Friday, September 25, 2009

Language and customs

I thought you may be interested in Jemilla and Keegan's Mandarin classes. This is the text book they are using.

"Chinese Made Easy for Kids adopts a new approach to teach Chinese as a second / foreign language. It is designed for primary school students who just started to learn Chinese as total beginners. After completing this series, learners will be able to write about 100 simple Chinese characters from memory, recognize over 500 Chinese characters, and be able to develop listening and speaking skills from an early age."

The focus of this series is:
Basic knowledge of pinyin
Basic knowledge of strokes and stroke order of characters
Listening and speaking skills
A lively and free learning atmosphere of Chinese language learning through rhymes, pictures and story telling
Tasks and activities designed for this age group
Up-to-date topics relevant to primary school students

Topics included in this series:
Classroom language
Personal introduction
Numbers & dates
Countries & languages
Occupations & work places
Modes of transport
Colors & clothing
Daily routines
School subjects & facilities
Parts of the body & illness
Everyday articles
Articles in the house
House & rooms

The first page teaches numbers 1-5. Thankfully the workbook comes with a CD to listen to because I know I'm unable to help them with this homework!

Keegan said that he heard a story in class about a man called Hou Yi.

According to Chinese mythology, a long time ago the sky had ten suns. During one summer, the ten suns shone so brightly that all the plants and rivers dried up. Life became unbearable for the Emperor and his subjects. The Emperor called on the great archer Hou Yi who could reportedly hit any target with perfect precision. The Emperor commanded Hou Yi to shoot down all but one of the ten suns from the sky. Taking nine magic arrows to his bow, the archer pulled back with all his might and shot down nine of the ten suns. The summer returned to normal and the Emperor’s people were safe once again.

Because of Hou Yi's deed, archery has always been highly regarded in China.

You can see here how Keegan has been practicing the Chinese character for moon.

Next week is a special holiday in Hong Kong called "Mid-Autumn Festival". Sometimes called the "Moon Festival" or "Harvest Festival" it is one of the most important Chinese celebrations of the year. It is a cultural tradition for friends and family members reunite for the holiday. We have seen mooncakes for sale in all the shops and decorative lanterns hung in public places. (See pictures below).

Keegan also sang this song to me about four lanterns and four mooncakes.

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