Learning a new language needs not only traditional support, such as language courses and books, but also new materials. I’d like to introduce expression of politeness to my students this week by using online and offline flashcards.
After staying in France for a few years, I found that French people use polite language very frequently. When a mother handed a paper towel to her child, you will hear her child says "thank you mum"; when a husband asks his wife to help passing a plate, he says "please". In China, people feel that they are estranged from their family if families talk in that polite way. Most French people, no matter to strangers or close persons, are used to speaking polite language. Of course in China people also take politeness seriously, and have quite lots demand for etiquette. So how to express the politeness in Chinese is the theme of my class this week.
The teaching content of this lesson does not involve writing exercises, only the expression of polite language. Today’s keywords list includes "thank you", "you are welcome", "I'm sorry" "You are welcome" and "please". We take the previous sentence of "What is your name?" to help children to practice these new keywords. As soon as I was in class, I did not follow the previous "routines" that ask them to follow me to write Chinese characters stroke by stroke. According to feedbacks from teachers and children, and more content I found on hihilulu platform, I realized that the first task for those French students is not to write many words, but to let them recognize, read and speak. Through animations, children's songs and audio stories, they will repeatedly ‘drill their listening’ and know how to read. If I can trigger their interests, they will naturally ask for further writing. Also, I didn't give up teaching them writing, but put it in a less important position. So, we don’t write anymore in class. We started by singing songs together. We sang the songs and sentences related to the lessons we learned, which helped them to review and make the class funnier.
Before introducing today’s mission, I played hihilulu flashcard video, then invited everyone to read lyrics, repeat correct pronunciation and practice ‘mouth’ memory. Before this class the class teacher told me that she had already prepared flashcards for this class, so it would be better to use these flashcards for game exercises. I showed them a card. They need to speak out the expression that this card indicates. Even they did not learn how to write these characters or words, they repeatedly read them on the flashcards, and can already recognize these keywords. The last method, also the most effective one, is to sing the songs of the keywords. This method is indeed their favorite one which always work out very well.
In fact, these flashcards really make magic. They allow me to create rich exercises in the class as vey practical teaching materials. This set of paper flashcards includes 160 keywords at the first level. It is perfect to use in class for Chinese beginner. The Chinese characters on the flashcards have corresponding pictures, so even the students have never learned these words, as long as they see the pictures, they understand what the characters mean, so they can read easily the words when seeing the cards. Honestly, their ability of relating pictures and words surprised me a lot. On the back of a flashcard, there are corresponding English and French words and QR code of the character or word. Scan the QR code by smartphone or tablet , a cartoon related to this keyword will start playing. With this card, French teachers can easily help students review what they had learnt. Students can also learn keywords while watching animations at home. If you are a parent or a teacher looking for helping children to learn Chinese, you can contact their customer service to buy this innovative learning tool!