Innovators in Mandarin Language Learning-Shu Ren's New Approach to Teaching Pinying
As a school, providing high quality education that addresses the need of the future world is always the first priority of Shu Ren. Nowadays, electronic devices are the main media of communication in our daily life. We “type” more than we “write”. As a result, the proficiency of pinyin is becoming more and more critical to Chinese learners, as it no longer just helps with learning new vocabulary, but also is a means of writing. In response to this trend, we have made some changes to our Chinese curriculum.
Rather than just focusing on initials, this year, we experimented with introducing initials, finals and tones from 2nd trimester in 1st grade. It gives students, at an earlier stage, a whole picture about how different parts of pinyin system work together to form the sound of each Chinese character. With this knowledge, students will be able to learn Chinese in a more effective way as they can make connections between the sound, form and meaning of each new character. We’ve also finished pacing the sequence of teaching and learning pinyin at Shu Ren. After 1st grade, students will be learning the complex compound finals (e.g. iao, ian, uan, iong) and whole syllables (e.g. zhi, chi, shi, wu, yi) in 2nd grade. By the time students enter Grade 3, they will be practicing writing on the computer as part of their homework and writing assignments. After three years of learning and practicing, Shu Ren students will be well equipped with this essential skill of Chinese learning and writing.