Age: 7 & 10 (Suitable for 1st grade and up)
As we shift our focus onto English this semester, I’m finding myself encountering some typical issues with learning Chinese as a second language: no time and inability to move up a level.
The children spend a lot of their free time listening to English audio books. I’m not stopping them because that’s my focus this semester: upping both kids’ English comprehension to the next level. But as a result, it feels like the Chinese is just keeping pace.
Though both Thumper and Astroboy continue reading Chinese books as assignments and bedtime reading, I know better. English aural input has a huge impact. I can see it in the books they choose to read. Thumper can’t quite make that jump to higher level, more difficult Chinese. When I ask her what certain words mean in the mid to upper elementary books she’s reading, she often doesn’t know. Astroboy is reading higher level Chinese books, but only because he’s already listened to the English audiobooks.
In any case, since we have no time with all that focus on English curriculum during the work period, a new plan of attack is needed. To that end, I’m having the children watch newscast after dinner every night, for about 30 minutes.