重陽=重九…?

我們教導孩子數學,其中一個基本概念是單數、雙數。

其實,這並不是現代或西方傳來的數學概念。我們的先祖早就將單雙數分別歸類,只是當時的名稱和今天的不一樣。古時候,人們稱單數為「陽數」、雙數為「陰數」。早在我們最古老的「易經」之中已有記載。

 九重天 

在1-10之中所有的陽數 (單數) 之中,九最大,因此九也被稱為極數。天的最高處被稱為「九重天」。九月初九那天,日和月都是「九」,因此人們叫那天為「重九」(這裏的「重」是重複的意思),又因為九是陽數,因此又稱為「重陽」。

重陽前後的時間,是秋收的季節。每年的秋收季節,祭天地總是一件重要的事。因此,早在戰國時期屈原已有記載關於重陽的詩辭了。後來到了三國時期,重陽慢慢成為了一個節日:重陽節,一直流傳到今日。

 中國老人節 

由於「九」是極數,又和「久」的發音一樣,人們往往以「九」寓意長遠、恆久;就像老人家要長久地健康、長壽、幸福。1989年,中國政府正式將每年的農曆九月初九定為「中國老人節」,推崇愛老、敬老。

 天長地久 

「九」字一向以來都得到中國人的喜愛:喜慶日子,尤其是日生或婚禮,人們送禮的金額都會含有「九」字;而廣東傳統,新娘的開門利是最好 $999999..... 只要新郎負擔得起,越多越好,天長地久嘛...哈哈~

 「重」點學習 

值得一提的是,重陽的「重」字是破音字

粵語的發音有三種

(1) 音:/寵/,例如:重量、舉重
(2) 音:/仲/,例如:德高望重、重要
(3) 音:/蟲/,例如:重複、重新做人

普通話的發音分別有

(1) /chóng/:  重複、重出江湖
(2) /zhòng/: 笨重、頭重腳輕

適逢佳節,不如就讓小朋友也一起來遊戲學習一下吧。

 下載練習 

以下的2頁練習大部份都在基礎漢字500課程範圍以內的喔。

   繁體中文版下載

 

    簡體中文版下載

So you have heard about YIN (陰) and YANG (陽).

Did you know that they also represent important maths ideas? One of such ideas is odd and even numbers.

 九重天 

Since ancient time, the Chinese called even numbers YIN (陰), and odd numbers YANG (陽). Among all the numbers from 1 to 10, 9 is the largest YANG number. The highest level of the sky was referred to as 九重天 (/jiŭ chóng tiān/).

Because of the significance of 9, the 9th day of the 9th month of the lunar calendar is also named as 重九 (/chóng jiŭ/) which means “double 9”. Furthermore, as 9 is a YANG number, people also called this day 重陽. The name 重陽 was mentioned as early as around 350 BCE, in poems written by Qu-Yuan. (Qū-Yuán is the scholar and politician that people remember during every year’s Dragon Boat Festival).

As 重陽 usually falls upon the harvest season when people practice thanksgiving rituals to the gods, it has historically been an important day of the year. However, it was not until the time of the Three Kingdoms (around 190 CE - 280 CE) that it officially became a festival and was called 重陽節. We still celebrate this day every year.

 Chinese Old People's Day 

In most Chinese dialects, the character 九 is pronounced the same as the character 久, which means “for a long, long time”. It is quite common for people to use this word to express wishes for their elders to live long, healthy and happy. In 1989, the Chinese government stipulated that 重陽節 will also be the “Old People’s Day” in China every year.

 Forever and ever 

Nine has always been a favourite number among the Chinese. Even nowadays, birthday or wedding presents often amounts to a number involving 9. In the Cantonese tradition, the groom has to pay Lai-See (利是) as a token for the bridesmaids to open the door so he can get to the bride. After rounds of negotiations, which involves the groom doing all kinds of tricks set out by the bridesmaids, it often amounts to $99999…. Depending on how much the groom can afford, the more 9 the merrier. After all, we all wish the couple stay together for a very long, long…. time.

