Reading out loud

Reading out loud has long been touted as a staple in child education, whether it’s reading passages of a book out loud in the classroom, or reading a bedtime story at home.

Benefits for child development include improved memory, stronger focus, increased confidence, and more fluent speech – also making it a particularly effective activity for effective language study.

THE BENEFITS OF READING OUT LOUD

 Digest and retain information 

In 2015, the University of Montreal (Canada) conducted a study that showed that people were able to digest and retain information more easily when it was read out loud to them, compared to if they simply read the information in their heads. To add to this, another study in 2017 by the University of Waterloo  (Canada) concluded that information recall was even greater when subjects read out loud themselves, as opposed to having someone else read to them. This is greatly thanks to the additional motor act (from speaking), on top of the auditory input.

These findings point to a major benefit of reading aloud with children: increased retention of information. In other words, reading to your children, or even better still, encouraging them to read to you, boosts their memory and helps them remember content faster, and for a longer time.

 Build confidence and fluency 

This is especially useful when trying to teach your child a new language, or raising a bilingual child. Reading out loud not only allows your child to get a better ‘feel’ of the language on their tongue, but also helps them to retain new vocabulary, expressions and stories longer. Furthermore, the increased practice of speaking out loud and hearing themselves speak will build their confidence in expressing themselves, and help make their speech become more fluent and eloquent in the long run.

 Better communication skills 

In fact, in Minnesota, USA, the association ‘Reading Education Assistance Dogs’ (R.E.A.D.) connects children with volunteer therapy dogs, who act as reading companions! Children are able to read to the specially trained dogs, helping them improve their reading and communication skills with a judgement-free, attentive and patient listener. This scheme has proven to be a great success: aside from strengthening their reading skills, participating children have been said to have made huge progress in confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

A similar program has also been introduced to Finland since 2011.

READING OUT LOUD with the SAGE FORMULA

You can easily start reading out loud with your child using your Sage Formula sets.

  1. If they cannot read yet, your child can start by listening to the recordings (available as CDs/MP3/Read-Along App) while following along with the books.
  2. Once they are able to memorise and read the characters, encourage your child to start reading a couple chapters of the books out loud to you. Start with maybe one or two chapters, and move upwards from there to strengthen your child’s reading endurance.
    The very gradual increase in complexity of the characters and sentences ensures that your child will never feel too out of their depths, which is paramount in building their confidence.
  3. Once your child is comfortable with reading a level of Basic Chinese 500 books, consider first practicing reading the associated Treasure Box books out loud, before moving on to the next level.
    This way, your child will work up from reading more basic sentences to more complex one with a structured narrative, all without being overwhelmed by too many new characters.
  4. A fun activity you could do with your child is to let them write and illustrate their own stories, then have them read them to you out loud. They’ll not only have a lot of fun imagining and creating their own worlds, but will also develop reading, creative and artistic skills in the process. For more ideas and suggestions on these reading activities, please refer to our library of Learning Journal. To get you started on helping your child to craft their own story and read it back to you, please refer to this activity post.

References

Alexis Lafleur, Victor J. Boucher, The ecology of self-monitoring effects on memory of verbal productions: Does speaking to someone make a difference?, Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 36, November 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.06.015.

Eirini Zormpa, Laurel E. Brehm, Renske S. Hoedemaker, Antje S. Meyer. (2019) The production effect and the generation effect improve memory in picture naming. Memory 27:3, pages 340-352.

R.E.A.D.: http://www.readdogsmn.org/#


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The etymology of 白

White is the most basic of colours, and plays an important symbolic role in almost every society. In ancient civilizations, such as in Egypt or Rome, white was commonly worn by priestesses, a practice which came to associate purity and chastity with the colour. Today in the United States and many European countries, white is seen to represent perfection, neutrality, chastity, innocence, and many more. It is also the colour of many religious and governmental buildings – take the White House, for example.

How might the colour white represent something different in Chinese culture? In China, white (白) is the colour associated to metal (金), one of the five elements. By extension, white represents purity, righteousness, and confidence. However, white is also a colour associated with death and ghosts, and therefore traditionally is the colour used for mourning and funerals. This is a polar opposite to Western customs!

 

Etymology of 白

There exist two different theories regarding the etymology of the character 白.

The more reliable or popular explanation is that the character originally represented two tongues, one on top of the other, and meant to talk unceasingly. It also meant to do one’s best to explain or persuade. Therefore, we see from this that 白 was originally used as a verb.

