Speech and drama class and how we read at home

Today she finally started her speech and drama class in school. She missed the first 2 lessons as I decided to keep her at home. (CNY mood) I’m never in a hurry to pack her back to school; we just enjoy each other’s company too much! ; p

As it starts at 4pm, I decided to let her sleep in school and pick her up at 5pm. I really do not know what the speech and drama class was all about and all I knew was that she loved it. Upon picking her up she said “mummy I had fun at speech and drama class.”

At night on the bed with us, ee fann asked what she did during the class, she said she learnt about tadpoles and did the tadpole dance. She then went on to teach us how to move like a tadpole with our hands. “must put your hands together like this. Then move right and left just like that.” Is that what speech and drama class is all about? Hmmm… But it’s not important at all. What’s important is that diva enjoys all her classes thus far. Because…

Me: okay, so Monday you go to berries class, Thursday you will have speech and drama class and on Saturday it’s shichida.”
Ern: “yay!!” “yay!!” “yay!!”

Actually this speech and drama class was highly recommended by her teachers. They wanted ern to be in it as they feel that she is speaking very well. Her form teacher said she was the only one during her PG days that speaks in sentences. (but now she talks non-stop in class.) and since the fees was really affordable; we went ahead to sign her up.

Recently I realised that ern’s collection of Chinese storybooks has far exceeded her English storybooks. I needed another bookshelf just for her Chinese storybooks but ee fann said not to get any fixtures and fittings as we will be moving house. So most her Chinese books are stacked next to our bed for easy access. I read to her every night before she goes to bed. Just to share with you how I emphasize word recognition when I read to her. I started this “program” only recently and it has been working pretty well.
When I read the title, I will hold her pointer and go through word character by character. Repeat 2-3 times. Then choose a character in the title for instance 小老鼠 , I will choose the character 小 and explain what it means. After reading the book, I will flip to the relevant pages and get ern to spot that particular character. Of course when she spots it correctly I give her lots of hugs and kisses and all the clapping, hurray etc… She loves it! It just encourages her to recognize more characters. When the ultimate aim is to help her with word recognition; I choose books that aren’t too wordy. (i have tonnes of them) But if it’s just leisure reading, any books goes even if it’s super wordy. Ern will just listen to how mandarin is spoken. (the 5 different tones.) I guess the speed plays an important part too. When it’s too slow or too fast, she tunes out. So it must be just right. Lastly, we try to make story telling as fun as we could. So we will mimic different noises in the character (lion, tiger etc…) vary the tone, and also pause when the pause will make a difference. (like you pause and take a deep breathe when the tiger is going to leap into the air..) simply allow the story to come alive. It can be quite tiring especiallly when ern will not rest till she hits at least 15 books every night. But it’s all worth it.

Happy reading everyone! ; )

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