The struggle to achieve literacy in Mandarin

Literacy is the ability to read AND write in a language. But often schools focus predominantly on reading, neglecting critical writing skills.

There’s debate in academic circles on how best to achieve literacy – in traditional and immersion classrooms. Achieving literacy in Chinese, a non-alphabetic language with thousands of characters, adds degrees of difficulty.

Here’s one school’s idea, a calligraphy program that helps students engage with the characters.

Everyone learns differently. But as a professional writer, I believe people learn to write by writing. Following are some cute tutorials on Chinese characters that my son’s teacher shared with us this year. Give them a try at home with your kids.

Another idea pioneered by one of our council representatives, Vanessa Shiba at Lone Peak, was to create a pen pal program between two immersion schools. 

Chinese Characters:

The Story of Chinese Character : 人

The Story of Chinese Character : 大

The Story of Chinese Character : 小

The Story of Chinese Character : 日

The Story of Chinese Character : 月

The Story of Chinese Character : 天

The Story of Chinese Character : 口

The Story of Chinese Character : 看

The Story of Chinese Character : 水

The Story of Chinese Character : 心

The Story of Chinese Character : 木

The Story of Chinese Character : 手

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