How to improve kids Oral Skills

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How to improve kids Oral Skills

Postby hesiew » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:32 pm

My kids in P1 and P2 did not fare well in their MT Oral exams. Can't blame them cos we are English speaking family. Any recommendations to help them improve, like any good classes they can attend?

hesiew
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Postby guppy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:28 pm

A friend's son improved with storyisland http://www.storyisland.com.sg

The other one which I thot was interesting was
http://www.esma.sg/kids/course/listing. ... 22-0000001

Another way to improve your children's Mandarin is to speak to them in Mandarin. That's what we do with our dd. I can't speak Mandarin but my hubby does. He's not perfect but my dd is very tickled when she corrects him.

guppy
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Postby kiasimom » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:05 pm

//Editor's note: Topic selected and edited for Portal publishing.

Hi hesiew,

My boy was poor in MT oral at first,
What I did to improve his oral:

1. Speak to him in MT.
2. Read a story in MT.
3. Expect him to speak to you in MT.
4. Get him to read a MT story aloud to you everyday.

Practice makes perfect.

The only way to improve our speech is to speak MT on a daily basis.
I will set aside half an hour everyday to read a MT story to my children. I will then ask them to read the story aloud to me.
From there, they can learn to recognise new words, the correct pronounciation and build up their confidence.

Children tend to shun subjects that they are least competent in.
By getting them to read aloud to you in MT gives you the chance to correct their pronounciation and at the same time, as day goes by, you will realise that your child will be more competent in his oral skills.

I kill three birds with one stone.

I choose MT story books that teaches values and morales. For eg: 品德故事,爱心故事. I find them very useful. Each book comprises of several stories. Each story is kept short in order not to let the child feel bored and challenged.
My children learn about values and morales, learn new words and their comprehension improved greatly too after some time. I will always ask them questions after they finished reading the story to me. When they are reading, I will correct them on the pronounciation and I will read the story to them again and highlight the words that they need to take note.
For instant, when the sentence ends with a !, I will read in a more high-pitched tone to emphasize the emotions of the author.
I teach my children the correct way of expressing the story instead of reading in a flat tone.
They will pause for 1 second after each comma, 2 seconds for full stop, exclamation marks and question mark.

We must teach our child the different tone and expression in reading the story. All these has to be explained to the child and in no time, your child can read very well.

For a start, do not choose books that are beyond your child's standard. Start easy. You don't want to scare your child by those tiny words and thick books.
I choose books with colourful pictures and with hanyu pinyin to arouse their interests.
It is ok for them to be dependant on hanyu pinyin for a start. As days goes by, they will be able to recognise the words.

Be patient and you will be amazed at how proficient your child is.

The keyword is we, as parents must make an effort to spend some time with them everyday to give them a good headstart.

I treasure this moment as it enables me to bond with my children.

My children are now able to converse in MT more confidently than before.

P.S: We are an English speaking family too. But I make it compulsory for everyone to converse in MT when it is MT time.
My children do not have any tuition. I believe in spending quality time with them.
I did the same for English. And I am happy to say that both my children are effectively bilingual.

We, as parents, must set a good example to the children, I started off by speaking MT to my DH and I expect him to do the same.
I will correct DH if he is incorrect in his usage of words and pronounciation.
Our children will start to speak MT in a more comfortable way when the parents are involved too. We walk the talk.

We must be willing to invest time and effort in our children.
We cannot just leave everything to the tutor and teachers to bring up the results of our children.
No one knows our children better than anyone.
If you are willing to invest just 30 minutes each day reading with your child, you will be pleased with the results that follow.

kiasimom
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Postby hesiew » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:50 am

Hi Guppy and Kaisimom, really appreciate your detail reference and advice. Agree really must spare at least half an hour of time for reading, my new year resolution! :D

hesiew
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Re: How to improve kids Oral Skills

Postby MMM » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:53 pm

hesiew wrote:My kids in P1 and P2 did not fare well in their MT Oral exams. Can't blame them cos we are English speaking family. Any recommendations to help them improve, like any good classes they can attend?


I put my kids through chinese S&D. They are P2 and P3 this year and we only started in June last year when they are P1 and P2. We are bilingual family where kids speak mandarin to the grandparents. Despite that this might not mean that they are speaking in proper sentences or have good pronunication given that bilingualism does affect the child. Eg. my son sometimes structure his mandarin sentence the english way so it sounds odd or hilarious.

In the class, they learn rao kou ling etc... and the teacher also correct on their pronunication. In the process, I also wanted them to be more confident etc...

Such activities are supposed to help the child in their oral exams. Maybe this part will have bigger emphasis with the revised Chinese syllabus????

It's quite interesting as we attended the year end performance by the kids (P1 to Lower secondary) from the S&D classes, when they perform on the stage, their mandarin accent is like those from China. It made you wonder if they are local kids. But once they are off stage, haha they revert back to english or the local accent.

MMM
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Postby tamarind » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:34 pm

kiasimom wrote:By getting them to read aloud to you in MT gives you the chance to correct their pronounciation and at the same time, as day goes by, you will realise that your child will be more competent in his oral skills.


I absolutely agree with you.

We are an English and Cantonese speaking family, no mandarin spoken at home. I am too lazy to read to my girl who just started P1 this year. Since late last year, I ask her to read about 1000 words out loud from Chinese story books everyday. She can read that amount in less than 10 minutes now.

It is very important to choose books that will interest the kids. I highly recommend these series of books :

不一样的卡梅拉 (6 books)
露露和拉拉 (4 books)
什么都行魔女商店 (4 books)

More details here :
http://tamarindvillage.blogspot.com/200 ... oks-3.html
http://tamarindvillage.blogspot.com/200 ... oks-2.html

These books are very suitable for P1 to P4. I think kids at P3/P4 should be able to read most words in the book, P1/P2 kids will need much more help from parents. But these are very interesting books and kids will enjoy reading them.

My girl is crazy about 露露和拉拉 now, these books are about 2 girls who open a bakery shop. The books teach kids how to run a business, how to promote a business, and how to provide good customer service, by using very cute stories.

tamarind
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Postby plum-cake » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:02 pm

kiasimom wrote://Editor's note: Topic selected and edited for Portal publishing.

We, as parents, must set a good example to the children, I started off by speaking MT to my DH and I expect him to do the same.
I will correct DH if he is incorrect in his usage of words and pronounciation.
Our children will start to speak MT in a more comfortable way when the parents are involved too. We walk the talk.

We must be willing to invest time and effort in our children.
We cannot just leave everything to the tutor and teachers to bring up the results of our children.
No one knows our children better than anyone.
If you are willing to invest just 30 minutes each day reading with your child, you will be pleased with the results that follow.



I like this. and I really appriciate this. Only we can understand their baby language when they are small. If not US who is going to sit and teach them to be cofident in their MT.

plum-cake
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