 A study of 重 

Did you know that the character 重 is a homograph, meaning it has more than one pronunciation? 

The 3 pronunciations in Cantonese

(1) /cung5/,例如:重量、舉重
(2) /zung6/,例如:德高望重、重要
(3) /cung4/,例如:重複、重新做人

The 2 pronunciations in Putonghua

(1) /chóng/:  重複、重出江湖
(2) /zhòng/: 笨重、頭重腳輕

In celebrating the Chong Yang Festival, we have created some practice sheets. Please feel free to download the sheets for you and/or your kids to practice and learn.

 Free Download 

Most of the words included in the practice sheets are within the Basic Chinese 500 course.

   Download Traditional Chinese version click here

 

    Download Simplified Chinese version click here

「長」字怎麼唸 – How would you read 長

「身體髪膚,受諸父母。不敢毀傷,孝之始也。」我們的祖先沒有剪髮的習俗,因此長髮就成了老年人的特徵。

字代表散着一頭長髮的老人。後來又加上了一根拐杖,成為,再進而加了一根髮簪束起頭髮,成為

到了現代,這個字有了兩個最普遍的讀音:

Cháng 長:

  1. 形容詞 (描述形態):長期、修長、長遠
  2. 名詞 (優勢):專長、長處

Zhăng 長:

  1. 動詞:長大、生長、成長
  2. 名詞  (首領):市長、校長、首長
  3. 形容詞 (首位 / 年紀大的):長子、長者

Use Questions to Stimulate Thinking and Writing

A few months ago, we began our Linguistic Series based on one of our Chinese blog posts. You can read the original here.

The article delved deep into our children’s natural ability to pick up new languages. As Chinese is a compact language, there were many ideas packed into very few words. In order to do justice to each point, we thought it best to split the piece into a series.

 

This week, we discuss how to use questions to stimulate thinking and writing in Chinese. We will be focusing on writing in terms of formulating thoughts and ideas in a coherent, logical argument. For more details on the different styles of writing in Chinese, please refer to our previous piece in the series.

 Writing Is Asking Yourself Questions and Answering Them 

Writing is one of those skills that many people falsely attribute to talent and inspiration. Like any art form, it’s nice to have innate ability and a muse, but ultimately, it comes down to a learned skill and practice. Lots of practice.

These techniques are not limited to Chinese writing and can be applied to any language - including your dominant one. However, here we are advocating writing in Chinese specifically as a tool to improve our children’s Chinese fluency in ways that are not normally considered.

One of the easiest techniques is to write as if you are talking to someone, and part of holding a conversation with someone else is the interplay between asking and answering questions. A good persuasive piece will bring up a subject and address most (if not all) the questions a given person may have on the topic.

 Teach Kids to Learn How to Ask and Answer Questions 

You would think that asking questions isn’t a skill that also needs to be taught, but it does. Mostly because philosophically, your questions reveal your focus, and if you ask the wrong question, you may not get the answers you want - both for the subject at hand and in life. Furthermore, whether your children are attempting a serious persuasive piece, a casual letter, or writing a novel, it all requires anticipating and then properly answering the questions their reader will ask.

Although this article seems to focus on general writing skills, if you can help your child develop these skills in Chinese, not only will their writing improve (in any language), but their speaking should also be elevated because their thinking in Chinese will become increasingly sophisticated and nuanced.

The first basic questions our children need to answer in their writing are: Who?  What? When? Where? Why? How?

WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? HOW?

Who is narrating? Who is their audience? Who would object to this piece? Who is this story about? Who affects the main characters? Who influenced them?

What is their thesis? What is the plot? What is happening? What is the point of this story? What do they want their audience to believe, agree or be outraged about after finishing the piece?

When did or will this happen? Will the time period affect what your child needs to provide as background information for their audience? Will there be other questions brought up due to the timing? If they change the time period, how will the tone of the piece change?

