Polyglot shares her experience in learning and teaching languages | Sagebooks HK

Polyglot shares her experience in learning and teaching languages

Learning a new language is empowering. It allows us to connect with our ancestors or explore a different culture. It opens up your mind and enhances your creative thinking abilities! Often, adults think they’re too old for languages, but that’s not true. Follow this blog series where the Sagebooks Hongkong team shares knowledge about teaching children, and adults alike, and some of their best tips, so you can start learning a new language today.

Writer Bio 作者簡介

Lucia L - polyglot who is passionate about languages | Sagebooks HK

Lucia L

Hong Kong 香港

Lucia is a polyglot who is passionate about languages. Starting with Shanghainese and Putonghua as her first languages, she added Cantonese, Hakka and English to her linguistic repertoire after starting school. She is now also fluent in Japanese and French. Last year, in her 50s, she decided to take up Russian as a challenge and is now enjoying reading Russian and hand-writing the Cyrillic characters. Lucia is particularly interested in language acquisition (first language, as well as second language and beyond) and how one’s languages can influence one’s brain, and vice versa.

Language learning tips 我的語文學習竅門

Is your experience with language learning and teaching more with children or adults?

I have never stopped learning languages my whole life, from my childhood to my adulthood.

I have more experience in teaching children, both at home and at school/work. I was trained to observe children, to determine their readiness and to gain a better understanding of their individual learning styles. I have taught Chinese and English to both native and non-native children. These two languages require vastly different teaching approaches: among many differences, one uses an alphabet and the other doesn’t. I derived my own methods and designed many games to adapt to each child’s specific learning needs. Later on, I incorporated these methods and techniques into the Sage Formula course.

Tell us your best tip for teaching a new language to children.

Reading story books in the new language. Children love stories, especially when YOU are reading to or with them. Children’s stories tend to have repeated words or expressions, which helps children learn. When children come across unknown words in the stories, they will be driven by the plot to want to learn that word and remember it. Pictures in books also help children enjoy and understand the story. On top of that, children will pick up many cultural details from stories, whether they be traditional or contemporary. The combination of these elements gives children an enhanced experience in learning a new language.

What are 3 things that you recommend doing regularly when learning a new language?
  • Tip 1 – Have a goal. Or even better, a SMART goal. Then, create a plan consisting of tiny steps to achieve that goal. That way, you can regularly measure your success which will boost your dopamine, encouraging you to learn more.

  • Tip 2 – Use what you have learnt. Once you have learnt a new word or expression, try to find ways to incorporate it into your conversation, or do exercises at least twice a day for the following 3 days. You can even make up silly sentences for the sake of this. There are two main purposes for doing this. Firstly, this will help that new word or expression to stay at your conscious level. Secondly, it creates context for the word or expression.

  • Tip 3 – Focus on more frequently used words. For example, when learning Chinese, instead of first learning 香蕉 (BANANA, which seems to be a basic word), it might be more useful to first learn 菜 (VEGETABLES) instead. Knowing 菜 would help you grasp many more other words.

Language Learning Activity 語文學習遊戲

The short film activity.

We all know that repetition is great; the short film activity allows children to both enjoy a film that they love and practice their language.

What you will need
  • A film that your children like, either in English (native language) or in Chinese (target language).

How it works

First, watch 1-2 minutes of the film.

  • If the film is in English (native language), have your child explain in Chinese what is happening in the film.
  • If the film is in Chinese (target language), have your child recap to you in Chinese what they understood.

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

更多教養支援 SUPPORT FOR YOU

很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員。歡迎你也加入我們,一起互相鼓勵和支持,共同為孩子的學習而努力。

Many parents are already part of our Facebook Group. If you’d like to take advantage of the collective wisdom of your fellow parents, please join us.

We’d love to hear from you.

Sagebooks Hongkong promotes independent reading and life-long learning by nurturing the child’s confidence, autonomy and self-teaching abilities. Since 2006. Find out more About Us.

© 2020 Sagebooks Hongkong. All rights reserved.

Sagebooks Hongkong promotes independent reading and life-long learning by nurturing the child’s confidence, autonomy and self-teaching abilities. Since 2006. Find out more About Us.

© 2020 Sagebooks Hongkong. All rights reserved.

Sagebooks Hongkong promotes independent reading and life-long learning by nurturing the child’s confidence, autonomy and self-teaching abilities. Since 2006. Find out more About Us.

© 2020 Sagebooks Hongkong. All rights reserved.