Dig­i­tal graded read­ers

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Kids -

earn­ing Man­darin can be a daunt­ing process for your child, es­pe­cially if English is pri­mar­ily used at home – there are thou­sands of char­ac­ters to iden­tify, and many dif­fer­ent tonal­i­ties to mas­ter. While en­rolling him in en­rich­ment pro­grammes helps to in­crease his ex­po­sure to the lan­guage, the pro­grammes are of­ten limited to only a few hours each week. An eas­ier way to jump­start Ju­nior’s learn­ing is by lever­ag­ing the power of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy.

“While noth­ing beats faceto-face per­sonal in­struc­tion, the strengths of a tech­nol­o­gy­based method­ol­ogy are its in­ter­ac­tiv­ity, con­ve­nience, va­ri­ety and abil­ity to be cus­tomised,” says Tan Dan Feng, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of trans­la­tion firm In­ter­lexis.

Dr David Moser, aca­demic direc­tor of CET Chi­nese Stud­ies in Cap­i­tal Nor­mal Uni­ver­sity, Bei­jing, agrees. He says tech­nol­ogy also erad­i­cates the need for te­dious rote learn­ing. “In the past, chil­dren were con­stantly frus­trated by the mem­o­ri­sa­tion re­quired to be­come even min­i­mally lit­er­ate in Man­darin. To­day, the use of dig­i­tal learn­ing aids en­ables your child to nav­i­gate texts at his own level of cog­ni­tive ma­tu­rity, with­out hav­ing to first learn to write thou­sands of char­ac­ters,” he shares. Here are some dig­i­tal aids that can help im­prove Ju­nior’s lit­er­acy in Man­darin. For­get com­plex and in­tim­i­dat­ing tra­di­tional texts – graded read­ers that spe­cially cater to your child’s lan­guage abil­ity might prove to be more help­ful. “There are a host of dig­i­tally en­hanced read­ers for young chil­dren avail­able on the mar­ket to­day, with pinyin, trans­la­tion pop-up win­dows, as well as text-to-speech func­tions,” says Dr Moser. “I would per­son­ally rec­om­mend prod­ucts like

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