Where does this story take place? Where does the majority of your child’s audience reside? Where is the narrative arc heading? Where, emotionally, do they want their audience to end up?

Why is your child telling this story? Why are they choosing this argument and supporting evidence? Why is their point important? Why is it valid? Why do they think their readers should agree with them?

How should your child approach their story or essay? How can they head off potential objections or thorny situations? How can they set up their piece in a logical manner so that the resolution is appropriate? How should the story or article be resolved? How will they come to a satisfying conclusion?

Beyond these questions, you can stimulate your children’s curiosity by asking “what if” and comparative/differentiating questions.

For example, what if superheroes truly existed? Would the insurance premiums in their home cities be increasingly untenable due to the high probability of property destruction? Would the presence of a superhero attract instead of deter supervillains from flocking to the city? As a result, would it be safer or more dangerous for the average citizen to move to that city? What is the difference between a superhero and a supervillain? Why did your child choose to emphasize these differences? Is it fair to presume that people with superpowers are obligated to protect and serve the general public? (If your children can actually write these terms in Chinese, your work is done.)

Even something as simple as an office email can fail at adequately answering all these questions and cause major annoyance to the recipients. Teaching your child to effectively write and think will not only improve their Chinese abilities, but will also help their future academic and work prospects in their dominant language.

How Writing Chinese Promotes Thinking

Two months ago, we started a new Linguistic Series based on one of our Chinese blog posts. You can read the original here.

This post discussed our children’s innate ability to learn new languages and offered many ways we parents could help our kids in this process. The article was very dense so we split each point into their own piece.

This week, we will discuss how writing is an extension of thinking and how teaching your child to write Chinese helps them develop various approaches to reasoning.

Incidentally, this post is not written to shame or cajole already stressed out and anxious parents if they choose not to have their children pursue writing Chinese characters and/or essays in Chinese. There are many ways to help your child develop logic and reasoning, and writing Chinese by no means holds the monopoly on these processes. We recognize that every family has different needs and desires, of which writing Chinese may or may not be one.

 The Two Different Types of Writing and Why Parents Choose Not to Teach Them 

Before we delve deeper, let’s differentiate the two types of writing we will be examining. The first is the actual physical writing of Chinese characters (and the bane of many a child’s Chinese learning process). The second is writing in order to formulate thoughts and ideas in a coherent, logical argument.

Just as many parents choose not to teach their children “non-fiction” vocabulary, many also do not teach their children how to write Chinese characters. In particular, for parents in an anglophone country, teaching our kids to speak Chinese is hard enough. Why add this extra pressure of writing characters to our children? Plus, many of us who are second or third generation remember the futility of writing characters 10-20 times for Chinese homework. It didn’t matter how many times we had to write the characters, they just did not sink in.

In fact, even native Chinese people have a hard time hand-writing Chinese characters due to the prevalence of typing and using smartphones to send emails and texts. What hope can we who are not in a Chinese society have for our children?

As for writing essays, one would think that would be contingent upon handwriting Chinese characters - but in today’s technological age, that is not necessarily true. If your child can type via pinyin or zhuyin keyboards, then really, they just need to be literate enough to recognize the character they want to use among the suggested characters.

The main barrier then is forming cogent, grammatically correct thoughts in a persuasive and compelling manner. As with the first form of writing, many parents are relieved if their children can have a basic understanding and speaking of Chinese so formulating complex, layered writing pieces in Chinese is far from their list of priorities. As a result, both forms of writing are often shunted to the wayside due to restraints of time, resources, and utility.

 How Learning to Write Chinese Promotes Different Types of Thinking 

For the majority of Chinese learners, we associate writing Chinese with endless repetition, frustration, and drilling. We rarely think of writing persuasive arguments or essays (if at all). Here, we proffer an alternative approach that might open our minds to both different means of teaching our children how to write as well as taking advantage of the elasticity of their brains.

A deeper understanding of the Chinese writing system
Writing Chinese characters helps your child recognize symbols and understand how they work together to encapsulate the ideas or beliefs within the Chinese language.

