Language learning games - free to use and fun online games for learning 60 languages, including Chinese, English/ESL French, German, Japanese, Spanish and more.
Neil Chung Insight
Digital Dialects Language Learning Games is an online games- based site that caters for an introduction to many languages (Chinese, Arabic, German etc.) as well as a more thorough revision for the more experienced. Because the early stage one children are at such a young age and are still continuously growing their English vocabulary, some of the activities are ridiculously hard and would not be worth considering at all and even then, focusing on only one particular language would be most appropriate.
Lesson Idea: Children will have undoubtedly been accustomed to some names of animals so the animals section on the Chinese language is of particular interest. As a class, the teacher can make an entire table and together with the children go through each audio file. They can then identify simple differences between the English language: Chinese don't use letters, Chinese have symbols on top of the pronounciations etc.
Pedagogical Research: Previously mentioned, some of the games may be a little more than challenging so a distinguishing eye is necessary to separate the appropriate activities to the not so appropriate activities. However, games have that inherent ability to be picked up and played with little to no outside instruction. Video games are particularly beneficial because of this. The thoughtfully educational games "reflect, in their design, good principles of learning" (Gee, 2003, p.59) and so a superficial appreciation of the differences in languages will at least be met because that is the intended outcome.
Gee, J. P. (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan