We often hear Singapore parents lament that their children are more interested and advanced in reading English story books compared to those in Chinese. As much as these parents believe in the importance of building their little ones' language foundation from a young age, they find it difficult to inspire and ignite their children's interest in reading Chinese story books.
Here are our 5 top tips that will let your child fall in love with reading Chinese story books!
Top Tip #1 - Pick the right book
In Singapore, children's picture books are often misunderstood by adults as "books for babies". Great picture books can tell just as much story through the illustrations and offer the opportunity of expanding young minds through poetic language, fun alliteration and advanced vocabulary. Children are encouraged to observe, predict and infer, which in turn, help develop their creativity, critical thinking and language skills.
Not sure how to pick the right books for your child? Check out our blog regularly as we often share recommended book titles for the convenience of Singapore parents!
Top Tip #2 - Read with Your Child
When children are young and have limited grasp of the language, parents play a significant role in developing their reading habits and interest by reading with them. Having a parent-child reading routine helps ensure your child is exposed to the language every day and the benefits are far-reaching.
Top Tip #3 - Reading is NOT a Test
Some parents are easily anxious over making their children learn new words after reading each book. Children absorb and imitate adults easily, so rest assured that they will be able to recall the words gradually after they've built up their vocabulary list. Instead of testing your little one the individual words in a book, why not make reading engaging by adopting the following approaches?
Top Tip #4 - Use a Variety of Reading Aids
You can also think about interesting and related activities to follow up with reading sessions, such as using props to encourage your little one to storytell, or story cards/flash cards that can help reinforce key concepts and vocabulary. You can also extend your child's learning by reading with him/her other books related to the theme, or even take him/her out to places that are related to the story's theme (e.g. nature parks, historical monuments, zoo, interesting local architecture and more).
Top Tip #5 - Participate in Story Events & Programmes
Participating in story events & programmes provide your little one with the opportunity to immerse in an authentic learning environment under the guidance of professional storytellers and educators. These fun-packed events are typically highly interactive, which means your little one will have the chance to express himself/herself in a social setting outside his/her comfort zone. This helps build your little one's confidence in speaking the Chinese Language, which in turn, serves as a source of encouragement and motivation for him/her to continue using the language. Dandelion organises interactive storytelling sessions & holiday camps regularly, and participants will receive our thematic story packs that contain a hand-picked story book and a wealth of complementary resources!