Ideally, your children will also associate these same symbols as they are learning to read, but part of learning to write is breaking characters into radicals, sound components, and stroke names. Deconstructing a character into its symbolic (whether visual, radical, or sound) pieces is a common way Chinese people explain a character or clarify which specific character they are referring to.

Furthermore, understanding how these symbols work in conjunction to conveying the meaning of the word will deepen your child’s ability to associate symbols with different things. It’s subtle work but very powerful.

For example, the word 囚/qiú/ (prisoner) is literally a 人/rén/ (person) in a box. If that’s not a prison, I don’t know what is. You can have discussions about why the Chinese originally decided to use those particular symbols, what it means to be imprisoned, whether that box has to be literal or metaphorical, as well as possible other ways they could have chosen to represent the concept of a prisoner.

Another example is the word 明/míng/ (bright). It is composed of the two brightest things in our Earth’s sky: the sun (日/rì/) and the moon (月/yuè/). Again, you can delve deeper into the meaning of this word, but practically speaking, it makes it very easy for your child to remember how to write as well as read the character.

For less literal readings, you can also discuss how similar sounding words also become symbols. For example, how the Chinese word for the number eight (八/bā/) sounds like the first character for 發財/fā cái/ (fortune) so 8 has become associated with good fortune.

This eventually will allow your child to make the leap from symbolism in a character to symbolism in thoughts and ideas such as how stars can seem like diamonds in the sky or how a candle in the darkness can convey hope. They will begin to see how even space, shapes, colors, and sounds can stimulate associations with layered and complicated concepts.

Writing to enhance speaking
Teaching your child to write pieces in Chinese will refine their abilities to comprehend and speak Chinese as natively as possible.

Writing is an extension of thinking and good writing is often derived from good speaking. It is an easily accessible way to teach your child to crystallize their thoughts as well as emphasize logical thinking and proper grammar. In addition, there are many types of writing (eg: business communications, informal notes, persuasive arguments, legal texts, etc.), which ultimately will help your child to become more fluent and agile in Chinese.

If you are ambitious and have your child learn how to emulate more literary Chinese writing, you will also expose them to classical Chinese texts, idioms, and a more formal way of speaking classical Chinese. This will help them better understand Chinese culture, as well Chinese movies and dramas! All in all, it helps in cultural literacy which inevitably helps with fluency.

Finally, teaching your child to write different types of Chinese writing allows another way for you to stretch their thinking. Kids are used to vertical thinking, which is solving problems in a conventional manner. However, when you ask them to look at a situation and dissect it from different angles, we create opportunities for reverse thinking, which looks for a solution to an opposite problem, and horizontal thinking, which finds indirect and non-traditional solutions.

Again, by no means does writing in Chinese have the monopoly in helping your child find creative fixes for all of life’s problems. Rather, these methods are utilized in writing whatever language is being used. The additional bonus of doing so in Chinese merely allows your child’s Chinese fluency to become increasingly lithe and incisive.

暑期手作【自製迷你摺書】

有甚麼比孩子自己做的書更能讓孩子愛不釋手地反覆閱讀呢?來,讓我們趁着暑假,一起動手動腦,自己做小作家吧。

 道具 

- A4紙
- 剪刀
- 筆

 準備 

下載說明、樣本及示範 (PDF)

 步驟 

1. 將PDF列印出來。
     
2. 在空白的樣本上,按1-8的方向和次序,寫上一句8個字以內的短句。
**小提示**

a. 確保短句中大部分都是孩子已能認讀的字。
b. 如果孩子只能讀5-6個字的短句,可以加標點符號,也可以在#1或#8頁畫上可愛的圖案。
c. 可以請孩子自己造句,較為年長的可以自己寫喔。

3. 按說明書的圖,順序摺+剪,再摺...

4. 一本屬於孩子的書就完成了。
溫馨小提示
你可以將PDF中的四頁示範列印出來讓孩子製成迷你書。孩子知道了過程和方法,就會更有興緻了。

今個夏天,孩子可以寫成多少本書呢?

