Chinese Curriculum in Taiwan (Kindergarten to Grade 6)?

Hello,

I was wondering if any of you know the standard Mandarin curriculum in Taiwan from Kindergarten up to Grade 6 and where I can buy the materials (textbooks, teaching guide, workbooks, etc.).

I am home schooling my son , who’s turning four next week, in Chinese. So far, I’ve been doing it on an ad hoc basis. He can read about 100 or so characters right now but I would like to follow some sort of standard curriculum so I know that I’m teaching him the most useful characters in a more appropriate sequence with adequate and appropriate drills and examples.

Thanks in advance,

Stan

** I guess I should add that I’m not physically in Taiwan, so I cannot just go down to the local bookstore and ask. Sorry if I wasn’t clear in my initial posting. **

Go to any text book bookshop near an elementary school and ask for leftovers from the current school year, or possibly what will be offered next year (these mighten be in print yet).

I teach Chinese to kids in the US, and I have a few ideas for you. First, since you son is little, now is a great time for him to learn the sound system of Chinese. It will never be easier.

  1. Songs and nursery rhymes are a great way for him to learn new characters and
    phrases. Look for anything with the three R’s - Rythmn, Rhyme, and
    Repetion. My favs are Da Tou, Ni Wa-Wa, and San Lun Tai. Tongue twisters are
    good - ma-ma-ma-ma is great for teaching something about the tone structure
    of Chinese and the evolution of written Chinese.

  2. There are loads of websites out there with songs - and to a lesser degree -
    nursery rhymes. Some of them use state of the art Flash, but take for ever to
    download, even with a good connection. An easy to-use tool to covert

    traditional to simplified and the other way around is at
    chinese-tools.com/tools/conv … ptrad.html - it is a site, not a
    download.

  3. When kids first start learning to read in the US, teachers use lists such as the
    Dolch List - and a slew of other lists that are not usually appropriate for
    non-native speaking beginners. I am working on a list of characters that are
    both easy and useful. If you go with a list based on word frequency, you will
    end up with a list of high-frequency words that are function words- not easy
    words to explain to anyone - much less to a child. I remember eons ago when I
    first started learning Chinese, I had a lesson with the characters for parrot, 鸚鵡.
    Obviously it would have been helpful if I have studied the character for bird, 鳥,
    first.

  4. Create projects with Chinese. Let him make a food menu with four choices and
    pictures. He can make his own flashcads on index cards, punch a hole in them
    and put them on a binder ring, a metal ring that you can pick up at an office
    supply store - or a shower curtain ring. You can also create “flashcards” with
    him in Powerpoint. You can include a character (or two) per screen, along with
    a picture and an audio clip of him reading the characters.

  5. Keep this on your desktop for future reference:

     Useful Web Sites for Teaching and Learning Chinese
     Collected by Tianwei Xie
    

    Google it in the future for updates.

  6. Last, the answer to your question. Most large cities and plenty smaller ones
    have language maintenence programs through temples, churches, and civic and
    cultural organizations. If you have any Chinese friends, they may be able to
    point you in the right direction. The teachers have resources, including the
    textbooks used in public schools back home, as well as books designed for
    overseas Chinese.

  7. Oops, I forgot. Both Asia for Kids at afk.com/ and Amazon.com
    have books, CD’s and other resources for kids. ARK will have folks who can
    help you (I have no connection with them, but I know the quality of their
    selection from my work.)

I don’t have my own resources on the computer I am using right now, but if you would like to PM me sometime, I would be happy to help you some more. I also have a private MSN space for kids to practice writing in a supervised social situation. (The writing is in blog form, and the most some of them can come up with some days is just is one character or word - but the important thing is to keep at it everyday.

Just yesterday I came across my daughter’s materials from kindergarten in Taichong, and then later those from her Chinese Saturday school in San Marino, California and they bring tears to my eyes. Now she is almost grown up and subs for me when needed - not a bad job for a high school senior - and it helps her keep up with the language.

Good Luck,
Kathy Felts

Hi Kathy, thank you very much for your detailed post and suggestions. Some of those suggestions are indeed very useful. Instead of clogging up this forum further with my comments, I will PM you separately. Thanks again.

