Pre-schoolers get to learn Chinese by visiting pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia

Children from various preschools looking at Kai Kai, the giant panda during the Wow Wild Learn programme.
Children from various preschools looking at Kai Kai, the giant panda during the Wow Wild Learn programme.ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM
Photo of Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Mr Ang Hin Kee, Leader of CPCLL's Pre-school group leading the children from various preschools through a sing-along session conducted in Mandarin.
Photo of Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Mr Ang Hin Kee, Leader of CPCLL's Pre-school group leading the children from various preschools through a sing-along session conducted in Mandarin.ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM
Photo of Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education interacting with (from left) Zhang Bao Wen and Li En Xu from Sparkletots Preschool, Bukit Timah just as they were viewing Kai Kai, the giant panda.
Photo of Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education interacting with (from left) Zhang Bao Wen and Li En Xu from Sparkletots Preschool, Bukit Timah just as they were viewing Kai Kai, the giant panda. ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM
Photo of Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education along with children from Sparkletots Preschool, Bukit Timah waving goodbye to Jia Jia as she heads towards back into her enclosure.
Photo of Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education along with children from Sparkletots Preschool, Bukit Timah waving goodbye to Jia Jia as she heads towards back into her enclosure. ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM

SINGAPORE - A trip to see pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia is the latest in a teacher's bag of tricks to help pre-schoolers learn Chinese.

Officially launched by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling on Thursday (May 18), the new Wow Wild Learn Programme is a collaboration between the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) to make the Chinese language come alive for pre-school children.

Said Ms Low: "We hope that this programme can engage and excite pre-schoolers through learning in a fun way that can stimulate their senses."

Prior to the zoo trip, teachers attend a one-day training workshop at the River Safari, which equips them with material about the pandas, as well as two supplementary readers about animals in the River Safari.

There are few workshops conducted in Chinese for Chinese pre-school teachers in Singapore. The training allows each teacher to make his learning journey unique as he adapts the information in his own way.

On Thursday, 68 pre-schoolers from My First Skool @ Block 571 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 branch and PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Bukit Timah Block 305 participated in the session.

Along with Ms Low, the pre-schoolers sang a Chinese song about the diet of the pandas and watched panda Kai Kai eating a stalk of bamboo and playing in his enclosure.

Initially open to 60 pre-schools in its pilot roll-out last year, the programme has expanded to 80 pre-schools. The CPCLL aims to reach out to 400 teachers and 3,000 pre-school children as well as their parents by the end of the year.