Following this explanation, the evolution of 白 would be:

  1. (v.) To report or to talk >>
  2. (v.) to do one’s best to explain >>
  3. (adj.) clear and understood (清白) >>
  4. (adj.) the colour when it is bright (白天 / 雪白) >>
  5. (adj.) empty or does not exist (空白) >>
  6. (adv.) worthless (白活 / 白做)

According to 說文解字 (which is the authority of Chinese characters, by Xu Shen from Han Dynasty) 白 also represents the west. Chinese believe that the dead go to paradise, located in the west (西方極樂世界), which is why we mourn in white to calm or comfort the spirits.

Present day examples of 白 to form verbs would be:

  • 告白 to announce publicly, to reveal one’s feelings to
  • 旁白 narrative
  • 對白 dialogue
  • 辨白 to defend/explain oneself
  • 坦白 to confess
  • 表白 to explain oneself or to reveal one’s thought or feelings

A second theory

However, a second theory was that 白 was the image of a candle flame, with the centre stroke representing the wick. In this case, 白 means the colour white, or clear, as it does in 白色. Some also theorised that it was the shape of sun rays, coming from the top of the character. However, this theory does not explain the many other uses of 白.

Words formed with 白

白 is one of the most common words in everyday use and also one of the first words that a child learns. Its basic meaning is the colour white, as in 小白兔 [the little white rabbit]. In the Basic Chinese 500 course, children also learn the words 明白 [to understand] and 白天 [day time].

Here is a list of some more common words containing the character 白that children can easily understand:

白菜 bok-choi (Chinese cabbage with green leaves and white stem)
白白 in vain
白吃 eat without paying
蛋白 egg white

For a more comprehensive list of words please click here.


There are also a few common words which are less relevant to children:

白話 (1) Cantonese; (2) vernacular
白手 empty handed, commonly used to describe a self-made person without money being handed down to him/her
白果 ginkgo
白眼 supercilious look, contempt

For a more comprehensive list of these words please click here.

As we can see from the list of words, 白 is a very useful character indeed.

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

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Taboos in Chinese culture

Taboos are restrictions or prohibitions that are dictated not by laws, but by a culture’s social, behavioural, or religious expectations. They influence our social interactions, dining etiquette, and even the way we speak. Taboos stem, above all, from our shared desire for self-preservation, and have roots in religion, superstition, history, medicine, and so on. Some are shared among civilisations while others are more culture-specific – sometimes appearing entirely logical to one civilisation and absurd to another.

Understanding and assimilating taboos in Chinese culture is not only key for your child’s social development and integration, but will also allow them to develop a more complex relationship with Chinese language, culture, and history.

Homonyms or 同音字

In China, taboos are very commonly originated from homonyms or 同音字- two or more words sounding exactly the same while meaning different things.

Here are a few examples of such taboos to avoid:

Never share a pear (分梨/fēn lí/)

Never share a pear with friends or family!

The act of ‘sharing a pear’ is written as 分梨/fēn lí/, which happens to be a homophone of 分離, which means ‘to separate’. Unless you wish to separate from your loved ones, pears should never be shared!

The number 4

The number four (四/sì/)is generally avoided in China, since the pronunciation of 四/sì/ sounds like 死/sǐ/, which means ‘death’. You may have noticed that many buildings do not have floor number 4 and some aircrafts do not have seat row number 4.

Avoid gifting clocks

When it comes to presents, it is common practice to avoid gifting clocks or watches. The act of doing so, 送鐘/sòng zhōng/, sounds the same as 送终, which translates to sending off someone who is dying, or even means to kill or murder someone.

Taboos in Cantonese

The Cantonese dialect contains more sounds and intonations than Putonghua. Being in the southern part of China, people who speak cantonese have a long history of actively engaging in commercial activities. As a result, there are many taboos that are Cantonese specific. Below are a few examples:

When referring to an empty house...

空屋 literally means ‘unoccupied house’; however, 空, meaning ‘empty’, sounds the same as 兇, which means ‘terrible/fearful’. Therefore, 空屋sounds a lot like 兇屋, which means ‘haunted house’!

When referring to an empty house for sale/rent, in Cantonese you would say 吉屋 instead, where 吉is the exact opposite of 兇and it means ‘excellent’.

The pig's liver

The proper name of pig's liver is 豬肝. However, using this proper name is generally avoided since although 肝 is the word for ‘liver’, it sounds the same as 乾, meaning ‘dry’. Imagine having a dry wallet, which means having no money! Everyone would rather have a prosperous amount of money, and therefore instead of saying 豬肝 (pig’s liver) in Cantonese, we say 豬潤, where 潤 means plentiful (利潤 means profit).

Some food related Cantonese taboos

Many non-Cantonese natives might scratch their heads when they are told that cucumbers, which should correctly be called 黃瓜, are called 青瓜 in Cantonese. While Cantonese acknowledge that they are called 黃瓜, most of the time they would not say that in order to avoid offending people whose last name is 黃. This is because「瓜」in colloquial Cantonese also means "to end", "to die".

