Although students in my CM2 class (
equal to Grade 5) are not at the perfect age of multilingual enlightenment (theoretically
speaking, between 0 to 8 years old is the best period for language development),
they are at perfect mood for learning
Chinese! Since they have learned their Chinese names and participated
three cultural workshops, they are incredibly motivated. However, I didn't
expect them to be very fluent after only three lessons. Just imagine how I was
impressed by my French students! When Joseph, who had huge difficulty in
pronunciation of his own name, could pronounce his Chinese name smoothly!
Well, everything has its ups and downs. Besides
tone problem, the most difficult part is about writing Chinese characters.
"Hello" and "Goodbye" have been studied in four consecutive
courses, including one revision done last week, there are still many children
who cannot write correctly. I fully
understand their difficulty. After all, Chinese character is not composed of
letters but constructed by pictographs with a stroke order different from
alphabetic language. A non-native Chinese learner can’t rely on his knowledge
of pronunciation or spelling rules to write down a Chinese character. Memorizing
stroke order instead of drawing pictures of a Chinese character requires a lot
of practice and understanding the basic logic of Chinese writing.
Considering that my students belong to Generation
Z who are comfortable with digital products, I invite my students to use
hihilulu platform as an online supporting tool. Hihilulu Online Progressive
Chinese Learning System for non-native Chinese Children is constructed around 800
key Chinese characters and words and is the soul of hihilulu immersive learning
method. Basically, after watching a key words tagged thematic cartoon adapted
to user’s level, age, and habits, a short video of recommended key word will be
presented to the learner in order to further demonstrate the standard pronunciation, the
correct writing order and useful expressions of this same key word. And several
interactive games, including AI enhanced voice recognition , memory exercise
and writing exercise, will follow after.
The Application of hihilulu Learn Chinese allows kids to follow a
step-by-step demonstration and write Chinese character correctly by using touch
screen. Before each class I give
assignment to students to do writing exercises on App at home; During the
class, we repeat writing on the downloadable writing sheets from hihilulu
platform; After class, students can practice on the Application
again. With this blended online and
offline learning process, kids show improvement in their Chinese writing.
Learning a new Chinese sentence, "What is your name?" , is the second
goal for this week’s Chinese course. The
pronunciation of the word "name" is difficult for most of beginners.
I prepared a kids’ song titled “名字” for the class. Really, I can’t believe
my ears! It was very difficult for them
to pronounce correctly the word in right sound and right tone, but after we
sang the song by following the video and made role play subject to the music video,
students started to smoothly and
correctly speak this word of Name(名字). After two lessons of teaching difficult pronunciation
by singing, both my student and I witnessed the advantage
of learning pronunciation by listening and singing.