到我們的 思展Facebook 告訴大家吧。

 

 

Memory and Language Development

This series on Linguistic was inspired by one of our Chinese blog posts. You can find the original here.

The original blog post focused on the innate ability of young children to pick up languages and touches upon many ways us parents can help unlock and encourage their potential. Because the article was so densely packed with complex ideas, we felt that each point deserved its own post.

This week, we will discuss the topic of memory, and how increasing the breadth and depth of our children’s vocabulary enables them to write and express their ideas with ease and fluidity.

1. Why a Diverse Vocabulary?

Learning a language is similar to becoming an accomplished chef. If you watch competitive cooking shows on TV, you may be familiar with the format where the participants have a limited amount of time to create something incredible using mystery ingredients or compete with other chefs to see who can best cook a particular dish. Watch enough of these programs and you’ll find that the majority of the winners win because they have a large cooking vocabulary.

The champions know how to use and incorporate a wide variety of ingredients and spices into their recipes, are usually familiar with diverse cuisines, cooking methods, and can quickly recall and apply all this information in time-sensitive or high-pressure environments. The wide body of knowledge these chefs have about cooking methods and foods is so ingrained into their muscle memories that they do not have to worry about the basics, and are free to create new and innovative dishes.

What does this have to do with learning a language (Chinese or otherwise)?

Life is impromptu and challenging; the art of conversation does not follow a set script. It is imperative to expose your child to as many different types of vocabulary as possible, and to teach them how, why, and when to use them. For the purpose of this article, vocabulary refers to (but is not limited to): words, phrases, common sayings, proverbs, idioms, subject terms (eg: business, medical, science), or slang.

This vocabulary should be so deeply set in your children’s memory that they do not have to spend all their time trying to retrieve basic words and phrases. Not only will your children have better comprehension, they will also be able to freely express the full range of their thoughts and emotions with greater facility.

2. The Divide Between Different Types of Vocabulary is a False Construction

Because teaching children Chinese in an anglophone society can be challenging, many parents choose to mainly focus on basic vocabulary. They understandably want to first make sure that their children can communicate daily activities and desires, rather than expend the effort on more complex subjects such as science, business, or medicine.

What many of us fail to realize is that there is no real divide between “basic” and “complex/nonfiction” subject matter. It is all perception.

   

When we do not equip our children with these more advanced subjects, we hobble our children. We unnecessarily constrict their options and confine them to what we consider to be a child’s vocabulary. While narrowing the scope of our children’s vocabulary certainly makes life for us as teachers less overwhelming, it ultimately leaves huge gaps in our children’s ability to communicate.

These holes are never immediately apparent, they show up instead only at incredibly inconvenient times and frustrate our children (and ourselves). This makes it even more difficult to convince our children to use a language with which they are increasingly unable to express the fullness of their thoughts. Unless our children are extremely diligent and self-motivated, these gaps in their knowledge will rarely be filled and end up reinforcing the fallacy that Chinese is too hard for them to speak and use in a practical way.

Unconvinced?

Just think of how often in daily conversation we refer to something that requires more complex vocabulary. Children are endlessly curious and a seemingly “simple” conversation with “basic” terms will quickly escalate into one that requires highly specialized vocabulary. Perhaps we are talking about dinosaurs and your children ask why the dinosaurs are no longer around. Do you know the terms for meteor, asteroid, crater, atmosphere, mass extinction, fossils, dust clouds, or Cretaceous Era? These are the terms you need to talk about the mass dying of dinosaurs with any sort of intelligence.

    

Or perhaps your child wants to know how lights turn on or what happens when we die or where poop comes from. These are all subjects my children have asked me - sometimes all within the course of one day. Just think of how easily you can explain these matters in your most dominant language and whether you distinguish between basic and non-fiction terms in your daily life.

This is not to say your children need to know how to discuss the paradox of time travel as well as the perils of moving backwards in both space and time in relation to the position of the Earth.  But perhaps they could learn what physics, time travel, space, and paradox are called in Chinese.

