, a children's book author and educator based in Northern New Jersey.

Kingka, a Chinese language learning game

We absolutely love Kingka! We play it every day – at the students' request. It’s amazing how quickly they are learning the words and characters. It fits in well with the Montessori hands-on approach to learning!

With the Chinese New Year coming up on February 14, now is the perfect time to resolve to learn the most used language on earth, Mandarin. To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, now is a wonderfully colorful and exciting time to get your cubs interested in learning the most important language of the 21st century. The award-winning Kingka (http://www.kingkagames.com) is a matching and memory game that teaches players 54 basic Chinese characters and over 1000 words, and additional modules bring the number of words and phrases learned to over 10,000.

With China’s growing economy and increasing global influence, Mandarin Chinese has become the new must-learn language, according to Cable News Network (CNN). More and more business people are learning Chinese, but also an increasing number of global-minded parents worldwide are encouraging their children to learn Chinese as a second language. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks told The Seattle Times “If my kids were of very young ages today, I would be asking them, and encouraging them, to learn Chinese.”

Created by a Chinese-American entrepreneur, mom, children’s book author, and educator in Northern New Jersey, Sholeen Lou-Hsiao has invented the first North American board game that uses Chinese characters as its key element. The uniquely designed Kingka matching and memory game incorporates a multi-level game rule that guarantees players of all ages will acquire knowledge of 54 basic Chinese characters after winning the game.

"Most people still consider Mandarin a difficult language, but Kingka helps change that perception, Kingka is based on Bingo and uses matching and the spirited nature of a memory game to encourage effective learning.” said Lou-Hsiao, adding, “a strong attribute of this game is that it takes away the fear students have of learning Chinese, almost everyone who has played the game has said they never thought learning Chinese could be so easy and fun.”

Lou-Hsiao invented the game for her son after she discovered research indicating that children's IQ scores improved five points after learning Chinese characters, and that the best age to start learning languages formally may be as young as two years old. Learning the logographic Chinese writing system stimulates spatial perception, according to Professor Andreas Demetriou of Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Cyprus.

"I tried everything on the market to teach him and nothing worked,” Lou-Hsiao said. “He is a very difficult child to teach because he is extremely impatient, so I knew I had to create something unique and playful to spark his interest.”

Designed for non-native Chinese speakers to teach or practice the language with their children or grandchildren, Kingka is a good brain exercise for all ages. According to Science News learning Chinese characters helps develop the so-called “right brain,” which involves vision but is not used when reading English.

With more and more Baby Boomers seeking brain exercise to ward off Alzheimer's, Sholeen believes Boomer grandparents could benefit from Kingka in three ways: exercising their own brains and their grandchildren's; learning the most important global tongue; and having fun with their grandkids.

Kingka is available at http://www.KingkaGames.com, on Amazon.com and at specialty stores in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom and China. Have a wonderful Year of the Tiger!

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Susan von Seggern
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