Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chinese Learning: My Family 我的家人

It's still really hard to gain their interest in Chinese. It can be very disheartening when they reject the activities I planned for them once they see the materials in Chinese. Many times, I wanted to give up and just enrol them in a Chinese enrichment class. But my husband has been encouraging me to keep on trying and we are holding off the classes.

To look on a bright side, from totally not speaking Mandarin to being able to converse in Mandarin now, it's an improvement. Another improvement is accepting Chinese books. They are able to sit through long Chinese stories now. Come to think of it, I was still feeling very down and was complaining to my husband few weeks back when they refused to accept any Chinese books during story time. Thinking through, I think it's because I'm more fluent when I read in English. So, I picked out a more interesting book that I think they will like and practice reading it a few times before reading to them. It helped greatly. The story engaged them and they were more willing to accept other books from the same series.    

They are showing interest in reading but only English words. They will spell the words and ask me how to read the word. I'm hoping they can show the same interest in Chinese words and was trying to do more words recognition in Chinese with them. For this purpose, I have prepared some activities with the theme, My family, 我的家人 in mind.  I wouldn't say it's very successful as Y refused to participate in most of the activities.

Family Tree
First, I did a family tree to illustrate to them the relationship between each people.

Make Your Flashcards
Then I printed some photos of our family members and let them make a set of flashcards.
Matching Game
A matching game where we have pictures of family members on one side and words on the other side attached with velcro.

Hoola Word Game
Another word game we played with Twister Hoola Game. Got this from the Toy r'us clearance sale at $16 with very badly damaged packaging.

I don't know how much learning is done but there's sure a lot of laughter there. I almost got mad at Y for being the trouble maker but decided to take it easy. He didn't want to participate as he didn't want Chinese and kept distracting K.

This is how I play the game

(1) Put the word card on the floor and get the child to read, after he read, let him place the hoola over it.

(2) After placing all the word cards, say a word and the child find and stand on the word.

Didn't work with Y as he started taking away the hoola and putting it over his head. K thought that's super funny and joined in. Since it didn't work, I changed the game.
(3) Collect the hoola - Get the child to read the word, if he can read correctly, he collects a hoola and he can put it over his head.

Paper Plate Bingo
Got this paper plate game idea from No Time for Flashcards. Write the words on the paper plate, cut it and the child fold the correct word down when you call it out. So far, only managed to do this with K, my "I don't want Chinese" Y ran off once he saw the Chinese words.

 I have no idea why Y rejects Chinese so badly but I'm starting to hear him communicating in Mandarin. So, hopefully he can accept it more readily as he build up his confidence in the language.

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