How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby dorabelle » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:34 pm

Hi

I am having problems with my girl who is in nursery this year. She dislikes chinese and refuses to learn it. Part of the reason is lack of exposure to mandarin. Me speak some mandarin to her. My hubby speaks zero chinese. The grandmother speaks mostly english to her.

She is in berries since last year (pre nursery) and is attending kindergarten nursery now but chinese is still very bad, refuse to speak and cannot read chinese characters. Whenever i try to teach her chinese from the berries textbooks using stickers to entice her, she cannot sit still and run away immediately or slap the book from my hands.

Are there any parents here who face the same problems? How do u overcome it? I am afraid she will do badly for chinese in PSLE in future.

dorabelle
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby momkiasu » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:32 pm

To me it seems rather excessive to rigorously drill at such a young age with tuition even though it is generally better to get your child a good start. What you can try out is to encourage your child to mix and mingle with classmates who are more well versed in Chinese. In that manner, your child will slowly pick up the language whilst their new friends could potentially pick up some english. Win-win situation.

momkiasu
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby momkiasu » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:33 pm

Many children struggle when asked to do something they don't want to do. However, that is something you will have to teach your child to learn eventually so its good to start early. What I suggest you do is, rather than making your daughter sit down and concentrate on a book and trying to force her to read and write, use something like a chalkboard and drawing shapes/things and matching them with a bunch of Chinese words. Try coming up with games to play with her but converse with her in Chinese as language is something you pick up from young and not learnt just from a book like maths or science.


Hope this helps!

momkiasu
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby bluegross » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:44 pm

Hi,dorabelle,I think you need to calm down and take it easy. It's make sense that your girl don't know why you are asked her to learn Mandarin, especially under the environment that almost none of your family say Mandarin with you little girl. As for Mandarin are not regarded as a communicating tools,it means nothing to her.And you said that you are not a native Mandarin speaker, why not send her to a tutor school? When everyone around her are speaking or learning Mandarin ,she won't want to be alone.You can find some Chinese cartoon or stories to catch her interesting as well.

bluegross
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby Thetrees123 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:58 pm

dorabelle wrote:Hi

I am having problems with my girl who is in nursery this year. She dislikes chinese and refuses to learn it. Part of the reason is lack of exposure to mandarin. Me speak some mandarin to her. My hubby speaks zero chinese. The grandmother speaks mostly english to her.

She is in berries since last year (pre nursery) and is attending kindergarten nursery now but chinese is still very bad, refuse to speak and cannot read chinese characters. Whenever i try to teach her chinese from the berries textbooks using stickers to entice her, she cannot sit still and run away immediately or slap the book from my hands.

Are there any parents here who face the same problems? How do u overcome it? I am afraid she will do badly for chinese in PSLE in future.


既然妳会讲华语,那就坚持不要和她讲英语,只和她讲华语。久而久之,孩子自然而然会和妳讲华语,和爸爸讲英语。那不是一举两得吗?

在生活中妳得不断制造讲华语的环境,例如:在家故意和丈夫讲华语,让孩子感受到华语也是生活用语;养成观看8频道9点钟电视连续剧的习惯,让孩子不知不觉紧追剧情,看久了中文程度自然会逐渐进步;在外时,不妨利用机会教育,比如过马路时,告诉他这是交通灯,这是斑马线,这是行人天桥........

语言属于生活,无须死记硬背。若只懂得强逼孩子读课本或补习中心教材,只会弄巧反拙,让孩子和母语渐行渐远。

Thetrees123
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby mceducation1 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:32 pm

dorabelle wrote:Hi

I am having problems with my girl who is in nursery this year. She dislikes chinese and refuses to learn it. Part of the reason is lack of exposure to mandarin. Me speak some mandarin to her. My hubby speaks zero chinese. The grandmother speaks mostly english to her.