3. The Importance of Chinese Proverbs, Tang Poems and Idioms

Just like with the need for more complex vocabulary, many parents also choose not to teach Chinese proverbs, Tang Poems, or idioms. Again, this is because the prospect of teaching thousands of obscure proverbs and idioms can be incredibly daunting. However, since most children of native speakers would learn these through the course of daily conversation, literature, and pop culture - in addition to formally learning them in school - it is crucial for our children to know at least the more popular sayings if they are to have any hope of having deeper Chinese comprehension.

While it is possible to understand or express yourself in Chinese without being fully cognizant of all the famous Chinese proverbs, poems, and idioms, a robust comprehension and usage of Chinese requires familiarity with at least some of them.

      

Chinese is such a dense language that proverbs and idioms are commonly used to condense complex and rich ideas. Without a working knowledge of these sayings that almost every Chinese person knows and uses commonly, your children will be relegated to staring blankly or blinking nervously as they try to decipher the meaning (which is usually indeterminate from the actual words).

4. All Vocabulary is Useful Vocabulary

As adults and primary gatekeeper of Chinese for our children, it’s tempting to create different categories for words and terms our children will be exposed to. Often, we shunt things into “educational” and “junk” categories, preferring to focus only on the educational portion.

However, just like with the the previous two points, the “junk” categories are often the stuff of small talk, filler conversation, and friendships. Without pop-culture references, it’s hard to get jokes, make connections, or have fun conversations.

How to Increase Your Child’s Vocabulary

With all this talk of expanding your child’s vocabulary, here are some quick tips on how to do so.

Speak to Your Child in Chinese

This is definitely easier to do if you’re fluent in Chinese and less so if you are not. If you are not fluent, provide access to native speakers via family, teachers, nannies, au pairs, audiobooks, videos, and shows. This requires conscious effort mostly because it’s so much easier to default to your stronger language or the language your children would prefer to speak.

Read Wide and Deep

Expanding upon points 1-4, read plenty of books, magazines, short stories in as many different genres as possible. Fiction seems to naturally be the easiest because children love to learn about different stories, but remember, there are so many other types of writing to read. For example: current events, recipes, science, religious, poems, song lyrics, plays, instructions, history, comics, pop-culture, and even tabloids.

Just as there are different foods for different purposes, there are different types of materials we can use to increase our kids’ vocabulary. The purpose of some foods – such as junk food – is simply to be fun. It isn’t nutritious but your body still uses it and extracts what it needs while excreting what it does not. The thing is, learning Chinese and reading it should be fun. So short of completely inappropriate materials, provide your child with as many varieties of writing as possible. All of it will be incorporated within your children’s memory to provide a robust and agile linguistic foundation.

Listen to as much Chinese as possible

Just like with the reading materials, listen or watch as many Chinese stories and videos as possible. Don’t stick to just stories or fiction. Watch children’s newscasts, explanatory videos, educational videos, game shows, and other types of entertainment so your children can be exposed to all sorts of words and terms.

Follow your children’s interests

Harness your child’s natural interests and dive as deeply and widely as your time and resources (and patience) can provide. Your child will inherently want to learn more about subjects they love so use that to your best advantage.


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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Use Observation to Improve Linguistic Capabilities in Child

On our blog exists a wealth of posts in Chinese on child development and education. This series of posts is inspired by one of those posts. You can see the original here.

We are breaking down the original post into multiple posts. One of the reasons is due to the way Chinese language is written, each word takes up the same amount of space typographically. Thus, a ten word sentence in Chinese takes up maybe ⅓ of the space the same sentence does in English. As a result, though the original essay in Chinese doesn’t look very long, to cover all the points from it in one English post would require a post 3 times that length! Plus, the Chinese language can express numerous complex ideas within a few characters and is very dense. We would not be doing the original any justice if we tried to cram everything in one article.

