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📚How can we use written language when reading with our children during shared reading?

Last time we talked about how both "written language" and "spoken language" are necessary in Chinese language learning. Spoken language helps children understand, motivates learning, and connects to life experiences. Written language connects the meaning of words and characters to their visual appearance and helps children learn vocabulary and grammar. Both are essential for understanding the form, sound, and meaning of Chinese language.

So how can we use "written language" in parent-child reading?

👉 Word-by-word reading: read the text in the book word-by-word according to the content. This way, children will understand that the text in the book is just as important as the illustrations, and they can learn the corresponding characters and pronunciations.

👉 Use book illustrations as prompts: use the illustrations in the book to teach children vocabulary. Point to a picture and ask the child to guess which character it refers to. You can also use spoken language to compare the differences between spoken and written language.

👉 Repeat sentence patterns: choose books with repetitive sentence patterns, such as "媽媽的鞋子;寶寶的衣服;姨姨的耳環。" Children can learn the application of the grammar particle "的" through the story's content.

Using written language in parent-child reading aims to enhance children's sensitivity to written Chinese characters (literacy awareness), which can be extended to other texts they encounter in daily life, such as signs, menus, recipes, and more. It is recommended to let children become familiar with the book through "spoken language" first and then use "written language" to read it during the second or third reading. Both "spoken language" and "written language" can be used in parent-child reading to let children experience the benefits of both methods.

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