If you’ve read my previous post on two Marshall Cavendish Education workshops I’ve attended (Stretching Your Child’s Mathematical Abilities, and How to Speak Well and Excel in English Oral Examinations), you’ll know that I’ve really enjoyed the various workshops. So I was eager to attend Effective Strategies for Chinese Composition as well.
Effective strategies for Chinese composition writing’s objectives are:
- Understand the requirements of the Chinese syllabus
- Guide your child and help him/her score in composition
- Implement strategies that will help enrich your child’s word bank
- Hands-on activities for both parent and child
Yes, it was a parent and child workshop, which I thought was better than simply a parent workshop. The trainer was 石滨老师 who is an ex-MOE teacher, with more than 20 years of Chinese language teaching experience, won the Model Chinese Language Teacher award in 2007, and has also written articles for Lianhe Zaobao focussing on composition and holistic language development. Currently she is an author for one of Marshall Cavendish’s best selling Chinese composition series, Primary Graded Writing, and an Associate Lecturer with Marshall Cavendish Education.
More importantly, she gave us parents some very good tips, and engaged the children so well, even though the workshop was for over 6 hours!
Firstly we took a look at the examination requirements, then laoshi went through the different ways to approach 看图作文, such as using the 6 Ws: Who what when where why how; or using the 5 senses. We also covered good introductions and conclusions to compositions, which does not including starting your composition with “一个风和日丽。。。”.
We were also given some examples to describe emotion, for example instead of using 开心, you could say “高兴的眉开眼笑”. I definitely need to look for some books or dig up more phrases for the kids to learn. It is recommended that kids memorize 好词好语.
And, similar to what we were also taught in the previous workshop How to Speak Well and Excel in English Oral, a wide vocabulary is very important, so we need to speak more and more often, and children need to have a good interest in the language. 老师 even suggested that we use tools like YouTube to let the children watch some 儿歌 and the like, which is exactly what I did one day – and gave them the choice of either Chinese YT videos, or doing more assessment books 😀
Other tips include keeping a book with phrases written down to describe commonly used situations, weather, emotions, etc. There are Chinese Composition books and assessment books that also provide this information, and I will be pouring over a few of them in the coming weeks. Now I understand why some parents will say that they are taking the exams or PSLE (of course along with their kids), but it’s been a good learning journey for me too, especially since my Chinese could use a lot of improvement. Although I must admit that I am SO glad I don’t have to take exams anymore!! 😀
You can find out more about the various workshops from the Marshall Cavendish website (warning: the website isn’t the most user friendly!), or their Facebook page. They still have a few more workshops for the month of June coming up, and later in the year as well. I’m convinced I need to attend more of such workshops!
Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in this workshop by Marshall Cavendish Education, all opinions are 100% my own. And all effort provided by my son and myself in improving his Chinese composition will also be 100% our own!!