This blog post focuses on the innate ability of young children to pick up languages. Thus, even though Chinese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, it’s also so easy that even a baby can learn it. In other words, with the right nurturing environment, your child will absorb additional languages almost effortlessly. (Although we all know it takes a LOT of effort on the parents’ part. Just a lot less effort from the child!)

To unlock that potential, we simply need to observe the child and their daily environment; provide the right “ingredients,” model ways to combine these “ingredients,” create an environment that encourages curiosity, and practice, practice, practice!

In this post, we will be focusing on how observation will increase your child’s linguistic capabilities. In this case, we will be using learning the Chinese language as an example.

 1. Observe your child, their environment, and their daily living activities 

One of the simplest ways you can improve your child’s Chinese is to give them vocabulary that is relevant to their lives and interests. Tap into the power of your child’s innate interests by teaching them the appropriate terms for the activities and subjects they enjoy.

Where do they spend most of their time? What do they do throughout the day in these environments? With whom do they spend that time? What do they enjoy? What do they hate? What would your child choose to do if they could use their own discretion without any adult interference?

For example, perhaps your child loves dinosaurs. You may need to spend an evening looking up names of different dinosaurs. You can provide Chinese books that show lots of dinosaurs and their Chinese names. You can watch videos or listen to audiobooks of dinosaurs in Chinese. Whatever is dinosaur related, provide it for your child. You will be amazed at how quickly they can learn all the different dinosaur names and how much they will talk about dinosaurs to you, their friends, or any human with a pulse and ears.

Also, this is why so many music and Mommy and Me classes teach children songs about their bodies, faces, foods, animals, and feelings. These are definitely relevant to the toddler and preschool set and they’re more likely to remember the words because of it!

Note: This will require prep work if you yourself do not know the vocabulary. It definitely requires a willingness to say, “I don’t know, let me look that up” and spend time looking up translations.

 2. Observe how your children process information and knowledge 

Does your child prefer to listen to stories or watch videos? Do they remember terms better if they do crafts or physical activity? Do they flip endlessly through books and pictures? Do your kids recall everything if it’s for a game or competition?

While there is definitely more than one way to learn and process new words - and you should expose your child to as many of these as possible - it’s still important to know which ways your child has a natural affinity for. This information can only help you as you tailor their learning.

 3. Read to supplement actual experience 

Realistically, it is not possible for a child to experience everything personally in their life. Reading can give the same benefits as actual experience.

Why is this under observation?

Your child will be reading the observations of different writers and translating those words into their own memories and experience.

For example, different authors describe the feelings of joy, happiness, anxiety, or hope with different terms and to varying degrees. They will use a variety of examples, imagery, and metaphors to flesh out a story and thus, your child will learn all these new ways to express similar and disparate feelings, thoughts, and lived experiences.

This is also why reading stories from diverse points of view and genres is so vital to a well-rounded vocabulary. If you only read the same types of stories to your child, it only reinforces similar terms whereas if you read widely, you constantly add new words to your child’s lexicon.

The next post in this Linguistic Series will be about memory and why building up a vast storage of words is important. Stay tuned.

從認讀…到思考

從認讀...到思考

自古以來,孩子的啟蒙教育就離不開語文學習。是語言,徹底將人類和其他生物之間劃出了界線。人類因為有語言,所以有組織能力,可以上百萬的人聚集而井然有序,可以建長城、築金字塔,甚至能登上月球。你不妨想像一下:上百萬的猴子、猩猩聚集會是甚麼場面?
人類語言的其中一個特性是讓我們可以敘述和描述,同時也可以想像和假設。例如我可以告訴你昨天新聞報導中的事故,讓你提高警惕、注意安全;也可以勸戒你如果等到大減價才買那件大衣的話,就可以省下錢再多買一隻手袋。語文的發展和思維的發展有着密切的關係,一個人的語文能力越強,他的感受能力就越細膩、觸覺會越敏銳、思維就越縝密。而我們要培養孩子的語文能力,最終就是希望能達到這個境界。

