Homeschool Chinese: Reviewing Colors
Color words are perhaps the first vocabulary words that a language learner picks up as she begins to study a second (or consecutive) language. When Meili was first introduced to color words, she enjoyed playing an iPhone/iPad App called Kids Mandarin. The app has 9 categories of vocabulary – 3 of which are free (Animals, Body Parts, and Colors) while the remaining 6 are available for a $.99 upgrade (Food, Fruits, Insects, Vegetables, Weather, and Wild Animals). A screen shot from the “Colors” category is shown below.
As you tap on the image, the image will flip over and reveal the character and pinyin while a native speaker says the word in Mandarin. Tap again and it flips back over to this initial screen. Once the child is familiar with the vocabulary, she can play a memory matching game whereby you try to find matching images – when a match is made, the color word is spoken clearly. I feel, however, that the app would be more beneficial for advanced learners if the match that was required was the character or pinyin.
Another great app she enjoys is Piggy Picnic by Better Chinese (a screen shot from the colors game is shown below – whereby the child taps on the fruit of the color indicated). A nice feature that this app allows is the option to hear the audio in Chinese only, English only, or a combination of both. Additionally, this app provides the game directions in both audio and Chinese characters. For this reason, I feel that this app provided a higher level of thinking skills and has been more appealing to her, even now that her language skills are more advanced. However, this app does not allow you to select for vocabulary categories.
As Meili has been reviewing the material in Volume 2, the emphasis has been on pronunciation, sentence structure, and writing. She does a little role-playing with her instructor as well as practices reading aloud the challenges that accompany each lesson. Here she reads from Lesson 13 (page 4), Lesson 13, challenge-mp3.