Learning Ting Xie

Ting Xie (in hanyu pinyin) is Chinese Spelling
In Singapore, every school going kids do Ting Xie, some start as early as Preschool
Usually they get tested once a week and are given a week to learn a list of words

Chinese is not my 9 year old’s favourite subject
It doesn’t help when the Chinese teacher wasn’t very creative in teaching the subject
The method that was taught to the class to learn Ting Xie hasn’t changed much since his Mom and Dad’s school days

The teacher made them do Chao Xie (repeated writing) for every Chinese character
A method that doesn’t go down very well for a child who doesn’t really enjoy writing

He hated it and I couldn’t fault him
How could I when I couldn’t convince myself that that was the best method or the most effective one

So we came to an agreement
He was allowed to junk the method and do it his way at home

Of course he was thrilled
And his ‘method’ has been evolving

This is his latest one
I found out last night when I heard him mumbling while I tested him

He breaks the character into parts, give each part a name
and then weaves a story for it

In this case, Ying which means Shadow or Image, the story goes

On a Sunny day, a Raindrop fell on the Floor and got eaten up by a Small Mouth with 3 Satellite Dishes over it

My husband fell off the chair laughing when I told him this
He would have been spared the agony if someone taught him this 30 years ago


    • malmal says:

      hi NerdyMum, very often when left on their own, they will come up with something to surprise us…and I am reminded to meddle less . His satellite dish makes me laugh too !

  1. Ing says:

    This makes me laugh! Mal is really creative. My P2 boy hates Chinese, and I dread teaching him Chinese. We usually end up in frustrations, both of us, me with him and he with his Chinese. I must let him read this post.

  2. Jasmine says:

    I love that idea. I actually tried making up stories to teach my son characters but it didn’t seem to work. Maybe I should let him make up his own stories.

    • haifang says:

      hey Jasmine ya usually it stays with them longer if it’s from they themselves and usually it has to be fun but seriously most of the time I run out of ideas for that

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