80% of all Chinese characters are made up of one semantic component (meaning) and one phonetic component (pronunciation). The sheer number of characters formed this way means that these characters ought to be taught properly, yet I think this topic is largely glossed over. This is the first article of two dealing with phonetic components and how they can help you learn Chinese better.
How Gabe learned radicals with mnemonics.
Modified language acquisition technique based on creating custom sentences with a tutor.
The proper model for foreign-language teaching should really have been not first-language acquisition but rather the natural acquisition of a second language. Numerous studies of children growing up with two languages in the family have shown that they employ both languages in such a way that the one is used as a help for the other. If, for instance, the child wants to phone its grandparents in France to tell them about something which it has not yet processed in French, it will first get help by asking “Comment dit-on, I cut my finger?” The lack of vocabulary is solved in the most easily conceivable way (Kielhöfer & Jonekeit, 1983). Requests for linguistic assistance take different forms, they are the rule, not the exception. Also, bilingual speakers often feel the need to reassure themselves in their stronger language. I find those examples most convincing where the children provide for themselves translations which have been deliberately withheld from them.
Input theory, comprehensive input, etc
This was originally published in a newspaper, and Wang Dulu wrote it so that new readers could jump into the story without reading the first few chapters. How does he do this? About once ever chapter or two, there is a brief recap, which usually goes like this:
Character A: What is going on?
Character B: It all started when… [recap]
This is excellent for Chinese learners. If there is something the reader didn’t quite understand, and it’s important, it will get mentioned in a recap.
Lesson #1: Show your students that art is a universal form of expression, as elemental as speaking or singing
Lesson #2: Beware of suppressing a child’s creativity with academic training
Lesson #3: Stage exhibitions of your students’ works to encourage their self-confidence
Lesson #4: Introduce art history with modern art (not the Old Masters)
Lesson #5: Work to cultivate creative thinkers, not professional artists
related words (frog, pond, slimy, green) are 10% better than
random words (frog, office, risky, taxi), which are 35% better than
similar words (frog, lizard, fish, toad)