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The Fun Way to Help Your Child Learn Chinese - and Love It!

Dr Chung Tzemin, Education Scientist,
CommonTown Pte Ltd

27 March 2019

Imagine you’ve just come home from a long day at work and as soon as you step into the living room, your son runs up to you with a book in his hand and says:

‘Mum, I found this book at the school library. I want to read it to you!’ And when he hands you the book, you find to your surprise that the words are in Chinese.

Or when Granddad visits, your daughter comes up to him and says, ‘Ye ye, can we read this together?’ And he is stunned to find out that the book she holds is written in Chinese with Pinyin above each line of text.

As parents we would love for our children to read or write Chinese, and may have done everything possible to help them learn. From hiring a tutor, to reading to them in Chinese every day.

But what if my child doesn’t want to learn Chinese anymore?

So why is it that some children dislike learning Chinese? Or when the tuition teacher comes, your child crawls under the table and says: ‘I don’t want to learn Chinese anymore!’

We want to help our children feel more confident in themselves, so that they are able to read Chinese out loud without help. But how? The truth is, it’s all down to the way that we approach teaching Chinese to children.

Today we’re going to give you five easy steps that will help your children, not only love learning Chinese, but want to read more than two Chinese books per week. And may even help with them ending up begging for more!

What stops your child learning Chinese?

Research shows that children growing up in a home with at least eighty books will achieve greater literacy and numeracy in adulthood. And that having a home library can promote both reading and math skills than just college alone.

Studies also reveal that a home where children are encouraged to learn, not only increases their curiosity, but gives them the confidence to read regularly. And that means they do better in school.

So what causes our children to lose interest in learning Chinese, or in some cases even hate it?

Using the drill method at home or in school, or with Chinese learning activities that are beyond their abilities, can actually make children fear reading Chinese.

Also, if they overhear you say: ‘Chinese is so difficult’, this results in even greater hurdles to overcome.

Finally, if children learn Chinese writing and reading in ways that are boring, difficult or make it seem like hard work, they will dislike it even more. So how can you help your son or daughter learn to love reading and writing Chinese?

Help Your Child to Become Confident Learning Chinese

You may have hired a personal tutor who drilled your son or daughter. You’ve tried talking to them or even packed them off to holiday camps in China, but they still have no passion for Chinese.

So how can you help your child have a more enjoyable reading experience and encourage them to read more in this language?

Well, instead of turning into a drill sergeant, here’s how to teach Chinese in a fun way in just five easy steps.

Step 1
Borrow a few exciting picture books from the library, that are just below your child’s reading level. If you’re not sure of this, then choose books of varying levels of difficulty just in case.

Step 2
Pick a calm time (on the weekend or before bedtime Friday night) when your child is relaxed and can snuggle in their pyjamas. Then take out the books and ask them to help you read. Or read the books aloud together.

Step 3
Make reading fun so your child associates Chinese with something positive! Tell the story as if it happened to you and ask engaging questions, e.g.

‘Why is the rabbit red?’ or ‘What do you think will happen next?’ to start a conversation about the story with your child.

But DON’T look for the right answers or make it into a Q&A session. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to talking about stories.

But DO keep your child in suspense by not finishing the story, until they can bear it no longer, then…

Step 4
…Let your child finish reading the book, and have fun changing the story or coming up with new endings. If Chinese is not your first language, help each other make sense of the words by using an online dictionary.

Step 5
Finally, story time can be a wonderful opportunity for bonding. So try to read with your child as often as possible, with lots of love, hugs and encouragement.

Gradually you can fix a time for storytelling and not only will your relationship with your child improve, they’ll become more creative and their eyes will light up when it’s time to read a Chinese story with you.

Getting books that match your child’s reading ability

Soon your child will want to read more, but how do you know at what level they should be reading? Not knowing your son or daughter’s Chinese language reading level, can make it difficult for teachers to recommend great books for them to read.

And if your child’s books don’t match their reading ability, they’ll find the content too hard, too long or too daunting and eventually put the book down. Instead, matching book level with ability encourages children to keep on reading Chinese.

But to keep children engaged, they need to achieve at least 95% reading comprehension . So how can you help your child find books that will challenge them enough?

That’s where Dudu comes in:
Dudu online books makes learning Chinese easy and fun! 

Dudu is an interactive online reading program that makes Chinese easy.
Not only does it help your child learn Chinese up to four times faster than other learning methods, its fun games help children practice high frequency words and give rewards after each story for them to look forward to.

And with gorgeously illustrated books created by famous authors, and voiced by professional narrators from Beijing, your child may end up reading more than 2 to 3 amazing books a week.

Dudu keeps track of your child’s progress

Dudu's books also cover 13 levels of difficulty, with each level equal to one year's experience of learning. And unlike most children’s Chinese learning products, Dudu encourages adaptive learning .

This means it asks your child a few questions, then recommends interesting and appropriate books based on their Chinese reading level. If your child stumbles over difficult words, there’s also a handy auto-reader or Pinyin display to help them.

Dudu also tracks their reading progress over time, so that they’ll no longer fear exploring new books in Chinese. Instead, they’ll rush to the laptop to read their next great book, or happily read to you before bed time.

And not only is Dudu easy for children to use, its online program allows you to practise reading anywhere. No more worrying that you’ll run out of books, ferrying kids from class to class, or extra trips to the library.

Just log in to your account to start!

So if you want your son or daughter to learn Chinese writing or reading today and love it, then click here here to check out our packages.