Cuttlefish, 魷魚, is another sensitive food item, especially when many companies are laying off employees. 豉椒炒魷, cuttlefish fried with black bean paste and chili, means being fired by the boss because the sliced cuttlefish curl up once fried, resembling the employee's having to pack up everything and leaving the company.

Symbolism and Superstition

Other taboos have more to do with symbolism and a little superstition.

For instance, never leave chopsticks standing upright in your bowl. This creates an image similar to that of burning incense sticks, which is associated with death and graveyards.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is an event with its own share of taboos and rules to follow:

First of all, it is best to avoid frequenting bookstores during the new year. The word for book,書, sounds the same as 輸, which means “to lose”. Chinese people therefore avoid bookstores at Chinese New Year, particularly if they are business owners or betting at the races, in order to avoid any type of financial or asset losses during the coming year. Instead, people wish bookstore owners  一本萬利 /yī běn wàn lì/ , meaning one book brings many benefits, or investments from a single capital bring multiple profits.

Crying and arguing are also best avoided, and it is important to stay away from using any words with negative connotations to avoid jinxing yourself, your family, and friends.

Finally, while it may be tempting to start the new year afresh, Chinese people avoid cleaning, sweeping, and cutting hair during CNY, to prevent the loss of good fortune, prosperity and success. On the first day of CNY, people even steer clear from showering!

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

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幼兒識部首 Focus on Bushou – 水部

水,是孩子每天會接觸到的東西:飲用、清潔、玩耍⋯ 孩子和水有着緊密的關係。水是那樣的難以捉摸、變幻多端,難怪總會讓孩子樂而忘返。
水,也是最常用的漢字部首之一。

這裏的幾個活動目的是讓孩子集中學習水部首。

學習目標

  • 能認識水字和水部的字形演變 (象形字)
  • 能說出水部代表的意義
  • 能正確掌握水部的筆畫名稱、筆形和筆順
  • 能辨認出水部的字
  • 能利用水部認識其他同部首的字


Water, 水, is always children's favourite. It is of ultimate importance to all lives.
Unsurprisingly, 水 (氵) is one of the most commonly used Bushous (部首, radicals) of Chinese characters.

The activities outlined here focus on the study of this bushou.

What I will learn

  • To recognise the character 水 and understand its formation and evolution.
  • To tell the meaning of 水.
  • To say the names of the strokes of 氵, to know how each stroke is written and the correct order of writing them.
  • To identify characters that have the same氵bushou.
  • To learn other characters through the氵bushou.

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK 本週活動

在做以下活動之前,最好能先讓孩子玩玩水,作為他身心的準備,能加強學習成效。
以下的活動,每次選一樣來做就好,不要讓孩子感到疲勞有壓力。


活動一 認識部首演變&意義

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 

   

 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • 將PDF列印出來
  • 將第2頁的四幅圖片逐一剪下來
  • Print out the worksheets. Cut out the 4 diagrams of p2.
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. 利用第1頁的內容,向孩子講述水字的起源、水字的演變和水部的變形
  2. 向孩子解說水部的兩個主要意義:
    (a) 含有水的名詞,例如:海、河、(果)汁、汗水
    (b) 和水有關的活動或動作,例如:洗澡、游泳、流
  3. 讓孩子將4張水字演變圖片按演變發展順序排列出來

只要孩子願意,鼓勵他重複玩。

  1. Show P1 of the worksheet to your child. Explain to them how the character 水 was first "drawn", resembling flowing water. Show them how it gradually evolved to its present day form. Also show its form when it is written as a bushou.
  2. Explain to your child the 2 major meanings of  the characters with 氵bushou:
    (a) nouns that contain water, such as: 海 (the sea)、河 (the river)、(果)汁 (juice)、汗水 (sweat)
    (b) actions related to water, such as: 洗澡 (to bathe)、游泳 (to swim)、流 (to flow)
  3. Ask your child to arrange the 4 diagrams of the evolution of 水 in their correct order.