While I think some conversations are best left for PMs, please do consider continuing on with your comments in this thread. Some people might have similar thoughts or questions, and I think we can all learn from what might be posted in the thread. For example, I learned a lot from Kathy Felts’ post, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this if she had just PMed you that info.

I wouldn’t worry about “clogging up” a thread or a forum, unless the posts are really way off-topic. In some ways, forums like Forumosa are meant to be clogged up with comments. And sometimes “clogs” can be interesting or amusing–or you can learn from them.

So, please continue to share thoughts and information about this topic in this thread. :wink: :slight_smile:

While I think some conversations are best left for PMs, please do consider continuing on with your comments in this thread. Some people might have similar thoughts or questions, and I think we can all learn from what might be posted in the thread. For example, I learned a lot from Kathy Felts’ post, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this if she had just PMed you that info.

I wouldn’t worry about “clogging up” a thread or a forum, unless the posts are really way off-topic. In some ways, forums like Forumosa are meant to be clogged up with comments. And sometimes “clogs” can be interesting or amusing–or you can learn from them.

So, please continue to share thoughts and information about this topic in this thread. :wink: :slight_smile:[/quote]

Hi fee, as my comments were more of a personal nature discussing my son’s somewhat unique situation and how it relates to Kathy’s post, I decided to move it over to PM instead. But I certainly agree with you that in general, we should share as much as possible so we can all learn from one another.

Incidentally, since I didn’t get much of a response initially from this thread, I posted a similar question in the “Parenting” forum under the title “Is Mandarin taught in your home?” and got a better response.

This from Dragonbabe: “Looks like the National Institute For Compilation And Translation no longer publishes the books for elementary when they did when I was a kid.”

I had used the government published books, the same ones she learned from, when I self-studied reading starting around 1998. They began with bopomofo and then ran 3rd thru 6th grade. But recently the market has been privatized, so there are many local publishers competing on producing such materials, or so I’m told.

I’d be happy to help sjcma pick up a set, but first, does anyone have an opinion on which publisher’s materials are good (or bad)? Since the ones I used aren’t available anymore, I’m a bit clueless as to which to get. Failing any advice, I guess we could just stop in a bookstore and have a look at what’s on the shelves. :idunno:

Oh, another option would be to get some second-hand ones in good condition. I’ve already sold mine to another Forumosan, but we might be able to find some. Sjc, would that be ok or would you prefer a new set? Has anyone seen good used ones in a Taipei shop?

DB, new or used, either is fine. No need for mint condition. I’m not a Taiwanese textbook collector :wink:

Do the textbooks differ by publisher? I thought that education was so standardized that the only difference between the publishers may simply be the book cover and maybe some additional material within the texts. Or do each publisher get to decide independently what material is included for each grade?

For grade school stuff, I did find a publisher called 南一 (http://www.nani.com.tw). Their website is not bad and they have a Q&A section regarding their textbook contents. So on the surface, their stuff seems pretty good. I’m not saying I absolutely need to get this publisher’s stuff, but after hours of googling, this website was the best I could do. They do not, apparently, sell their stuff online. I’m sure there are equivalent or better ones out there.

They also publish textbooks for Minnan and Hakka for those that are interested, but I think that teaching my son (who’s 4 y.o. now) Mandarin and Cantonese will be more than enough as he’ll also be getting English and French at school.

As for kindergarten stuff, I’m guessing that it is probably harder to come by than elementary stuff. :frowning:

Ok. We went to FNAC today but they really didn’t have anything. We’ll try a 新學友 next. We’ll check out that Nani for you too.

It was standardized, before. But now (I’m told) the books are entirely independently created.

I’m jealous. I wish my parents had taught me four languages since early childhood. My dad’s native tongue is Spanish and he speaks Italian and English too. My mom’s is English and she speaks Spanish, French and German, and some Italian and others. And they raised me on just English! :frowning: Very bad call on their part.

No, I doubt it. The old books had kinder stuff, so that should be widely available now too. We’ll get back to you with what we find. :rainbow: