Global Textbook Chinese Snowball for Kids One With Exercise book & 1CD

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By Dr. Ningsha Zhong

In the University of Toronto, Canada

It is a great honor for me to write an introduction to Chinese Snowball, a new series of textbooks in teaching Chinese (Mandarin) as a second language at the elementary school level. It is complied by Dr. Aiping Zhan, my classmate in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. University of Toronto. Aiping obtained her doctoral degree in education in 2002 and has had considerable teaching experience in elementary and secondary schools. Currently she is the Subject Leader of the Chinese Studies Department at Hong Lok Yuan International School in Hong Kong. She is a member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and a member of the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS). Her research focuses on development of relevant instructions for young learners with different educational background and learning styles. Chinese Snowball can be considered as a summary of her teaching experience and application of her ideas of education to practice.

The series consists of 12 books, 2 for each grade. For each book, there is an additional exercise book and picture book, both intended to give students more practical training for interactive learning. Books 1 to 4 focus on Pinyin and the basic structure of the Chinese language. Books 5 to 12 gradually build up the students’ vocabulary and develop their ability to use the Chinese language in daily life and communication.

These textbooks created in particular for students in the international schools, whose mother tongue is not Chinese. It has taken into account uniqueness of the learning environment in the international schools and students’ learning styles. Each lesson was carefully designed with a combination of words, sentences, pictures, games, songs, and exercises. English translation is provided throughout the series to help students and parents. The series contains a large quantity of materials that meet the needs of students at all the levels. Most importantly, the textbook, exercises and picture books provide as much rhyme for young students to learn language, and this makes it easier for them to catch up to the meaning and usage of words and sentences. As the metaphor "snowball" indicates, the series will enable students’ learning to grow at a rapid speed, like a snowball rolls down the hill. In completion of this series, students are expected to:

1. Have a solid foundation in Chinese with a vocabulary of 2500-3000 characters and understand the basic structure of the language.

2. Use oral and written Chinese for daily needs and participate in classroom activities and communicate with native speakers.

3. Obtain knowledge of Chinese culture that includes social customs, music, art, food, literature, and history etc.

4. Apply their language skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing to practice and develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

Three additional features make Chinese Snowball stand out as a novel tool for teaching and learning Chinese as a second language. In his review, Dr. Wu Weiping from the Chinese University of Hong Kong pointed out that the use of Pinyin as the index and sequencing key is unique as it leads the development of curriculum and enhances student learning. In the international school, it is always a challenge to teachers to choose whether Pinyin should be taught at a young age as it may confuse students who are learning their mother tongue at the same time. If the answer is yes, then, how much should be taught and how to teach it. This series presents a guide to teaching and learning of Pinyin as each vowel or consonant stands out as a theme to link what is learned in the textbook to the student and his/her surroundings. Then the process of learning Pinyin becomes a meaningful, also fun part, for students to relate their experience to the Chinese language.

The second is the organization of content through themes and an interactive approach to language learning. Each lesson is organized by a theme or topic which is meaningful to the students, e.g., "numbers" (see Lesson 1 of Book 2) or "Comparing Who Is Taller" (Lesson 2 of Book 2). The theme functions as a means to integrate curriculum content that may go beyond the information given and learning strategies that relate the student’s learning experience to the contexts. Through well designed structured or non-structured instructions, students are engaged in an active process of learning activities including singing, drawing, playing games, story-telling, and writing. Thus, they are able to reconstruct their knowledge and skills in the Chinese language based on their own experience in language learning and on the interaction with the teacher, classmates, and textbooks.

The third is the picture books of reading series correspondent with the textbooks of reading series correspondent with the textbooks of "Chinese Snowball".

It is really helpful for children to raise their interests in Chinese language and nurture their gook habit of Chinese reading from their young ages.

In conclusion, a good textbook must guide both students and teachers to create a learning environment in which students are able to develop their full potential and take charge of their own learning. I am pleased to see that Chinese Snowball is an example of the kind.


Table of Contents
Preparation 1 预备课一 单韵母
Preparation 2 预备课二 单韵母
Preparation 3 预备课三 声母
Preparation 4 预备课四 声母
Preparation 5 预备课五 声母
Lesson 1   第一课 a爸妈
Lesson 2   第二课 o我
Lesson 3   第三课 e饿
Lesson 4   第四课 i衣
Lesson 5   第五课 u屋
Lesson 6   第六课 ü鱼
Lesson 7   第七课 b水波
Lesson 8   第八课 p上坡
Lesson 9   第九课 m手摸
Lesson 10  第十课 f大佛
Lesson 11  第十一课 d谁的
Lesson 12  第十二课 t特快
Lesson 13  第十三课 n奶奶
Lesson 14  第十四课 l快乐
New Words Table 生词表
Words of Songs 歌词


Global Textbook Chinese Snowball for Kids One With Exercise book & 1CD