活動二  認識水部字形

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具   HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • 將PDF的 p3 列印出來
  • print out p3

 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. 讓孩子看水部字形,認識水部。水部亦稱為「三點水」
  2. 利用第一幅藍色水部圖片,逐筆告訴孩子水部的筆順和名稱:點、點、剔(提)。
  3. 讓孩子用手指在水部字形上描繪,一面描,一面說出筆畫名稱
  4. 孩子在5個空心字形上分別填上他喜愛的顏色,用蠟筆、水彩、七彩閃粉膠水⋯ 都可以
  1. Show your child how氵is written. Tell them this is 水部。It is also known as 三點水.
  2. Using the first diagram (solid colour), tell your child the name of each stroke, in correct order: 點 /dian/、點 /dian/、剔(提) /ti/.
  3. Ask your child to use their finger to trace the氵bushou while saying each stroke name.
  4. Invite your child to colour in the 5 氵bushou in their favourite colours

活動三  認識水部的字 & 詞彙

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 

   

 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 

  • 將PDF的 p4列印出來 print out p4 of the worksheet
  • 按孩子的進度,將他已學過的水部字的課文和字卡都準備好 Get the lessons and cards of the characters ready
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. 練習紙上的字依基礎漢字500課程教授的次序排列
  2. 每個字的九宮格的顏色與基礎漢字500級別的顏色一致,方便家長識別孩子是否已學會個別漢字
  3. 每個漢字旁邊有一個相關的詞彙,用字都在課程之內,配合孩子的進度。鼓勵教導孩子一起學習
  1. The 10 characters on the worksheet are arranged in the same order as how they are taught in the Basic Chinese 500 course.
  2. The writing grid of the characters follow the same colour scheme of each level of the course. They help you to verify if your child has already learnt the characters.
  3. There is a word next to each character. All the characters are taught in the course. Please encourage your child to learn them together.

更多常識 Additional information

要是孩子有一定的理解力,你可以進一步向孩子解說水字相關的知識,加強他對水的印象,豐富他的常識認知。

根據《說文解字》, 水字可以解釋為「評度的標准」,例如:水平。在五行中,水代表北方的屬性。

中國的地理環境變化多端,水的形態也各有不同。自古以來,我們的先人對水就有很仔細的分類和描述。在甲骨文中,動態的流水一般寫作縱向    或 

而靜止或漫流的水通常寫作橫向 

以下是由山上的源頭開始的各種「水」的名稱:


Depending on your child’s age and understanding, you can also tell them more stories about water to help them relate to the words and enrich their knowledge.

According to《說文解字》 which is the classic Chinese dictionary, one of the meanings of水 is “the standard of evaluation”, such as 水平. In the 5 basic elements (五行), water represents the north.

The vast land of China encompasses a rich array of variations of geographic features, which results in different types of bodies of water. Our ancestors studied these bodies of water and came up with different words to describe them. In ancient writing, actively flowing waters are written vertically ( ) whereas quieter or still waters are written horizontally ( ).

The table below shows how different bodies of water are called, starting from the source of water in the mountains.

各種水的名稱 How different bodies of water are called in Chinese

水流的源頭
The source of water
quán
石壁上飛濺的山泉
The mountain water splashing from the cliffs
shuǐ
由山泉匯成的水
When various 泉 gather together
jiàn
山澗在地面匯成的清流
The clear water formed when several brooks in the mountains gather together
眾多小溪匯成的水流
The small river formed when several streams merge
chuān
眾多川流匯成的大川
The larger river formed when several smaller rivers merge
最大的河
The largest river
jiāng

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

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很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員。歡迎你也加入我們,一起互相鼓勵和支持,共同為孩子的學習而努力。

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看圖造句 From image to sentence

最初,寶寶只會說單字。慢慢地,他很自然地會將它們串起來組成詞,然後會說短句。再過一段時間,他的句子慢慢變長。最終,他還能發表一番動人心絃的講話。這是孩子語言的自然發展途徑。

孩子學習寫作的過程也一樣:當他學會了一定數量的單字,就會學習組成詞語,再而造句。要是寫作不是你家孩子的強項,怎麼辦?不要緊,我們可以利用字卡。只要一套閱讀練習卡,保管你的孩子也能輕鬆寫出美麗的句子,譜出動人的文章。

我們為孩子設計了兩個短短的小故事,每個故事分四部分,讓孩子輕鬆起步。參考答案也附在一起了。當然,你應該盡量鼓勵孩子去創造自己的句子和故事。來,我們一起看看活動的方法。

When children have learnt enough words, they naturally string them together and form sentences. Eventually, they will put all the sentences together to form speech. This is the natural development of a child’s language and thoughts.

Writing in Chinese is the same. Once your child has learnt enough characters, they can start to form words and sentences. Is writing not one of your child’s strengths? No worries. We can make use of the Study Cards. With the set of Study Cards, you child will be able to write beautiful sentences and craft stories. 

To help them get started, we have designed two short stories, each containing 4 parts. We have even provided reference answers! But of course, you should always encourage your child to create their own stories. Let’s have a look below.