She is in berries since last year (pre nursery) and is attending kindergarten nursery now but chinese is still very bad, refuse to speak and cannot read chinese characters. Whenever i try to teach her chinese from the berries textbooks using stickers to entice her, she cannot sit still and run away immediately or slap the book from my hands.

Are there any parents here who face the same problems? How do u overcome it? I am afraid she will do badly for chinese in PSLE in future.


It is important for children of this age to enjoy learning. If something is of interest to them, they tend to be more willing to participate and learn.

Children, being curious beings, often ask to find out about the world around them. It is also during this inquiry process that they pick up skills and acquire new knowledge. In fact, this inquiry approach is also evident and relevant in the teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools today.

The following table extracted from the kindergarten curriculum framework shows the various learning goals of preschoolers (source: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/prescho ... mework.pdf).

Image

With regards to language and literacy, it is evident that the learning outcomes revolve around being able to decode information and express oneself (be it vocally or aesthetically).

Apart from rigorous drill-and-practice (which can be boring for a preschooler), there are many other activities/ways to help your girl to understand and appreciate the language.

(1) Reading for leisure
Most children enjoy stories and handling books because of the colourful illustrations and pictures. If you realise, most of them dive straight into the details of the illustration/pictures rather than text. This is perfectly normal, after all, a picture says a thousand words. Instead of forcefully diverting their attention to the text, take the opportunity to use illustrations/pictures to create conversions with them. It is through these conversations that children will spontaneously use the language to communicate... That's how oral language practice comes into play and learning of all subject matter (science, general knowledge, etc... ) happens.

Gradually, you can them start to get them to recognise the text in books. Starting from the high-frequency words, e.g.: 我,他, 你, etc... and slowly introducing to them the content words.

(2) Communicating in the language
It is also important to use the language in our daily life so that it does not sound foreign to our little ones. Task a child in the language... By instructing and expecting an action to be carried out, we are able to assess the child's understanding of the language.

E.g: If you instruct the child to get you a spoon (汤匙) from the kitchen, but he/she gets you a pair of chopsticks, clearly you know that he/she does not understand what 汤匙 means.

(3) Labelling of frequently used items
This is also a common practice in the child cares and kindergartens. Shelf space is often partitioned for classroom items such as stationery, bags, shoes, etc... And on every designated area, there will be sticker labels of the items and even the children's names. Such a labelling system conditions the children to recognise the word/character. This helps the children read even though they may not be able to spell or write the words/characters. So why not try this out at home too?

mceducation1
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby VivaLing » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:48 pm

Hi Dorabelle

The following recommendations have been emphasized in the literature related to raising bilingual children:
 Respect the decision of the child to speak in another language.
 Have patience with your child, remembering that he is still developing his language skills in a passive manner.
 Convey the idea that learning Chinese can be fun through the use of books, magazines, film, songs and games.
 Plan activities that reinforce the learning process such as cooking, outings at the zoo, or an afternoon at the museum.
 Take interest in what a child is saying, listen attentively when he communicates his feelings and desires.
 Congratulate your child on progress made and motivate him by praising his advances and show pride when he responds in Chinese.
 Formulate questions with greater complexity so as to avoid a simple yes or no response, for example, “Would you like me to give you a blue wagon or a green ball?
 Formulate questions which necessitate a complex and varied response.
 Travel to the country where the corresponding language is spoken so as to stimulate the child’s development in the language.
 Cultivate and maintain contact to relatives that only speak the child’s secondary language (Chinese).
 Create contacts to other children being raised bilingually, with Chinese as mother tongue.

VivaLing, the world's first online language Academy, can also be of help with your daughter as we are used to teaching Chinese in a very kids-friendly and funny way, focusing on oral skills, to children aged 3 and above.

We hope this will help! Good luck :)

VivaLing
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby pinkamoon » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:06 pm

Hi dorabelle! I understand your fears. Totally understand. My eldest son only spoke English and he spoke like ABC. He did not speak Mandarin until he was 4-5 years old. I introduced CL books to him that I knew he was interested in. When he became interested in the books, he was able to read and recognise the words.

