Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Dictionary habit

After speaking to a few 'experienced' parents of primary school going kids, we mostly concluded that the best virture of a student is being an independent learner.
So I try my best to hone that in Sonshine as much as possible. Typically, I will not provide the answers when he is in doubt. I'd either ask him to try his best or teach him to search for the answers himself.
It started with the English dictionary. I shared before I taught him how to look up the meaning of the words. Since then, he would occasionally take the initiative to look up the words.
That's when it dawn on me that I should instill the same habit for Mandarin too. I went hunting for the ideal Chinese dictionary for him and found this.
Collins Chinese Dictionary

One can look up the words in many ways. For a start, I taught him to look up a word using the Hanyu Pinyin.
I love this dictionary because 1) there is an chinese-english interpretation for each word. So, if he is looking up an unfamiliar chinese word, he is able to learn the meaning of that chinese word in English as well.
2) If he doesn't know what is the mandarin term for an English word, he can look up the word first in English and it would show the translation in mandarin. Awesome!
The perfect opportunity came when he was doing work and he didn't know what was the mandarin equivalent for 'Penguins'. I didn't want to feed him with the answer and wanted him to learn how to look for the answers himself. So, I referred him to the dictionary!

He searched the word 'Penguin' in the dictionary and found its hanyu pinyin equivalent AND the chinese characters. 

Needless to say, he found out the answer to his question.
Ah, I can see my life will get better from now on. :D


  1. Does your boy go to one of those popular schools? His chinese homework looks kinda advanced.

  2. Really? It's advanced? Hmmm, It's actually a normal assessment book (from popular book shop) i made him do.

  3. Layla still takes an awfully long time to look for a word in her dictionary! Google is easier for her--even with one-finger typing!