Teach Kids Chinese Words in a Fun and Easy Way
My kids are one-quarter Chinese so I am making them learn Mandarin even though no one in my family can speak it. It’s become a very popular foreign language option at our Middle School so I thought I’d post on all the paraphernalia that I’ve found to expose my kids to Chinese.
p.s. Other Chinese Language posts:
Cheat Sheet for Pronouncing Chinese (Pinyin)
1.Hide and Speak Chinese (with Flaps!) by Catherine Bruzzone and Susan Marineau
This primer does a good job with building basic vocabulary using both characters, Chinese phonics for pronunciation, and pictures. It also uses sentences to teach the words. You would use this book to Hide the Words, Remember Them, and Say Them Aloud. I wish they would separate the Chinese characters from the pin yin phonics … but I guess I am being picky.
2. To pronounce Mandarin Chinese, there is a phonetic system called Pinyin that is used since Chinese is a character system NOT an alphabet system and every character means a different word. Here’s cheat sheet on how to pronounce Pinyin because it’s actually not that obvious!
3. Of course, nothing beats hearing Mandarin spoken out loud. Here’s the Pinyin via audio.
4. There is a stroke order to writing Chinese characters. It’s demonstrated on the Nciku site. There are lots of basic vocabulary here as well.
5. My kids resisted writing Chinese characters until I bought them a Chinese brush set with ink stones. Now it’s suddenly fun!
6. DS game, My Chinese Coach
My son loves his DSi. Now he can learn Chinese on it! It’s great for hearing Mandarin pronounced.
p.s. Grasp Chinese just introduced themselves to me. The first 10 lessons on their excellent website are free (Saying Hello, Introduction to Tones, Ordering a Coffee, Airport/Arriving, Taxi/Going to a Hotel, Hotel/Checking In, Numbers 1-10, Breakfast, Shopping, Introducing Yourself). Each lesson module has a Lesson, Practice Listening, Write Chinese Words, Write Chinese Phrases, Chinese Phrasebook. There is a fee for all 40 lessons.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.