Q & A 1: Guideline -Le Le Reading System

Le Le Reading System has 3 leveled booklets. Here is our guideline to use it:

(1) Start with the Beginner’s level booklets.
Beginner level booklets are organized into 12 topics. Adults as well as children can choose from any of the topics to start with. We suggest to begin with easier topics that are used in our daily lives and surrounding such as numbers or colors or clothing or family, etc. as they are easier to grasp due to familiarity  and have fewer new words/characters involved in these topics. Our reading system is a picture story booklet series. The illustrations are mainly used to help the readers create a visual association with the meaning of the text.

However, we do not recommend reading all the 3 levels of booklet sets of the same topic consecutively in an attempt to learn more about the topic related vocabulary and/or expressions. Children just beginning to learn Chinese will not only be scared by the lengthy text of the Intermediate and Advanced level booklets, but will also be confused by the more complex language structure involved in the higher level booklets and lose motivation to learn. While learning, it is beneficial and more appropriate for the beginners to develop their sense of the target language step by step.

(2) Allow the child to choose the reading sequence
under the selected topic for each level. Let them enjoy their choice.

(3) Before starting a new booklet, discuss the cover page with the child.
Let the child use the Audio Pen to listen to the individual characters as well as the whole text on each page.

We have adopted a slow pace for the beginner level booklets to enable children to imitate the character pronunciation and sentence intonation.
---Children are adept at reproducing the pronunciation after hearing it. Adults don't require to "teach" them how to pronounce and can leave them to figure it out by listening to the pronunciation repeatedly.
---It's important to listen to the complete sentences on each page since some character tones may be changed slightly when they are used in the context or combined with other characters. It also helps them to get used to the intonation.
---Children may be very enthusiastic to read another booklet after reading one. They should be encouraged to choose another booklet from the same topic to reinforce the topic related vocabulary and expressions.
---Once the child has finished reading all the booklets of a particular topic. Please take time to review all the words and expressions introduced in these story books to maintain a high retention of them.

Our emphasis is to let the child have a "comprehensive input" first by learning to read, prior to individual character recognition. We wish to encourage the child to develop their reading ability by sparking an interest through the stories and illustrations. Children are not expected to know every character or word "thoroughly" at this stage. The aim at this stage is to create a joyful experience for the child through reading. The next step is to reinforce all the characters introduced from the chosen topic through different kinds of dynamic and static activities as suggested by us. 

(4a) Flash cards
Recognition of a character means to be able to associate the character's written form with the correct pronunciation and to grasp its meaning. Children have an innate ability to learn any language as long as they have exposure to it.

Flash cards can be used as a tool to review the character pronunciation and it’s written form. However, it may not be useful for memorizing the meaning of many individual characters as they will change with different contexts or when structured in "compound words". Therefore, we suggest not to rely on the flash cards for a long period of time. The cards well recognized by the child can be put aside. Focus on those needing more repetition. Once the retention rate is high enough (e.g. 85% of the flash cards) they can move on to a new topic. (Bookset owners can download the flash card file from our website and print it out to make their own flash cards.)

We have suggested many fun ways to use flash cards in our Q&A section and short videos. The main purpose of these varied activities is to achieve a higher retention rate of character recognition. It's not necessary to go through all the activities and adults can alternate the dynamic and static activities to gain better learning results.

(4b) Re-read the stories 
After going through the suggested dynamic and static activities, ensure the child reads all the stories "again" of the chosen topic to review the pronunciation, intonation and written form of the topic characters.

This not only helps them to familiarize the meaning of the characters introduced once more, but also improves their comprehension skills by reading. We believe in "literacy through literature".

(5) Move on to a new topic
When the child is able to read all the story booklets fluently from a chosen topic, they are ready to move on to a next topic. Repeat the above mentioned steps, 2-4 for all the 12 topics included in the Beginner level booklets. Please don't set too high a standard for their readiness to move on to a new topic. Allow them to ease into each one. Many characters are repeatedly introduced in different topics giving them opportunities to practice these characters again.

(6) When to move to Intermediate level booklets?
When the child is able to read all the 100 booklets of the begginer's level without using the audio pen, it is time to begin reading the Intermediate level booklets. As the child might not remember all the context of the 100 stories, it is a good idea to check their readiness by choosing 20-30 books randomly to judge their reading ability. Again, don't set a very high standard for it. If the child can read 70-80 books effortlessly, they should be encouraged to move to the Intermediate level booklets.

(7) Move to Advanced level booklets
Please follow steps (1) to (5) to work on the intermediate level books, then the child can begin to read the advanced level booklets. There are only 230 new characters in the advanced level booklet (about 2-3 new character in each book). The child will be able to read independently in no time and enjoy reading.

by Ju Yao , Author of Le Le Reading System

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