本週遊戲 ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

這個活動很適合你和孩子交流探討一些和寫作相關的思維:

  • 每個故事的四幅圖畫應該是甚麼順序
  • 孩子對故事有甚麼想法?
  • 教孩子從「何時?何處?何人?甚麼?為甚麼?」(5W) 去理解故事

即使是年幼的孩子,也應該盡量鼓勵他和你談談他的想法。請記得:我們提供的句子只是參考,而不是「答案」。說故事是沒有正確答案的。

由於「一」字並沒有在基礎漢字500課程中獨立教授,所以沒有印製的字卡,我們特別在下載文件中加制了,方便你剪下應用。(下載連結在下面)

這個活動適合已學到躍進級一半的小朋友。參考下載圖中的字卡顏色,就可以簡明地知道每個字出自哪一級,你的孩子是否已學過了。要是碰上有些字孩子還沒學,你可以修改一下用詞,例如:許多>很多 / 送給 > 給/ 半路上 > 路上…,也可以幫他把字挑出來或讀給他聽。

This is a great activity to engage your child in discussions about:

  • The correct order of the 4 images in each story
  • Your child’s thought about the stories
  • “When, where, what, who, why?”

Even very young children should be encouraged to discuss their ideas and thoughts. The sentences provided here only serve as examples and not “answers”.

As “一” was not taught as one of the 500 characters, we have created an additional sheet in the PDF file for you to cut out and use (see below download link).

This game is geared towards children who are about half way through Building Reader and up. Refer to the colour of the Study Cards on the reference sheet to decide whether or not your child is at the right level to play this game. For children who have not yet learnt certain characters, please provide necessary assistance by swapping them (e.g. 很多 instead of 許多), omitting them (e.g. 給 instead of 送給, 路上 instead of 半路上) or simply picking / reading the card for them.

看圖造句 Image to sentence (age 3+歲以上)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具  
  • 一張圖片,或幾將有關連的圖片 (歡迎下載參考圖)
  • 閱讀練習卡一套,你亦可自製字卡
  • 紙、筆 (視乎需要)
  • An image or a series of images (feel free to download our examples)
  • Study Cards, or you can make your own word cards
  • Pen / Pencil / Paper (optional)
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備  

 

  • 下載PDF (文件包含了繁體及簡體版、圖片及額外的「一」字字卡)
  • 要是你想依照我們提供的參考句子玩遊戲,先從各級挑出所需的字卡準備好
  • Download the PDF (contains both traditional and simplified Chinese versions, larger version of the pictures, and the additional character 「一」)
  • If you prefer to follow the sample sentences, pick out the cards from various levels
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法  
  1. 將圖片給孩子看。和孩子一起談談他看了圖以後的各種想法。要是你要用問題去引導他,盡量用開放式的問題。例如:你認為他為甚麼要…? (而不要問:他是不是要做…?)
  2. 請孩子根據他對圖的想法說一句 (或兩三句)話。
  3. 幫孩子一起從字卡中找出他那句話用過的字。
  4. 讓孩子用字卡組成他的句子。
  1. Show your child the image(s). Discuss the image(s) with your child.
  2. Ask your child to say one or more sentences about the image.
  3. Help your child to pick out the cards of the characters used in their sentence(s).
  4. Ask your child to arrange the cards to form their sentence(s).
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化  

視乎孩子的年齡和認讀水平,你可以按以下建議調節遊戲:

  1. 年幼的孩子開始時每次只用一張圖片。
  2. 年長的孩子可以一次用全部四張圖。
  3. 年幼的孩子剛開始時,你可以將PDF圖中的參考句讀給他聽,然後幫他將字卡準備好,由孩子將字卡排成正確的句子。
  4. 孩子稍為可以時,將參考句子(或你自己作的故事句子) 給他看,由孩子用字卡將句子「抄」出來。
  5. 年長的孩子,要是已開始書寫,可以直接將自己的句子寫下來。也可以用寫的和字卡結合。例如:要是不會寫某個字就可以用字卡。
  6. 這個活動可以單一個孩子玩,也可以集體創作。

Depending on your child’s age and progress, you may want to make the following adjustments:

  1. For very young children, start with only one image card.
  2. For older children, use all four cards to tell a story.
  3. For very young children just starting out, you could read them the sentence and pick out the cards. They will then arrange the cards to form the correct sentence.
  4. For younger children, you could show them the reference sentences, and ask them to use the cards to “copy” the sentences.
  5. For older children who can already write, they can also write out the sentences they created. They can also have the choice of combining writing and using the cards (for example, using the cards to help with characters they don’t know how to write).
  6. This activity can be played with one child, or with multiple children as teamwork.

溫提 Additional tips:

可以幫孩子將他造的句抄下來,或是將他排出來的字卡句子用手機拍下來。
You could copy down the sentences that your child has created, or take a photo of each of the sentences that your child made with the cards.

