09 June 2012

The 听写 (Chinese spelling) journey

K2 term started for DS beginning of the year and we didn’t think much about it, until spelling (English and Chinese) came along.  For English, it is alright since DS has the foundation in phonics, learning that few words are easy.  And it seemed he has paid attention in class, he is able to learn it rather fast *grin*

Chinese 听写, on the other hand, is a bit tough, especially when the list of words are not easy, day-to-day words. 

Friends said, don’t worry, he should have learnt those words in school. It is his responsibility to study them himself. I agree that he should pay attention in class and it is his responsibility to learn them, not mommy nagging him to learn them. But I wonder if he has the skill to learn them efficiently and effectively.

For those who have been following my blog, you will know that I have always emphasized that Chinese characters are pictorial in nature.  Understanding this helps a child in his learning of Chinese words. Thus I set forth in training him to look at Chinese words in this manner.  Here’s our journey:

   1. 听写 is on Friday. We started preparation on Wednesday.  I wrote down all the words to be tested on a white board and he decides which words to learn on Wednesday and which on Thursday. By splitting the list up into small bits, it reduces the stress in learning.
    2. Each of the days, I’ll ask him to identify the words he already knows how to write and he shows me by writing them on the whiteboard.  He gets a good praise from me for learning them in class =)  Then I’ll focus on words that he doesn’t know how to write.

   3. We talk about the parts the words are made up of.  We could do one of the followings: 

 a.       Like writing a math equation, he will write this:

 b.      We discuss further what the parts are, including imagining what the parts look like: water radical (三点水), a man who lift up his leg, and a mother. Giving him an object to associate with helps him remember better.

 c.       Matching the parts to form the words.

  d.      Finding the parts from other known words.

   e.      Imagine and associate the word with an object/ image.

   f.      Think of a look alike word that he has learnt before
           He has learnt 高, now he needs to learn 亮. Imagine it to be like wearing an outfit. Now he needs to change his pants, but still wears the same shirt. I will write the the word 高, then erase the bottom portion of the word. Guide him that instead of writing the original bottom part of 高, now change it and write the bottom part of 亮.

   4. After that is practice time.  The physical movement of the hand helps children remembers the strokes and sequence. We have abandoned the writing lines system after a while. It doesn’t work for him; the mundaneness of it kills his joy of writing. Instead, he practices by writing on the white board.  I will correct his strokes and sequence as I observe him writing.  When he feels confident enough to be tested, he will ask me to give him 听写.

   5. For word(s) that he still doesn’t get it, I will go through the parts and strokes again and test him again after a break or later in the day.

He doesn’t get full marks all the time, but I know he has tried his best. He will tell me, “I think for a long time, but I still can’t remember.”  

“It’s ok, mommy still loves you.” ^.^


  1. k2听写"节约"?!?

  2. 是呀,现在的学前教育真不简单。。。


Welcome to Happy Cottage!

I started 开心屋 - Happy Cottage because I have 凯 and 欣 in the house. Together they are the 开心 (sounds like) team.

Mommy loves Chinese language and is a big fan of Chinese story books. Thus the kids often receive interesting children Chinese story books from mommy. Many of the children Chinese story books are so beautifully drawn and well written that I like to read them myself.

Learning and loving the language is not an easy task in Singapore as our environment is not condusive enough for such learning. Thus I believe I have to create such an environment at home. Through daily communication in Mandarin and regular reading of the Chinese materials, I hope to cultivate their likings for the language. You can find many of the books in the Book Store.

Besides introducing children Chinese story books to you, I would also like to share some learning resources and tips on the usage of the language here. I've met some parents, in their best attempt to communicate with their kids in Mandarin, misread some words or used an incorrect sentence structure. You can find the information in the tabs above.

So, why is this blog written in English? I know of many parents who have kinda lost touch with the language. If I were to share in Chinese, then it may not be as effective.

Do come back often for more updates.