Monday, September 5, 2011

GenkiChinese- written by Richard (sorry, no last name) this website posts songs and simple games that can be used to teach and reinforce simple vocabulary and sentence memorization.  Types of vocabulary include:  numbers, colors, body parts, names of fruits, the months of the year, directions, names of countries, and different types of drinks.  

There are two components to most every game on the site.  The first is the vocabulary introduction.  This is where the user can click around the screen and hear the vocabulary.  The simple characters and the pinyin pronunciation also flash up on the screen to help reinforce character recognition.  The second component is the game.  Typically the game asks the user to listen to a vocabulary word and then correctly identify it on the screen.  These games are easy and anyone with a mouse can play- even my five-year old!

I would suggest reviewing the fruits vocabulary with your child before having him/her play the game.  There are two reasons:
  1. During the game, the picture for grape is a picture of one grape; however, during the review the picture is of a bunch of grapes.  This may be confusing to some students.
  2. Some of the vocabulary is new/different.  Some children learn 菠蘿 (bōluó, ㄅㄛ ㄌㄨㄛˊ ) and some learn 鳳梨 (fènglí, ㄈㄥˋ ㄌㄧˊ ).  Depending on which word your student learned for pineapple, you may need to introduce the alternative.  Remind your student that English also has many words that mean the same thing.  For example: sofa & couch; road & street; child & kid; etc.
The site also has songs to help language learners remember sentences.  For example, he's produced a song called "你好吗?" (ㄋㄧˇ ㄏㄠˇ ㄇㄚ˙?, Nǐ hǎo ma?, How are you?).  It's a good representation of the types of songs he creates.  Be careful- the songs tend to stick in your head!

Please, preview the songs first before sharing with your children.  In the song called "请给我" (ㄑㄧㄥˇ ㄍㄟˇㄨㄛˇ, Qǐng gěi wǒ, Please give me) the word "beer" appears.

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