** 我們日後會繼續發表這類造句用的故事圖片。請不時留意BLOG的消息。We will continue to create more images for such sentence forming activity. Please check back regularly.


你和孩子玩過這遊戲後有甚麼反映嗎?我們很期待欣賞孩子玩這遊戲的照片喔。
很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員,歡迎你也加入我們。

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

老編心得 TIP OF THE WEEK

正如要有健康的體魄就要吃健康的食品,避免junk food;孩子的語文發展也需要多看、多讀、多聽高質素的內容。當你為孩子選圖書時固然會仔細挑選,與此同時在這個階段也應該避免讓他們接觸太口語化或不正規的書寫方式,以免他們產生混淆。

Form a habit of playing some kind of Chinese language games each week.
Playing these games is a way of making the language practical and part of their lives. Children learn to manipulate the characters and words, and thus become actively engaged in the language. This provides additional stimulation compared to passively reading from books.

 

同聲同氣同音字 Homophone card games

漢語的同音字很多,而韻字就更多。要是我們將這兩種特色以遊戲的形式融入孩子的語文學習,那就一方面能為他們導入這種語文現象的概念,另一方面能有系統地擴充他們的識字量,也鞏固了他們對生字的記憶。況且用這種遊戲中學習的方法,在輕鬆愉快的環境下更有利於記憶。當孩子熟習了同音/同韻字,有助他們日後書寫能力的發展。

以下的遊戲特別為基礎漢字500的小朋友而設計。利用閱讀練習卡,可以根據孩子的學習進度調整遊戲的難度。

[註:遊戲按普通話讀音]

Homophones are one of the major features of Chinese. One effective way to introduce this important feature to children is through games. Such games help increase children's awareness to homophones. They are also effective ways to systematically expand their vocabulary, and to help them remember those words. A solid understanding of homophones and rhyming characters will help children develop writing ability in future.

The game described here is adapted to the Basic Chinese 500 courseWith the help of these Study Cards, you can adjust the game to suit your child's progress.

*Note: the game is based on Putonghua pronunciation.

本週遊戲 ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

同聲同氣 (age 3+歲以上)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具   HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 

初級 (啟蒙級 - 躍進級)

進階 (信心級 & 實力級)

 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. 將孩子已學過的漢字字卡洗亂,陣列在孩子面前,字面向上
  2. 讓孩子選一張字卡,請他讀出來 (讀出後,可以用卡背的拼音檢查是否正確)
  3. 請孩子將另一張同音字指出來
  1. Choose the homophone characters that your child has already learnt. Mix up the cards and lay them out in front of your child, with the characters facing upwards.
  2. Ask the child to choose one card, and read it out loud. (You could check the pronunciation with help of the pinyin at the back of the card)
  3. Ask the child to point out the other character which is pronounced the same as the one they just picked up.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

視乎孩子的情況,你可以增加以下的活動:

  1. 每當孩子拿起一個字,問問孩子:記得這個字在書中哪裏出現過嗎?記得那句句子嗎?
  2. 每個字請孩子 說一句含有這個字的話。這樣不但可以學習運用和造句,還可以幫助孩子清楚識別兩個同音字的不同意義和用法。

Depending on your child’s age and progress, you can incorporate the following activities:

  1. For each card your child picked up, ask if they can remember where in the books they have seen this character, and if they can remember the sentence(s).
  2. Ask your child to make up and say one more sentence, using this character. This will ensure your child understands the differences between the two homophones.


你和孩子玩過這遊戲後有甚麼反映嗎?我們很期待欣賞孩子玩這遊戲的照片喔。很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員,歡迎你也加入我們。

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

老編心得 TIP OF THE WEEK

將語文遊戲帶到生活中。
例如要學韻字,可以選定一個字(例如「爸」),當天之內遇到或用到與這個字押韻的就指出來:小巴、菊花、蝦… 從這些不必認讀的語文遊戲開始,讓孩子漸漸感到語文的各種趣味性,日後再搬到紙上就容易多了。

Make learning FUN.
Encourage your child to invent their own words, no matter how silly or “wrong” they might sound. Soon you’ll realise even with made up words, they sound Chinese and they follow some Chinese linguistic patterns. Congratulations! It’s a sign that they are feeling the language. And when their made-up words do sound like some existing ones, write down the existing words for your child.

 

Sense of order – when East meets West

Have you ever heard people say that Chinese and English do things the other way round? 

  • If you were asked for today’s date, in most parts of Europeyou go by date, month then year 
  • Let’s say you address an envelope: in English, you start by declaring receiver, followed by the flat, the number, the street… and end with the country of destination

Each culture has its own way of organising data and informationInterestingly enough, the way Chinese approach logic and informational hierarchies is indeed quite often complete opposite to Anglo-Saxons. 