So, you may have to spend some time to discover the interest of your child. Be it singing, dancing, cartoon or reading. Just make sure you go along with her interest. There are plenty of Chinese children songs and dance which she may be interested in.

BTW, I learnt from my mistake. When my number 2 and 3 came along, I speak Mandarin.

Good luck to you!

pinkamoon
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby Carolina » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:12 pm

Thetrees123 wrote:
dorabelle wrote:Hi

I am having problems with my girl who is in nursery this year. She dislikes chinese and refuses to learn it. Part of the reason is lack of exposure to mandarin. Me speak some mandarin to her. My hubby speaks zero chinese. The grandmother speaks mostly english to her.

She is in berries since last year (pre nursery) and is attending kindergarten nursery now but chinese is still very bad, refuse to speak and cannot read chinese characters. Whenever i try to teach her chinese from the berries textbooks using stickers to entice her, she cannot sit still and run away immediately or slap the book from my hands.

Are there any parents here who face the same problems? How do u overcome it? I am afraid she will do badly for chinese in PSLE in future.


既然妳会讲华语,那就坚持不要和她讲英语,只和她讲华语。久而久之,孩子自然而然会和妳讲华语,和爸爸讲英语。那不是一举两得吗?

在生活中妳得不断制造讲华语的环境,例如:在家故意和丈夫讲华语,让孩子感受到华语也是生活用语;养成观看8频道9点钟电视连续剧的习惯,让孩子不知不觉紧追剧情,看久了中文程度自然会逐渐进步;在外时,不妨利用机会教育,比如过马路时,告诉他这是交通灯,这是斑马线,这是行人天桥........

语言属于生活,无须死记硬背。若只懂得强逼孩子读课本或补习中心教材,只会弄巧反拙,让孩子和母语渐行渐远。


I agree with Thetrees123.

Put the child in an environment where she will be constantly exposed to the language and no matter how hard she resists, she will pick it up eventually.

Having said that, try not to force the issue, at least not too obviously. Especially if your child has a stubborn nature (like mine =P).

The only "forcing" you should probably do is refuse to reply to her in English, even if she replies everything in English. Always speak to her in Chinese. Be stubborn about it. Once you start finding her replying in Chinese unconsciously, you can start acting blur and not respond when she responds in English.

You can also play word games with her, like when she says a word in English, ask her what is it in Chinese and teach her in game if she doesn't know. Likewise, when coming across a Chinese word, ask her what is it in English. Make different funny sounds when she gets it right or wrong, or tickle game, etc. In other words, add fun into it so she'll resist less. Do it enough, and she will not only be able to master Chinese, she will master translation.

Introduce Chinese books maybe a bit later, especially those that contains complicated characters. Kids who're already resistant to Chinese will really hate Chinese when made to recognize tough words. Instead, use pictures to introduce simple Chinese words to give them life and new meaning, e.g. how a picture can become the word "big" (a stickman with the arms wide open), "sun" (a circle with a dot in the middle), "see" (a hand above the eye), etc. Once interest is induced, you can then introduce simple picture books that she'll like, and slowly move from there. Don't force her to read the words, but rather, read the story to her first to induce further interest. Then reread the same book that she showed interest in a few days later (or at her request), and this time read while pointing to the words. Then progress to taking turns to read different words, then sentences, then let her read herself.

The idea of Chinese TV is good too. Chinese cartoons? Her favorite princess cartoons, but switch to Chinese?

It is good that you're already looking into it while she is still in nursery. The later you start the harder it will be. Persist and you'll succeed. =)

Carolina
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Re: How to improve chinese of a preschooler

Postby Dfuanm » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:38 pm

Kids only do things if it's cool.

Your job as parent is to up the cool factor of speaking or at least understanding Chinese. Or find a teacher to help the child to learn Mandarin online. Good luck :)

Dfuanm
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