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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Using Videos to Expose Kids to Chinese

ChildBook customers (both parents and teachers) love using videos to help expose kids to native-sounding Mandarin Chinese accents. Interactive videos help kids learn Chinese words, practice reading, listening, pronunciation and even grammar skills.

Another good thing about using video as an exposure medium, whether at school or right at home, is that teachers and parents can readily access it. Videos are available, viewable and downloadable in different file formats.

Videos are nice language study tools to use, but please use the videos as a guide to help you interact with kids. When kids are a little bigger, they can express they want to watch the Chinese videos on their own, but do sit with them as much as possible when they watch. This way your child can listen and watch Chinese, while you get to spend time together as well.

Some more tips when using Chinese videos:

  • Choose videos wisely. Always select videos according to the students’ age, interests and level. Also consider appeal, length, and language objectives. Funny and engaging videos are easier to remember. You can also use videos that promote or introduce Chinese culture e.g., Chinese New Year, Chinese arts and crafts, etc.
  • Keep the video as short as possible. Choose clips that are short but sweet. Young students can easily get bored and switch off if the video is taking forever to finish.
  • Consider subtitled videos. Videos that come with subtitles can help in vocabulary learning. This is a great way to introduce new Chinese words and phrases to learn, especially if the video is rich in vocabulary. Ideally, teachers and parents should use videos with Chinese subtitles, or vice versa.
  • Provide a transcript of the video. If possible, clips or videos that have a lot of details should be accompanied by a viewing guide. If captions/subtitles are not available, it’s best to give bigger students a transcript that will serve as guide so kids can follow easily. Students can easily become frustrated when they don’t understand the main ideas.
  • Play and Pause. Before playing the video, it helps to give the kids a little background of what they are about see. Play the video then watch their reactions. Feel free to pause the video intermittently especially when you need to ask students important questions or when you need to emphasize a key point.
  • Allot time for discussion. After watching, let kids talk about the video. Ask them questions and encourage them to ask questions too. In most cases, questions would be about unfamiliar vocabulary so listing all essential Chinese phrases and words used in the video will prove helpful.
Some Chinese Videos that are Favorites of ChildBook Customers:

Favorites for babies and pre-school -
Baby Learns Chinese, Follow Jade, Bao Bei, Little Pim

For bigger kids:
Discovery Kids (Yes! Science in Mandarin Chinese!), Monkey King and other Chinese Folk Tales,

Series with Videos and textbooks (sold separately):
Kuaile Hanyu, New Practical Chinese Reader

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