Let’s take a look at various ways in which data is organised in China, and at how it may be different than what you are accustomed to. 

Dates

The date format in China, as well as in other East Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, follows the YMD format: year/month/day. The pre-printed format is ______. 

This differs from in the US, where the MDY (month/day/year) format is used, or even in Europe, where the DMY (day/month/year) is the custom. 

Understanding this difference in notation is particularly important to avoid confusion when making plans! 

Discounts

Everyone loves a good discount, and being able to calculate them quickly in stores or on the spot is an important skill. The Chinese seem to be especially quick in calculating discounts. Why? Because in Chineseinstead of telling you the magnitude of the discount, we use the exact percentage of the original price you will pay. Stores will write “XX折 – this means that you pay XX percent of the original price. 

For instance, if a $100 product was 6”, you would pay $60 (60 per cent of $100)For the same deal in the US or Europe, stores would tell you that there was a “40% discount. In order to figure out how much you need to pay, you need to do an extra subtraction.  

Addresses

When writing addresses, Chinese will organize the information from the largest to the smallest unit

country > city > street > building > floor > unit > receiver

This is especially practical when managing post because logically, the letter or parcel should first arrive at the correct country, followed by the province/state, city, street, etc. and finally the individual receiver. 

See below examples of how to address an envelop in China and in Hong Kong. Click on the image to enlarge.

For China:

For Hong Kong (there is no postal code in Hong Kong):

Social vs Personal Hierarchy

There exists two “contradictory” hierarchies when it comes to the importance of people and nature. 

There is a hierarchy for the notable positions of authority in the world

天、地、君、親、師 – the most important entity in the world is Heaven, then Earth, followed by the Emperor (country), our parents, and our teachers.

This is an example of how hierarchies and organisation of information also makes its way into personal philosophy and impacts the way people live their lives. From a young age, people understand that these are the entities /individuals who must be shown utmost respect, and in this order. 

However, when it comes to personal development, this hierarchy is turned the other way round. We were told

修身、齊家、治國、平天下. We must first focus on improving and cultivating ourselves, before we can manage our family, then govern our country, and finally bring harmony to the world.
我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

更多教養支援 SUPPORT FOR YOU
很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員。歡迎你也加入我們,一起互相鼓勵和支持,共同為孩子的學習而努力。
加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】(中文)

Many parents are already part of our Facebook Group. If you’d like to take advantage of the collective wisdom of your fellow parents, please join us.
JOIN SUPPORT GROUP (English)
We’d love to hear from you.

 

齊來學「生」字組詞

生,是一個很有力的字。

作為動詞 (生長、生活),它帶有動感和能量;
作為形容詞 (生動、活生生),它帶來希望和活力;
作為名詞 (學生、生命),它代表了一股向上的氣息。

「生」字出現在萌芽級最後一冊 (第五冊) 的第19課。「生」字可以組成的詞語有很多,正好配合孩子進階到躍進級,學習漢字的一字多義和各種組詞。

 

「生」字基本組詞

以下歸納了一些含「生」字的詞語,所有漢字全部在基礎漢字500課程之內。(英語翻譯純為家長參考)

生手 novice
生動 vivid and lively
生氣 to be angry
生機 vitality
生長 to grow
生還 to survive
生病 to be ill
生父 / 生母 biological father / mother

按此連結參閱共52個詞語。(所列詞語的用字都在基礎漢字500課程之內)

「生」字成語

以下的成語,全部由基礎漢字500課程之內所教的漢字組成,適合信心級/實力級的孩子* 學習。(英語翻譯純為家長參考)

* 有些成語雖然看似簡單,連啟蒙級的孩子都會認讀,但其中的含意還是要等孩子的認知較為成熟才能透徹理解。

天生一對 couple who were made for each other
起死回生 an exceptional recovery (rise from the dead)
長生不老 immortality
出生入死 to go through fire and water

按此連結參閱共13個含「生」字的成語。(所列詞語的用字都在基礎漢字500課程之內)

免費下載練習

我們為小朋友編制了例句填充練習紙 (作業3頁,附答案),家長可以在適當的時候按孩子的水平讓孩子練習。

   

例句所用的漢字全部在思展方程式課程範圍之內。

要是孩子還沒開始寫字,家長亦可跳過填充練習,直接讓孩子認讀句子。

下載初階 - 詞語 (附填充練習) 繁體版 下载初阶 - 词语 (附填充练习) 简体版

以下是含「生」字的成語認讀練習 (2頁),同樣地都取材自思展方程式課程範圍之內。
在練習紙的最後,有兩言家傳戶曉的詩句,節錄自唐代詩人白居易的《赋得古原草送别》。

下載進階 - 成語 (認讀練習) 繁體版 下载进阶 - 成语 (认读练习) 简体版
我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。

要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

If you would like us to discuss certain topics on Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

 

誠意邀請...

