Monday, 17 March 2014


How to Provide a Fun Way to Give 听写 (Spelling & Dictation) to Preschoolers?

We have replaced our Montessori Salt Tray with Doodle Art, as J is able to control his pencil grip. Here is how it works.
Age: From 4-6 years old
To provide a fun, easy and convenient way to learn English phonics, Chinese 汉语拼音 (hanyu pinyin) and Chinese 汉字 (Chinese characters) through 听写 (tingxie) meaning Spelling & Dictation.
Doodle Art
1. It can be used in the following situations:
- While your child is waiting for Mommy to do her make-up and get dressed...
- While waiting at the entrance for Daddy to be ready to bring your child to kindergarten...
- While Mommy is doing chores at home...
- While sitting in the train...
2. Say a letter out loud and clear to your child.
3. Your child writes the letter without following any text.
4. Correct the result of what your child has written
1. Fun & Speed - J does not like to use paper and pencil to write for 听写. With Doodle Art, it is much easier and faster, and he is much more motivated.
2. Mess and paper free - no eraser needed.
1. This doesn't allow more complex 听写 to be executed, but it doesn't matter at J's age.
Additional Information:
The Chinese teacher in Copenhagen that J attends has a very high academic standard. 听写 has been introduced to his class a month ago. Unless I go along with her, J will fall behind the class, although thus far his teacher has been very kind and compassionate.
听写 is a very common learning method used in China and Singapore. You say a word or a letter and the child writes out the word, without looking at any text. It is rote learning at its core. But then again, how can a child learn to write ABCs without any rote learning? How else can a child learn how to write Chinese character without putting them into memory?
But how can we balance the east and western methods, ensuring that the child learns his hanyu pinyin, letters and yet does not kill his joy for learning? I have no easy answer. I am still experimenting.
In my opinion, J is a little too young for 听写. But to my great surprise, how effective it has been. He has been learning his ABCs for months, always missing out a letter or two here and there. But he was able to nail it down and mastered it, when I gave him 听写.
I remembered I hated 听写 as a kid. But I have a mum who was very dedicated in giving me 听写. As such, my Chinese was almost always at perfect score and at the top of my class throughout my primary school years. But my mum didn't know English and couldn't help me with it. As a result, I am one of the poorest in my class for English.
Even though I have gone part-time, time is too short in a day to cover everything. How can I squeeze it in, so that J does not fall too far behind the Chinese kids in Copenhagen? 听写 is usually done on paper and pen. However, the Doddle Art provides a convenient way to work it into a mom's daily busy routine.

15 March 2014 (5Y0M9D) - J learning to write his A-Z from memory, while I was busy with other chores
Our mini version of the Doodle Art for use on the train

Doodle Art is available from Amazon:

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