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Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Plan for Chinese

These are the two main branches of my plan for Chinese this year. After these are set on track, I may add other minor elements to the mix.

1. Local Curriculum

I plan to follow the local Chinese textbook for Chinese. Make sure my boys know the words they are to know how to recognize and write. Unlike English, sadly in the case of Chinese, copying the words (or terms or sentences) alone didn't guarantee retention. I have found that flash cards used in a variety of ways, allowed me to increase their encounters with these "must-know" words, thus increasing retention.

Here is D arranging and matching word cards to make meaningful terms. These are the ones listed in the hao peng you magazine. The example sentences in there are also useful. I intend to refer to the hao peng you magazine more closely this year in this respect. There are 38 copies of this in a year, so if I complete one copy a week, I should be on schedule.

When they have mastered the "must-know" words, they would complete the topical exercise from an assessment book I bought from the local bookshop.

2.Charlotte Mason Approach

I have found that the Charlotte Mason method works for Chinese too. We read from picture books. I require my boys to give a narration of what we have read. They are still not good at expressing themselves well in Chinese. So I have to provide them with a lot of help here. Sometimes these narration turn out to be more an oral comprehension, whereby I ask them questions and they answer. Progress is slow but observable. I believe if I stick on with this, their fluency will improve with time.

I also select a sentence or two for copywork. I make them recite those sentences so that they would be familiar with the various sentence structure. I found that recitation is very effective in empowering them in their spoken language; which is my main concern now.

There are times I would go one step further by making them learn to write these sentences. (I am monitoring this closely as I feel sometimes I may be pushing them a little too hard here:-b) I would make flash cards for the words in these sentences so as to help them learn to recognize these words before I give them a dictation.


  1. I'm using CM method on Chinese too. but, the books are not really the so called Life Books. Hard to find.

    I'm using books from this series that I bought from Popular:::

    I strongly suggest you use the exam papers from the schools. They will be a good gauge.

  2. I can find living books, but they are usually too "cheam" for my boys :-(

    Thanks for the recommendation. I have a few of these. There is a red dragon series that I like too. I really appreciate that you gave me some input. Sometimes I feel stuck and just need some advice...

    Exam papers... can vary a lot in standard depending on which school's right? They also are not topical...

  3. Living books! ya, what were I thinking :P "Life Books" ;) :P

    exam papers >>> this is why I try have a variety of books so E can be exposed to a variety of themes.

    But, end of day, try to converse with them in Chinese as much as you can. Nothing beats that. Something that I need to keep reminding myself to do.

    Red dragon >>> from Pop too?

  4. Ops... I mean red dragonfly (hong qing ting) Odonata Publishing. There two series. One available at Pop and the other used to be at Big Bookshop.


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