BLOG

锻炼“说华语的嘴巴” Give your mouth a “Work out” – Speaking the Mother Tongue Language fluently

21 Feb 2018

(Please scroll towards the end of this Chinese article for its English version)

 

许多家长告诉我们,他们想帮助孩子在家学华文,却不知道从何下手,心有余而力不足。今天我们要教各位同学和家长一种方便在家学华文的好方法——朗读。

 

说到朗读,大家可能会觉得,“这太简单了!”

 

在家里和你的孩子练习朗读!

 

的确,“朗读”作为一个考试项目,是华文考试中最简单的一道题目,因此,同学们应该抓住这一题,拿到高分甚至满分。朗读,在小六会考华文试卷中占20分,在O水准华文试卷中占10分。但是,许多同学并不能拿到高分,十分可惜。而提高朗读成绩的最简单方法就是多多练习。语言学研究表明,说不同语言的人的口腔肌肉也会有所不同。平时少说华语的学生,嘴巴和舌头缺少“锻炼”,口试的时候可能会出现嘴巴“僵硬”的情况,发挥失常。经常练习朗读华文,可以帮助锻炼“说华语的嘴巴”。

 

就像其他任何活动一样,做好准备可确保您在任何事情上都达到最佳状态。

 

练习朗读不光是为了考试中朗读的题目,事实上,练习朗读可以间接帮助“口试”的其他题目。在小六会考华文试卷中,“会话”占30分;在O水准华文试卷中,“会话”占40分;在O水准高级华文试卷中,“口头报告”占20分,“讨论”占20分。在这些题目上,许多考生都面临的困难是:有想法,但是表达不出,或表达不好。其原因就是,平时说华文说得太少,考场上一紧张,就结结巴巴,词不达意。不仅如此,口试中需要用到的词汇,不同于日常会话,往往比较正式,也会跟话题紧密联系,需要专门学习、练习,才可能在考试的时候顺畅表达出来。

 

在家练习朗读有什么要注意的地方呢?第一,每次朗读5到10分钟;第二,朗读材料可以是课本文章,如果孩子有太多不会读的字,可以用低一个年级的课本;第三,学生一边朗读,一边圈出不会读的字词,可以问老师或查字典之后标出读音;第四,同一篇文章可以反复读,第一遍有不会读的字,第二遍就可能完整读出,第三遍就可能读得很顺,通过多次朗读同一篇文章,一方面能强化字词,一方面能建立说华语的信心。

 

家长还可以在学生朗读的时候用手机录音,学生会更加认真对待,多次朗读同一篇文章之后,给孩子播放自己读过的录音,这时,他们能清晰地看到自己的进步。

 

通过录音,您可以更轻松地拾取错误,并在此后改进。

 

总的来说,在家朗读方便家长操作,学习难度低,时间花费少,学生比较愿意配合,而练习朗读所能发挥的功效却是很大的,不仅能提高朗读、会话和口头报告的分数,还能扩大词汇量,增强说华语的信心。

 

从今天开始,就陪您的孩子一起练习朗读,锻炼“说华语的嘴巴”吧!

 

 

Many parents wish to help their children to learn and use the Mother Tongue Language at home, but are often at their wits end on how they could go about doing so. Let us offer a simple way to enhance the learning of Mother Tongue at the convenience of your home environment – Reading aloud.

 

You may wonder, “Reading aloud seems easy enough, but how does it help?”

 

Practise reading aloud with your child at home!

 

Indeed, reading aloud a given passage is part of the Oral Examination for both English and Mother Tongue Languages in school, and is probably the easiest component to score good marks in. However, more often than not, students do not score high marks (let alone full marks) for this seemingly easy component. Why is practising reading aloud important? Just as it is important for us to work the muscles of our body often to maintain agility and flexibility, research has shown that working out the muscles of our mouth and tongue helps us get used to the spoken language structure and be able to speak the language more fluently. Once the “work out” is more regular and frequent, the muscles are less strained and more agile under stressful examination conditions.

 

Just like any other activity or exercise, being well-prepared ensures that you achieve your best in whatever you do.

 

Another advantage of practising reading aloud is the link it has with formal spoken language structure for the other components of the Oral Examination, such as the Picture Discussion & Conversation (for English Language) and Stimulus-based Conversation (for Mother Tongue Languages), which require students to think on their feet and express their thoughts and views clearly and fluently. Although the topics of these other components are usually related to the Reading Aloud passage, many students lack the vocabulary, sentence structure and confidence to score well. Reading aloud content-rich passages frequently will help our brain and mouth muscles to be familiarised with words, phrases and structures to better cope with on-the-spot expressions of ideas and tackle oral examination questions with ease.

 

What are some of the important things to note while practising reading aloud at home? Firstly, each read-aloud session should take about 5 to 10 minutes to avoid fatigue and loss of focus on fluency, expression and tone. Secondly, the passage should be pitched at the child’s reading level; if there are too many unfamiliar words, consider using an easier passage. Thirdly, unfamiliar words can be highlighted for further vocabulary and pronunciation exercises aside from the reading aloud practice. Lastly, use the same passage for repeated practices to chart progress in pronunciation, fluency, tone, expression and appropriate pauses.

 

An excellent way of ensuring children learn through repeated practice is to record them with a mobile phone, and then playing it back to review how he/she has done compared to the previous recordings. This also allows the children to take ownership of their mistakes and put in effort to record a better version thereafter. With each recording, they should be able to hear the improvements and build confidence from there.

 

With an audio recording, you can pick up mistakes more easily and be able to improve on them thereafter.

 

Reading aloud sessions at home are relatively easy for parents to conduct with their children; it does not take up too much time nor require expensive resources. More importantly, these simple practices will go a long way to improve your children’s ability to read and converse in the Mother Tongue language more confidently and skilfully for the oral examinations.

 

Give it a go and try the “work out” with your child!