In the Chinese newspapers (Lian He Zao Bao) on 20 April, there is an article about a P6 girl from RGPS, who used to hate Chinese when she was in P4. She used to cry when doing Chinese homework. However, now in P6, she loves Chinese so much that she wrote a 10000 word Chinese novel on her own. What caused her to change ?
In P5, her Chinese teacher in school gave her a very interesting Chinese novel to read. The novel is a book from the Wei Si Li (卫斯理) science fiction series. At first, she found the novel very difficult to read. But the story is so exciting that she could not stop reading. She "forced" herself to read, and along the way, her Chinese improved at an amazing speed. Most importantly, she developed a love for Chinese, and she continued to read other Chinese novels.
Her story has confirmed my belief, that the best way to help a child with Chinese, is not by making her memorize model compositions or do tons of Chinese assessment books. The best way is to find very interesting story books/novels for her to read, and this is also the fastest way to improve Chinese.
In my blog, I wrote that :
"6. It is most important to develop the love for the Chinese language, between the age of 3 to 6. The best way is to find interesting Chinese picture books that kids will love. I have a list of excellent story books in the later part of this page. Note that even for very simple books, there may be some words that parents do not know. You may have to check the dictionary to find out how to read it first. Do not make the child check the dictionary for every word that she does not know. This will kill her interest.
My girl used to read only long English novels before 7 years old, now she tells me that she likes Chinese books better, thanks to the list of excellent books that I have bought for her."
In the case of my girl who is now in P2, these are the books that made her love Chinese:
露露和拉拉 (4 books)
什么都行魔女商店 (4 books)
笑猫日记 (13 books)
I have a long list of excellent books in my blog, grouped into these categories :
Age 2 to 6
Age 6 to 10
Age 10 and above
For all ages