孩子語文發展的幾個階段

從啟蒙認讀開始,孩子的語文發展有幾個階段:

認字

機械式的認讀

理解文意

跟循故事的發展

理解字裏行間的意義

提問 + 反思

引伸發展出其他主意或概念

要孩子從認字發展到理解甚至提問的層次,必須有啟發性的故事書作為引子。以繪本《寶貝比高下》為例,這是一本3歲孩子能聽懂,7歲孩子能自己閱讀的故事繪本。當孩子能聽懂或讀懂故事之後,若由家長帶領,透過親子共讀分享和交流就能起到很好的啟發思維效果。

一些讓孩子留意故事細節的提問

  • 寶寶和貝貝喜歡比較甚麼?
  • 她們的家是甚麼樣子的?

一些啟發孩子領會故事細節的問題

  • 故事發生在甚麼季節?你怎麼知道?
  • 寶寶和貝貝是不是好姐妹?不妨讓孩子說說他們的各種意見
  • 你能想到其他辦法幫助寶寶嗎?(這是一個讓孩子引伸自我主見的好機會)

其他延伸語文和常識探討

故事中的小犬是西藏的拉薩獅犬,傳統以來負責守護佛寺和廟宇。那孩子知道狗的基本特長和特性嗎?又知不知道原來不同品種的狗隻在性情和能力方面會有很大的差異?

對於小學高年或年長的孩子,我們更可以藉此進一步比較中西文化的差異:說「狗是人類最忠心的朋友」是西方的思想。自古以來,中國人心目中對狗隻是貶斥的:從成語「豬朋狗友」、「狼心狗肺」、或名詞「走狗」等就可見一斑,不少含貶意的字亦是犬字部的:狠、猥、狹、猖...。

好勝心 vs 自信心

《寶貝比高下》的另一個核心是探討「好勝心」:我們都有一定程度的好勝心,不管大人或小孩,都希望比別人強,都喜歡贏的感覺。但太強的好勝心也會對孩子造成很大的壓力:孩子有感到過這種壓力嗎?也許這正是一個和孩子談心、開導孩子的好機會。

再換一個角度看,同樣是好勝心,但與其要勝過別人,不如勝過自己。若然孩子能感到今天的自己比過往的自己優勝了,這樣他就在不斷地進步,不但滿足了好勝心,同時亦能成為一個充滿自信心的人。

更多啟發孩子的親子交流點子

我們部落格的另一篇文章「獨贏?不同雙贏吧~」為你提供更多利用《寶貝比高下》作親子交流的點子,過去看看吧。

家長深情推介
《寶貝比高下》繪本以細膩的水彩筆觸繪製,故事中英對照,加大漢字,附有普通話拼音,還附送兩文三語原聲朗讀CD,是一本多角度的幼讀啟蒙繪本,值得善用和珍藏。

基礎漢字500中的情感描述

孩子透過【基礎漢字500】可以學習到豐富的情感表達方法。以下是一個總匯:

啟蒙級

萌芽級

  • 開心
  • 生氣
  • (別)怕
  • 想知道
  • 想笑
  • 想哭
  • 高興

躍進級

  • 快樂
  • 滿心歡喜
  • 喜歡

信心級

  • 心急
  • 希望
  • 不安
  • 安心
  • 飄飄然
  • 平常心

實力級

  • 好奇
  • 感動
  • 痛苦
  • 相信
  • 難過
  • 清醒
  • 重要
  • 關心
  • 痛快
  • 甜美
  • 甜蜜
  • 期望
  • 低落

           

歡迎下載練習紙 (PDF):

【基礎漢字500】情感詞彙練習(全五級)  繁體版 

 

成就孩子終身學習

孩子的學習成效絕對可以遠超 1+1=2。

結合腦神經科學的研究成果和兒童行為心理學的探究,【寶貝盒】是成就孩子終身學習的首選。

請觀看以下這2分鐘短片,從而了解WEB世代孩子面對的挑戰、他們展開成功人生路所必具的能力、以及我們扶助他們的方法和路向。