The Learning Lab's Xin Zhong Wen puts creative spin to learning Mandarin

Xin Zhong Wen, a specialist Chinese language education provider launched by The Learning Lab, has conceptualised an initiative called “Project 开心点(Kai Xin Dian)”. Done in collaboration with BLKJ, the initiative aims to encourage children to practice the Chinese language outside of school by offering free Happy Meals in return for ordering in Chinese at selected McDonald's outlets.

In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson from Xin Zhong Wen said that the company has reached out to parent bloggers and parenting magazines to promote the initiative. A jingle video was also created to promote the initiative, and serve as a tutorial to teach kids the Chinese names of the Happy Meal items. Targeted at children aged 12 and below, "Project 开心点" will be held on 16th and 17th February, at McDonald’s outlets such as Great World City, Jem, NEX and United Square.

Eleanor Tan, director of marketing, enrolment and client services at Xin Zhong Wen said that kids in Singapore converse in English more, and have "little motivation or reason" to speak Chinese outside the classroom. She added that with this activity at McDonald’s, the company aims to "inspire" kids to use the Chinese language more in their daily lives, beyond Chinese New Year, and show "just how fun the language can be".

Peggy Gwi, academic head at Xin Zhong Wen, said that Project 开心点 is based on the company‘s learning philosophy, which places emphasis on practical and experiential learning.

“Many students find the Chinese language boring. And that’s because of how it tends to be taught. At Xin Zhong Wen, we don’t focus on making our students memorise the lessons, we focus on making the lessons memorable for them," she added.

“The thing about the Chinese language is that it can feel very irrelevant to our little ones. With Project 开心点, it’s really about teaching the Chinese language in our children’s language. Helping them make a connection with the Chinese language by putting it in the context of the things they love, without trying too hard to be ‘cool’,” Rowena Bhagchandani, CEO and co-founder of BLKJ said.