Digital graded readers
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