We’ve been trialling reading books with English text out loud in Mandarin Chinese during our class storytimes. We have been receiving good feedback from everyone so far!
It has been good to be able to providing “English subtitles” to the parents and children who are listening to the stories, so that they have a better understanding to what’s being said, especially when it comes to more complicated vocabulary and grammar.
The children are able to learn popular or familiar phrases that are used in the books, in Mandarin Chinese, as they more easily identify with the English text/meaning of it during storytime.
Reading books with English text also greatly widen book choices for the children! We don’t want to be limited to just Chinese-translated books only. There are lots of really great children’s books out there that have not, or will never be, translated into Chinese (…we’d hoping to read Roald Dahl books in class eventually!).
And if any are concerned: the children do not miss out on seeing the Chinese characters as storytime was not an appropriate or helpful way to learn character recognition – most of the time, the book Chinese characters are too small to be seen clearly by everyone in the group.
We will soon be introducing storytimes where children will be able to bring their own favourites in too…..so watch this space : )