Hanyu Pinyin WAS a piece of cake to me in the past. After so many years, I find myself turning to Google for Hanyu Pinyin converter and dictionary. *embarrassed*

Then again, learning a skill, or a language, or rather learning anything in life, there must always be one essence present : INTEREST.

Without interest, learning or mastering ‘the thing’ would be swimming against the current.

Hanyu Pinyin is focused only during Primary one and Primary two in schools, in the hope that kids from English speaking backgrounds can pick up Chinese language more easily. Sad to say it backfires as well. With Phonics and Hanyu Pinyin being taught in school, it is undoubtedly that children would get confused with the pronunciation.

For example, ‘UN’ in the English word ‘UNDER’ and ‘UN’ in the Chinese word ‘YUN’ (clouds) have totally different pronunciation. It was a hilarious ride when I started to teach Keatkeat Hanyu Pinyin during Kindergarten 2. Actually, it is quite the same now too. *laugh* I tried my best not to laugh most of the times, ‘cos laughing would make him remember the wrong pronunciation that much more. Simple logic: Laughters creates impressions.

Due to the confusion he had between Chinese Hanyu Pinyin and English Phonics, his interest in learning Hanyu Pinyin went down the hill on roller skates. I tried Hanyu Pinyin Table, but pure memorising simply sucks!

So I worked on building his interest. ‘GAMES’ was the first thing that came to my mind. Let’s face it, kids simply love Games! I tried creating all sorts of Hanyu Pinyin games for him. But what really helped was this:


Before he went to Primary One, my cousin gave me a spare box of zi-bao-bao. Zi-Bao-Bao is used in many Primary Schools to help children recognise newly-learned Chinese words. I turned that box into a card game.


Every week, I would focus on 10 words. After Keatkeat can recognise the 10 Chinese words, I would then turn the card over and write the Hanyu Pinyin behind the Chinese Words with the diao-hao.


So whenever he said the Chinese word correctly, I would ask him to turn the card over and look at the Hanyu Pinyin. After seeing the confidence in him, I would put the Chinese Character facing down. Therefore, just by looking at the Hanyu Pinyin, he could pronounce the Chinese word correctly.

When he said it correctly, he gets to keep the card, otherwise, I would keep it. At the end of the game, whoever that has more cards is the ‘Winner’. *smile*

Every Saturday would become an ‘Add-On’ day. Meaning, I would include the cards that were taught before. Till the whole box of zi-bao-bao is completed.

Do you play games with your child to help him or her improve Hanyu Pinyin too?