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Reading Chinese Like Reading Your Native Language

October 29 2014

Can we use the same reading strategies for any language(s)?  The answer is “yes”.  The same reading strategies we naturally use when we read passages in our native languages can also be applied to what we read in another language.  However, using these strategies in the new language doesn’t come naturally at all, meaning we need to re-learn or re-teach ourselves how to read with these strategies when we glance through morning newspaper or product pamphlet. So, here’s a quick overview of some key reading strategies.

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Storybook Club: There Is a Bird On Your Head! –《小象小猪系列:你的头上有只鸟》(Coupon Included)

October 28 2014

DaDa! Better Chinese Storybook Club is BACK! Check out this week’s story – There Is a Bird On Your Head, in simplified Chinese version. You know you will love it!  read more…

Special Halloween Classroom Activities

October 20 2014


Halloween is just around the corner, so I wanted to share my lesson plans related to this fun American holiday! Since 中元节 (Zhōng yuán jié, Hungry Ghost Festival) is on the fifteen day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar which typically falls over summer break or during the beginning of the school year, it is hard to find a good time to introduce this Chinese holiday. Over the years, I’ve found it effective to introduce 中元节 by comparing it with 万圣节 (Wàn shèng jié, Halloween).

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Focusing on Performances in Chinese Teaching

October 17 2014

In your Chinese classroom, how do you design tasks to better utilize your course materials and make learning fun for your students? How do you design activities that provide opportunities for learners to apply the language to real world situations? What do performance-based tasks (PBT) look like? This week, we are going to cover the topic of performance-based tasks from three perspectives: what it is, why should we use it, and how can we do it in language classrooms.

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Homeschool Chinese: What Are You Wearing?

October 7 2014

My kiddos are now using Discovering Chinese Pro predominately and we are loving the new format. It is very well suited for online / distance learning.

These past couple of weeks they have both been working through Lesson 14 – Clothing (穿什么衣服?)and have had a great time interacting with one another. They love the projects that are incorporated throughout the lesson and have quickly adapted to the new distance learning approach.

My daughter has a greater grasp of vocabulary and sentence structure and thereby focuses on production and fluency. My son, on the other hand, spends more time on drills. They are also encouraged to review vocabulary with one another.
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Storybook Club: The Very Hungry Caterpillar —好饿的毛毛虫(coupon included)

October 2 2014

The very hungry caterpillar

Check out this week’s story- The very hungry caterpillar, in simplified Chinese version.
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Classroom Management: Tips for Chinese Teachers

October 2 2014


Have you encountered “challenging students” in your classroom? Have you been bothered by a noisy classroom? Whether you are a novice or an experienced teacher, classroom management is important for student engagement and effective instruction. In a Chinese classroom, effectively managing your students can increase student motivation and lead to the success of learning. How do teachers nowadays view the issue of “challenging students” in the classroom? What strategies do they have for effective classroom management? As a language teacher, what are some aspects that you need to pay attention to for your classroom management? Here’s a collection of classroom management tips from various Chinese language educators. We will also summarize some components for teachers to consider while managing their classroom.
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Happy Double Ninth Festival 重阳节

October 1 2014


九 (Jiǔ) is a special number in Chinese culture and its pronunciation is the same as 久 (Jiǔ), which means a long length of time or longevity of life. Therefore the ninth day of the ninth lunar month 重九节 (Chóng jiǔ jié) is an extra special day that is also known as 老人节 (Lǎorén jié ) or Senior Citizens Day because people want to wish their elderly long and prosperous lives. Traditions include climbing to the top of a mountain or
drinking chrysanthemum wine to help cure diseases and protect against disaster.

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Sing Your Heart Out!

September 26 2014

Here’s a guest blogpost that we did for Dig Mandarin. What songs do you use in the classroom?

San Jose – Silicon Valley 1st Chinese Star Contests K-12

September 24 2014

We are happy to announce Santa Clara County Office of Education’s first Chinese Star Contest, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University. The purpose of the contest is to foster friendship and interest in the Chinese culture for K-12 students with a series of four cultural contests on October 25, 2014 at the county office. The contests include calligraphy, painting/drawing, poetry recital and oral presentation.
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