Flashcards are quite popular among teachers and parents as they use the flashcards as a playful way to introduce kids to new Chinese vocabulary, or concepts. Flashcards make it easy to improve kids’ memorization skills through repetition. Now the question is: how to use flashcards to help kids learn Chinese?
Flashcards are effective for learners of all ages. Four types of flashcards are especially useful for kids to use for Chinese learning. For kids at a young age, we need to incorporate a more playful element because kids learn better through play. There are different ways to make flashcards teaching fun, for example, use the flashcards in games or activities.
Do you want to get a head start on your kids’ Mandarin Chinese learning using flashcards on various topics? We have an ongoing collection of Chinese flashcards for kids in our Chinee Flashcards Hive.
How to Introduce Chinese Learning Flashcards to Kids
Flashcards made for kids normally have both characters and images. Reading Chinese words to children so that they can mimic them is the natural form of early education. Images offer visual clues on top of the auditory stimulation. Both are important for language development in younger children. When we are using flashcards with kids, we can use only written Chinese words over time to help develop reading comprehension. And when a child reaches a certain stage it is important to move kids beyond word recognition towards the uses of the words.
How to Use Flashcards to Help Kids Learn Chinese
The traditional way (yet still effective) of using flashcards with children involve both adult and children. Find a comfortable place where you and your child can sit face to face.
- Arrange the flashcards in order or randomly into a stack. Take one card from the stack, hold it up so your child can clearly see what’s on the card.
- Read the flashcard to your child (the name of the object, Chinese characters, for example) if necessary. Ask your child to repeat after you.
- If your child says it right, put the flashcard in a pile on one side.
- If your child says it incorrectly, put the flashcard in a pile on the other side.
- After you finish showing all the flashcards, you may continue by using the pile of incorrectly answered flashcards.
- Once your child has mastered all the flashcards in the set, practice them periodically to ensure your child remembers them.
Why 3-Part Montessori Flashcards Are Effective
Montessori flashcards are perfect for children even at a very young age to learn Chinese. The control card has both images and Chinese words. The other card has the image and the Chinese word separate.
So for toddlers, we can start using only the image flashcards to establish the sound and image connection. Then we can show the flashcards with both Chinese words and images so that children can make the links between images, sounds, and Chinese words. Gradually we can use flashcards with only the Chinese words.
On the other hand, for the purpose of Chinese character recognition, it’s also a good practice to show the cards with only Chinese characters so to help kids recognize and remember the characters and their sounds.
How to Find/Create Flashcards
Now the question is where to find Chinese flashcards. There are some good flashcards available on the market. Below are two examples from Amazon.
Teachers and parents need a constant supply of flashcards, covering various topics. Flashcard pintables are more popular as they are instant downloads and they can be used over and over again. We have created a lot of Chinese flashcards, available not only in our eBook shop but also (especially) in our Chinese Flashcards Hive and Chinese for Kids Membership.
For older children, flashcard creation is also a great activity as this helps them learn how to build their own learning tools in the future.
There are several ways that children can get involved in the process of creating flashcards:
- Invite your child to show creativity in the card creation process: let them draw the images or make the sentences.
- For the image part of flashcards, you can pick the images together with your child: find images to color in, search magazines or coloring books for the images, and put them in the flashcards, etc.
How to Keep Chinese Learning with Flashcards Interesting
Flashcard creation and learning should be fun for your children. How to keep learning with flashcards interesting? The best way is to make it like videos or games.
For example, turn flashcards into a memory game. Engage kids in fast-paced quiz activities with other children.
Guide the kids for individual or group flashcard activities and gradually allow them to discover different ways of playing or using the flashcards as a learning tool. Independent learning is our final goal. And it starts with our initiative.
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