Why Using Textbooks To Teach Chinese May Not Be the Most Efficient Way To Teach Reading

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Chinese textbooks bore me to death and they will surely bore my kids to death. Do we do it? Yes, for the worksheets. Do we read it? Not really. We jump straight to worksheets to practice some writing. Plus, their first grade texts are only maybe 20 words each lesson and slowly increases through the year. For reading purposes, way too slow and way too boring. Here’s the text from 康軒 國小一年級(上)第七課:


That’s it. That’s it?!?!?!?!?! This is the material for the whole week. Because the text has to follow how many new words they have to learn to write, the chapters are extremely short and B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I started snoring after the first sentence. LOL!

I cringe having to read that with my older one. Well, how do we get them to read and recognize more words? Wasn’t the whole thing about getting your child before 5 years old to read as much characters as possible so that they get immersed in Chinese earlier on to actually have a chance at becoming “truly” bilingual?

First, take a book they LOVE. I mean LOVE.

Remember my post on the book recommendation Book Review: 幼童創意橋樑系列 Creative Kinder Bridge Books Collection? My daughter loves that 小雪人 book. I have typed up the text in word WITHOUT zhuyin. I have sorted through and found there are 177 unique characters in there. Because she likes the text, within a matter of just 2 short days, she was able to read this text without 注音. Yes, 2 days. Kids learn when they’re interested. Not when they are forced to go with a boring textbook. She’s 3 years and 9 months old right now. the approach we have taken at home is non-conventional but it works. Given she’s already known maybe 100 of the characters prior to starting this book. I’ll take adding 77 characters in 2 days a pat on the back for not working too hard to achieve that result. I have posted this example below of how my worksheets look like down below. I will be doing more from this collection and if you have this collection, feel free to follow along. I will be posting more in my facebook group page along with free flashcards for the most frequently used 500 characters.


Join us on the journey on learning Chinese!

Why I love my worksheets:

  1. Words are HUGE. My 3 year old can easily read them.
  2. Only words.
  3. I can highlight phrases I think are new to her.
  4. I can ask her questions in the end. You’ll see my example questions in the end.

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Here’s my 3 year old reading it:

5 responses to “Why Using Textbooks To Teach Chinese May Not Be the Most Efficient Way To Teach Reading”

    • Hi Betty! I’ve uploaded it in my blog. That book is in traditional so I put it in traditional. If you have the simplified version, I can convert it to simplified easily. Thanks!


  1. […] ALWAYS MAKE SURE BOOKS ARE AT THEIR MATURITY LEVEL: Let me ask you this. If I told you you have to read a book that says “I love dogs, dogs are cute, etc.” would you be interested as an adult? No. Apply the same concept with your child. If it’s not interesting to them because they are so advanced in English, then your best bet is to read to them at this point books that they find interesting rather than have them read EASY things that are BORING to them. You’ll get nowhere with this method. They’ll resist! I can’t blame them! I will too!!!! This is why cooperative reading is what I incorporated. This way we can read stuff they easily understand when I read but yet be poked with new words daily. I had my three year old read a book she loves and took the phonics support off and this is the piece I did on her: Why Using Textbooks To Teach Chinese May Not Be the Most Efficient Way To Teach Reading […]


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