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news-image October 16, 2020

Can English leveled reading program be applied to Chinese directly?

by beijing

When a mom starts to get her child started to learn English, she may know the following pathway her child will go through. 

The first step: Use an object to introduce a letter like,  

A for apple

B for banana

C for cat

D for dog

E for egg

F for father

G for Giraffe 


Then: Guide her child knowing 26 letters for uppercase and lowercase matching as much familiar as possible.

A B C D E F G … X Y Z

a b c d e f g … x y z 


And then, get to know how to build words and break words, and be aware of the phonics for those 26 letters

bus but bat

Hit hot hat





And then sight words, tense, grammar along with leveled readers, from Picture Books, such as “I have a cat. The cat has a big mouth. His big mouth can eat many mice.”And then kids progressively are introduced to Ladder Reads, Bridge Reads,

and Chapter books. 


The English acquisition approach is so successful that many people believe English is the easiest language to learn in the world even though learners have to learn the words which increase the quantity daily, memorize and sort out its complex grammar rules, like tense, singular/plural, … and so on. 


Myth: Can English Leveled Reading Program be applied to the Chinese Language directly because it is successful for the English language? 

We know English  leveled reading is so successful and leads to more popular in the world. Nowadays in the market, we can see some Chinese trade books or online books have claimed their books applied the pattern to produce Chinese leveled books. However, from our class experience over three decays, this is a dead-end to make Chinese reads to be leveled for young learners. 


Let us think about that we apply the same approach for making written Chinese leveled reading. Then we will find that[Text Wrapping Break]something goes wrong. As the same approach when it is applied to written Chinese, the following in written Chinese shown to us it totally does not make sense for children to acquire the Chinese language for natural acquisition in physical and mental. 


Let us take the following examples

Píng guǒ 苹果 Apple
Xiāng jiāo 香蕉 Banana
Māo Cat
Gǒu Dog
Jīdàn 鸡蛋 Egg
Bàba 爸爸 Father
Chángjǐnglù 长颈鹿 Giraffe
Biānfú 蝙蝠 Bat
Màozi 帽子 Hat
Bōluó 菠萝 Pineapple
Māo Cat
Máomaochóng 毛毛虫 Caterpillar
Gōnggòngqìchē 公共汽车 Bus
Dànshì 但是 But
Wǒ yǒu yì zhī māo 我有一只猫 I have a cat
Māo de zuǐ ba dà 猫的嘴巴大 Cat with big mouth
Tā de dà zuǐ ba ké yǐ chī hěn duō xiǎo láo shǔ 他的大嘴巴可以吃很多小老鼠 His big mouth can eat a lot of small mice


We can see from the random examples above listed, for children naturally language acquisition the difficulty for Oral Chinese (Pinyin sound and pronounce like English), and written Chinese Characters in actuation are not at the same level.  It means for Chinese leveled reading we cannot simply adopt the English leveled reading program.  We have to find our own way to produce Chinese level reading program properly for young learners. 


Here we have decoded Chinese characters to Chinese Character Alphabet so that the CCA can play the same function as the English letter does …  To know how we introduce young learners from 6-Root-Stroke to Leveled Chinese Reading, Stay tuned.