“What can I do to help my kids improve Chinese?”
Friends and followers always ask me this questions. Er… Even though my Mandarin is good but teaching is another thing. I also struggle a lot by teaching my kids Chinese. So to save my headache, and prevent myself from getting wrinkles early.. It took me sometime to find out 5 good ways on how my kids can improve their Chinese.
5 Ways To Help My Kids Improve Chinese
1. Tuition & Enrichment Class
I signed up Chinese Speech and Drama and Chinese creative writing for the girls at Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan. The reason I choose Speech and drama is because the role play, story telling, singing and language game. Most people hate Chinese because it’s difficult but through play and games it can help them to boost their confidence level and develop strong interest in Chinese language.
Asking kids to create a story isn’t difficult, but asking them to pen their thoughts down in Chinese, that will be a tough one. Plus, they will teach them the correct writing techniques, the thinking process to help them generate more ideas and express their thoughts clearly.
This one I can see huge improvement in my eldest composition.
A video clip on Xin He SHHK June Holiday class.
As for tuition, I sent both to HCL (Happy Chinese Learning). Actually was trying to find one near my place but the waiting list is long. I read online reviews that HCL is pretty good also and there is a few in North East area. Good thing is, you can choose to focus on comprehension/oral or composition. Since the girls are learning creative writing, I opt for comprehension.
They use reward system in their teaching which really encourage the kids to be active in class by asking or answering questions. Their worksheets is good but I don’t look forward to their spelling.
2. Yaodao Reading Pen
This is my SUPER LIFE SAVER! How can I not buy this earlier. This is a pen that read any book! English, Chinese and even Spanish (Ok I don’t really need that). This save me from all the calling. The girls can keep on calling me and ask me to repeat again and again. The history function of the pen allows the girls to refer back to the words they have scanned before.
The pen also encourage them to read Chinese books since they are so keen to scan and it will read out loud to them.
What I like
– the history function, so they can refer back again
– the han yu pin yin function. Very useful for my eldest, she will write down the HYPY so she can learn again.
– reading out loud function. The old school dictionary doesn’t really pronounced out the words, so by reading out loud, kids can learn the exact pronunciation.
– Besides the Chinese meaning, they also have explanation in English.
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Reading Chinese Book
I know it’s tough but unfortunately that is one of the way to improve their Chinese. That’s how I improve my Chinese, by reading all the detective novel (e.g. 倪匡-衛斯理系列). It’s not easy to get kids to read, I have to force my kids to take at least 1 Chinese storybooks for every 3 English books they borrow from Library. Honestly I think Library should give extra book bugs card for kids who borrow Chinese book. >.<
But, with the Smart Yaodao pen, it really makes my life a lot easier, because when they kids can’t read, they can use the pen to help them.
Singing Chinese Song
Kids at pre-teen age loves music especially what is trending now. All the popular songs from Tik Tok and YouTube. This helps them to recognize words faster because they need to sing along!
Watching Chinese Movie
Every Friday and Saturday is our Weekend Movie night. With so many choices like Netflix and Disney+ (you can sign up through Shopback to earn cashback) that provides wide variety of Chinese shows for the whole family. This can train the way they talk and how to use Mandarin appropriately.
In the recent years, China has improve their animation and quality of production, you can find good selection of movies for the kids example Over the Moon.
Language is something that we have to read, listen and practice more in order to improve. Most importantly is to get kids interest into Chinese, so they can learn and use it. Once they get the hang of it, slowly they will know how to use Chinese beautifully and love this 3500 years of written history!
Featured image credit to SHHK.
You can also see my IGS Highlights for more!