Pinyin & Chinese characters: Which one to learn first?
For many parents of children in the Chinese enlightenment stage, the question of learning Chinese characters first or learning pinyin first has been troubled for a long time and has not found a suitable answer, many parents have their own ideas: some say that it is good to learn pinyin first, because children who learn pinyin can read story books with pinyin by themselves, some say that literacy is good first, because accumulating Chinese characters from an early age is more conducive to later learning, and some parents will worry about pinyin and English alphabet confusion, so they do not support learning pinyin first...
What can be done to best meet the laws of children's intellectual development? We must first figure out what the purpose of literacy and learning pinyin is, and start from the result and go back to the cause to find the answer to this question.
We believe that many parents think that the purpose of learning Chinese is to read Chinese books, but what is the purpose of reading? Being literate does not mean that you can actually read, nor does being able to read does not mean that you can think and absorb what you read in this way. Reading is actually an organic combination of the four aspects of listening, speaking, reading and writing, seeing knowledge to obtain information, and then understanding and analyzing processing, and then to expression and writing output, which is also the construction of the entire thinking ability.
So pinyin is just a bridge to literacy, and Chinese characters are only a tool for learning Chinese, not a skill. After literacy, you can read and think with Chinese, and use Chinese in real life, you can master Chinese this language skill.
Back to today's question itself, whether should we learn literacy first or learn pinyin first, in fact, the answer is that it is better to learn together, and many Chinese enlightenment textbooks in China and abroad are also arranged in this way, and children in the enlightenment stage have a high tolerance for knowledge, this two will not conflict when learning together. Specifically, there are the following aspects to pay attention to:
1.Pinyin and English alphabet will not be confused
在刚开始学习拼音与英语的时候，孩子会感觉困惑很正常。但是随着时间的推移，在特定的语言学习环境下，不会产生干扰，就像阿拉伯数字 1、2、3 和音符 do, re, mi。中国、新加坡等国家的小朋友就是同时学拼音和英语的，随着教学效果的深入，知识点的不断巩固，干扰因素也会逐渐消失，因此不用担心二者会混淆。
When first start learning pinyin and English, it's normal for children to feel confused. But over time, in a specific language learning environment, there are no disturbances, like the Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3 and the musical notes do, re, mi. Children in China, Singapore and other countries learn pinyin and English at the same time, and with the deepening of teaching effects and the continuous consolidation of knowledge points, interference factors will gradually disappear, so there is no need to worry about confusion.
2.The premature pursuit of literacy makes little sense
For children in the enlightenment stage, even if they know thousands of Chinese characters on the literacy card, it is only the memory of graphics and simply remembering the pronunciation of "graphics", and they cannot understand the abstract meaning of the words themselves and their usage, not to mention that the same word will have different meanings in different scenes, so it is difficult to say that children with more literacy must have strong Chinese reading ability. So there is no need to force children to read a lot,it is easy for children to lose interest. Of course, some children are very interested in literacy, and it is beneficial for us to have appropriate early development, but it is recommended to add a contextual connection.
3.It is not advisable to completely detach from Chinese characters to learn pinyin
Generally when teaching adult foreigners, teachers may only teach pinyin in the first 20 lessons, and start formal Chinese classes after all pinyin is learned, but this method may not be suitable for children. In fact, many children in the enlightenment stage have mastered some simple words before learning Chinese systematically. If you only know Chinese characters in pinyin, it is difficult to associate the pronunciation of words with the Chinese characters represented by the syllables of the words, and if the text is full of pinyin , you cannot make the text and pictures form effective interaction and supplementation, and it is not easy to stimulate children's interest. And pinyin need to spell out, most of the children who have just learned pinyin are not very proficient, pinyin completed and then according to the word sentence, equivalent to a translation digestion process, will affect the reading speed, gradually kids will feel Chinese boring, if you add Chinese characters related to the pinyin learned, and then talk about the evolution of Chinese characters, or add daily conversation exercises used in children's daily lives, it will be much easier and more interesting.
4.If want to learn Chinese well, then can't do without learning pinyin
In recent years, there has been an idea of learning only Chinese characters instead of pinyin, and some areas have begun to implement it. Some people say that pinyin is rarely seen on the streets of China, and they are basically Chinese characters, so it is enough to only learn Chinese characters. But have you ever thought about the question of how Chinese characters are spelled in daily life? With the development of science and technology, there are now few cases of using paper and pen to write, all use computer typing, if you can't use pinyin, foreign friends need to learn Five input methods, which is a more difficult input method. In addition, learning pinyin is conducive to mastering fluent standard Chinese pronunciation. So pinyin is very necessary to learn.
Therefore, the final conclusion is that it is recommended to create a certain Chinese context for children first, so that children can establish a sense of closeness to Chinese, at least not completely without contact, and then put literacy and pinyin together to learn, which is more conducive to children slowly improving their Chinese grades until they learn to use Chinese. Well, today's sharing is here, if it is helpful to you, please follow our HanTok class!