Posted on 07-07-2016
New learning pathway: From Chinese Character Recognition to Reading Chinese Storybooks.
Engaging young learners in Chinese written format and teaching them how to acquire Chinese reading comprehension ability have always been a huge task and a quite journey for teachers of Chinese language.
It is a myth that one can acquire Chinese language simply by means of learning as many characters as possible. This is because simply learning characters alone doesn’t amount to understanding of the context of phrases or sentences although it costs students much of valuable learning time for acquiring Chinese as their second language.
The session will address this particular learning and teaching method for written Chinese acquisition pathway. Starting in a light and easy manner “Chinese Character Alphabet”, then puzzle-up drilling STEM radicals and characters and STEM characters’ applications, then Leap Jumping to an extensive and connective reading ability range focuses on Graded Reading and overall comprehension of Chinese language.
Attendees will be presented with an entire learning pathway through plenty of worksheets and graded story booklets. The materials can be brought into participants’ classroom directly to enable learners from Pre-K to grade 9 to acquire and enhance their Chinese reading capability in a fun, structured and systematic learning process.
as published on GeoSchools by Beijing
Posted on 22-09-2015
How to teach young children to Speak, Read, and Write Chinese? Let’s think back to when we were children: how did we communicate? When we were babies, we tried to communicate our desires by pointing to objects, but ended up crying and crying until we got what we wanted. And when we got a little older, we continued to cry but mixed it up a bit with a few words we acquired from our surroundings. We were talking and communicating long before we knew that “A” stood for apple and “B” for Beijing.
Speaking is the foundation of communication. As such, learning to speak Mandarin is highly important in social and business settings. Regardless of the goal you have set for your child, the younger they can start learning Mandarin, the better their fluency will be. If your child is aiming to become conversational in Mandarin, they can begin at any age and still be able to hold their own. Now that we’ve established that age is but a number when it comes to learning, let’s get down to the “how.”
For those of us who grew up with educational broadcasting and Saturday morning cartoons, we know that television can be as good of a teaching tool as a textbook. We’re not advocating that you turn your child turn into a couch potato, but it’s okay to let them watch an entertaining cartoon or a piece of educational programming, especially if they’re trying to develop a foreign language. Similar to how Sesame Street taught us the alphabet and counting, a foreign language TV program can enhance children’s listening comprehension skills and prime them for more complex verbal communication.
There are ample Sesame Street- and Lamb Chop’s Play Along-type of television shows in Mandarin, or dubbed into Mandarin, but one of our favorites is the serial cartoon, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. This popular Chinese creation has been entertaining children since 2005. The somewhat internationally recognized series teaches viewers moral lessons, and with more than 800 25-minute episodes under its belt, your child can easily develop their Mandarin proficiency alongside this merry cast of sheep and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
From the spoken to the written word (which is exactly the order that children are taught)
Having been teaching for more than 20 years, I have pupils who have grown with my career, but are still eager to learn speaking, reading, and writing as the day we first started. It’s much easier to teach reading and writing in Mandarin at an earlier age, but it can be learnt at a later stage than speaking without too much harm. It’s actually easier to learn to read and write when you’ve already picked up some of the language. There are around 50,000 to 80,000 Chinese characters in use, including variants of root characters, but your child will only need to learn 1,000 characters to read 90% of what’s out there. At 2,500 characters, they’ll be able to read at 98% capacity, which is the general level of native Chinese. Finally at 3,500 characters they’ll be able to read 99.5% of modern written materials, which is arguably an academic’s level. So, even if your child can’t write mom or dad in Chinese right off the bat, the fact that they can say it means they’re well on their way learning the language. Now they only need to learn another 998 characters after that…
as published on GeoSchools by Beijing
Posted on 22-09-2015
This question is no doubt will be listed on the top for non-native Chinese parents who have a child growing up in the family. In my opinion, for a foreign language or 2nd language acquisition for your child, I would say never say it is too early or too late to start comparing with the native language acquisition path.
When non-native Chinese parents ask me “what is the best age to learn Mandarin”, I would ask them another question instead to give the answer, like what level of Mandarin do you want your children to achieve? Do you want just nurture your child some Mandarin Rhythm? Do you want your child to gain a fluent-like speaking Chinese ability like Chinese native children?
The answers from parents will reveal the learning goal for your children. It can make clear on what a learning plan or program is the best for the children at their current stage with their family and their neighborhood background. Mandarin fluency or Mandarin proficiency, which will you consider more?
Within your determination or plan, your children can start from a small goal and head for a bigger goal with a clear time span frame for getting into the Chinese learning track smoothly. To consider the learning path for Mandarin fluency or Mandarin native-like, of course, the best age for your child to learn Mandarin is earlier the better. In the meantime please do start to consider an appropriate Chinese program and the dedicated teacher or tutor who actually can protect your dear children in an appropriate Chinese learning journey.