Chinese, to me, is based on 听，说，认， 读， 写 。Before a child can speak it, the child needs to be able hear it constantly. Listening is fundamental as the child can then pick up vocabulary, pronunciation, etc.
Oracy is the next most important area as I believe that being proficient in Chinese is a life skill. To me, it is more than being able to read but to be able to have a language that is useful in our daily lives. The 'progress' for this, comes in various tiers; knowing what to say, how to say and having the confidence to use the language are 3 entirely different matters.
Dumpling has been attending Chinese Speech and Drama workshops during the holidays for the past 2 over years having done theatrical plays such as Alice in Variouslands, Little Red Riding Hood most recently, Hua Mu Lan.
I have the pleasure of knowing Daphne Low, founder of Apple Pie Language, from these workshops and I have learnt so much from her. Today, I am pleased to share a short chat that I had with Daphne on Apple Pie, her views on the language and tips to support this language at the homefront.
With our students, I wish for them to have the same experience - where they will enjoy the learning process as much as we enjoy teaching them. And through the unique delivery of our programme, I would say that we’ve made a difference when we hear our students and their parents say ‘华语,原来可以这样学!’ Where there is a positive association with the language and that they see that Chinese can be learnt in a fun manner.
This is important because learning and the usage of Mandarin should be beyond the classroom setting and where children are able to "see" it as a practical life skill. The more they use it, they better they become at it.
Like the English language, reading is very important as it is through reading that children are exposed to vocabulary and good sentence structure. You can make it fun by reading with emotion and acting out various roles in the story.
3. Enrol your child in a Speech and Drama class
Speech and Drama is one of the most fun experiences your children will ever have the pleasure of experiencing. Whether they are standing up on a stage, delivering a speech with quotes by Albert Einstein 100 years ago, or merely reading a passage from a book, they will begin to develop their language skills. Research has suggested that drama techniques provide an interesting way of motivating language learning in children.
An extremely experienced teacher, Daphne Low has more than 10 years of Chinese Language teaching experience under her belt having taught pre-schoolers and primary school students.
Her forte lies in designing lively Chinese Speech and Drama lessons as well enrichment programs and she has conducted Chinese Enrichment Programmes at private schools such as Agape Student Care Centre and MOE schools such as Hwa Chong Institution and Rulang Primary School etc.
Presently as the founder of Apple Pie Language, she plays an instrumental role in the company as a Programme Designer, Teacher-trainer as well as the Marketing Director.