很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員。歡迎你也加入我們,一起互相鼓勵和支持,共同為孩子的學習而努力。

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】

期待與你在群組內會面~

 

The story of 回

來回、回答、回旋、春回大地...
回,象徵着循環持續、延綿不斷。也許你會問:回字兩個口,跟吃的有關係嗎?

呵呵... 原來回字是象形文字,由一圈又一圈的回旋圖案演變出來。

看完影片,可以下載相關的資源喔。

     

下載「回」字補充練習

You might wonder, since 回 is written as 2 口, is it related to our mouth or eating?

No, in fact 回 is a pictogram which was evolved from the pattern of "never ending" spirals. It symbolises repetition, continuity, and never ending prosperity.

Please feel free to download the related worksheets after you've watched the video.

DOWNLOAD worksheet of 回

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

更多教養支援 SUPPORT FOR YOU
很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員。歡迎你也加入我們,一起互相鼓勵和支持,共同為孩子的學習而努力。

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】(中文)

Many parents are already part of our Facebook Group. If you’d like to take advantage of the collective wisdom of your fellow parents, please join us.

JOIN SUPPORT GROUP (English)

We’d love to hear from you.

 

漫畫話中秋 Mid-Autumn comics

中秋,是一家團圓的時節。
對小朋友來說,是有得吃又有得玩,還有假放的日子。大高與了!
來,我們也趁着中秋,讓小朋友用自己學會的文字,演說一下節日的喜慶吧。
下面這首《話中秋》的小詩,還配上了漫畫,信心級以上的小朋友應該都能自己朗讀喔。

Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節 /zhōng qiū jié/) is a time for families to get together.
It’s one of children’s favourite holidays, with lanterns to play with and mooncakes and many other yummy foods to enjoy. On top of that, it’s also a school holiday!
The festive spirit makes it a perfect opportunity to engage children into learning about Chinese culture and traditions.
You can also sharpen your child’s reading skills with this poem below. Confident Readers and up should be able to read the whole poem on their own with ease. We’ve also created a comic image for each verse.

花好月圓過中秋,
飯後望月說故事;
姑娘白兔月裏住,
天上人間兩相圓。

你還可以和孩子做以下三個簡單的認讀遊戲喔。

Below are three simple activities that you can play with your child at home.

活動一 高聲朗讀 Read aloud

小朋友高聲唸一遍,請爸爸、媽媽熱烈地鼓掌⋯ 讚、讚、讚!

Ask your child to read the poem out loud. Tell them how very proud of them you are!

你可以將詩歌印出來 (連結在下面),也可以參照上圖,利用家中的閱讀練習卡將詩句排列出來。
從字卡的顏色清楚可知每個生字出自哪級喔。

Feel free to download the activity sheet (link below). You could also refer to the image above and lay the poem out with the Study Cards. The colour coded cards clearly indicate in which level each character is taught.

活動二 重組句子 Re-construction

下載句子 (連結在下面,附有繁體及簡體版),列印後將四句字條剪下,混亂次序後,請小朋友重新排列成正確次序。

Download the activity sheet (Link below. The PDF contains both the traditional and simplified Chinese versions). Print out the poem and cut out the four verses separately. Mix them up. Ask your child to arrange them into correct order.

* 視乎孩子的成熟程度,你可以為孩子指出逗號、分號和句號,告訴他標點可以作為句子先後始末的提示。

* Depending on your child’s development, you could point out the punctuation marks used in the poem (comma, semicolon, full stop). These punctuations can serve as hints to the order of the verses.

活動三 詩句/圖片配對 Verse and image matching

列印句子和圖片,剪下,請小朋友將圖片和句子配對。(本頁中的紫色詩句是家長的提示答案,給小朋友做活動只剪下4張正方形圖片就好。)

Print out the poem and the images. Cut each of them out separately. Ask your child to match the verse to the correct image. (The text in purple underneath the images are solution keys for your reference. For children to do the activity, cut out only the four square images without the text.)

以下連結提供的一個PDF文件,附有繁體及簡體版練習。

Please use the button below to download the PDF activity sheet. It contains both the traditional and simplified Chinese versions.

下載「漫畫話中秋」

簡單又應節的活動,讓孩子點滴學習和運用。
學習不必一本正經,整個世界就是孩子的大學堂~

Simple and relevant activities are great ways to allow children to practice what they have learnt.

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

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Many parents are already part of our Facebook Group. If you’d like to take advantage of the collective wisdom of your fellow parents, please join us.

JOIN SUPPORT GROUP (English)

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】(中文)

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