The Magic of Picture Books in a Chinese Immersion Class (I)

The picture book has been widely adapted in the pre-school classroom or as a good resource for story time. However, as a form of visual literacy, it is also a great resource of language development and literature exposure in language classroom. Here is how picture books create a magic with our kids in Chinese immersion program.

We do not use a picture book just because it is in Chinese. Every time before buying a picture book, our teachers decide if it is suitable for language teaching. An ideal picture book is one with repetitions in sentence patterns, and with pictures illustrating the story clearly.

For example, one picture book we are using with our kids is called, “妈妈的帽子不见了。” (Mom’s Hat Is Missing.) The whole book follows the sentence pattern of, “XX的XX不见了。” (XX’s XX is missing.) When read in Chinese, this sentence has a lively rhythm. And the illustrations in the book explain the story in a straightforward way. English is not necessary in class. Finally, every kid in our classes can recite the whole book happily just as a nursery rhyme. When they also had some gestures to go with the book, it has been so much fun for them.

-Chinese with Meggie Language School, Austin, Texas

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