We started our first lesson of basic Chinese expression last week. We learned saying hello and introducing oneself. Based on our curriculum, students will go through three or four courses on each planned topic in order to acquire key words, basic grammar and useful expression. This week's course is still about greeting in daily life.
Although students in my CM2 class ( equal to Grade 5) are not at the perfect age of multilingual enlightenment (generally between 0 to 8 years old) they are at perfect mood for learning Chinese! Since they have learned their Chinese names and participated three cultural workshops, they are indeed very motivated. However I didn't expect them to be very fluent after only three lessons. Imagine how I was impressed by my French students this week when Joseph,who had huge difficulty in pronunciation of his own name, could speak out his Chinese name smoothly! Well, everything has highs and lows. Up to now, the most difficult part is about the writing of Chinese characters. "Hello" and "Goodbye" have been studied for four weeks,including review exercise last week, but there are still many children who cannot write correctly this week. After all, Chinese character is not composed of letters but constructed by pictographs composed of many strokes. Learners can not rely on their knowledge of pronunciation or spelling rules to write down a Chinese character. It is also necessary to master the correct writing order instead of drawing pictures of characters. So,it is very difficult for a non-native Chinese learner to understand the logic, never to say to write smoothly.
In order to keep my students' interests same time, be willing to do excercise, I invite my students to use hihilulu Online Progressive Learning System as supportive tool. 800 key Chinese characters and words are the core stone of hihilulu immersive learning method. After watching the key words tagged thematic cartoon, kids can watch the videos of flashcards in order to further learn the pronouciation, the correct writing order and useful expressions of corresponding key words. And the interactive writing exercise on the hihilulu Learn Chinese App allows kids to learn how to write Chinee characters correctly with touch screen. Before each class I require students to do writing exercises on App; During the class, we repeat writing on the downloadable writing sheets; After class, students can practice on the platform and App. I hope that I can gradually lead them to overcome the feeling of difficulty in learning Chinese, through repeated exercises.
This week's teaching goal was to introduce a new basic sentence to them. We learned "What is your name?" But the pronunciation of the word "name" is difficult for my students, so I prepared a song. The magic is that it is very difficult for them to pronounce correctly the word “名字” in Chinese. But after we listened and sang the song of this word, children can smoothly speak this word and repeat after the song. After two lessons, my student and I have both seen the advantage of learning pronunciation by listening and singing.
I hope that I can find more edutainment method for my students during this project. I believe this type of method will be especially efficient in leading non-Chinese children to explore Chinese learning and continue their journey in our mysterious culture.