In Hong Kong, children come from all across the world. They attend nursery and schools and learn about different religions and cultures by celebrating various traditional festivals. Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year, is the most significant and celebrated festival of the year. This year, Chinese New Year falls on the January 28th. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of the upcoming holiday to enhance your child’s language.

  • Build on your child’s everyday vocabulary. This year is the year of the rooster, so you will see colourful displays everywhere around the city. Use this as an opportunity to introduce a range of new words to expand your child’s language. Relate new words to something your child already knows. For examples, when your child says “oh…a chicken”, you can say “Look! Here comes the rooster!” or “Roosters crow in the morning”.
  • Expand your child’s sentences. Respond to your child’s comments by adding words to what s/he says. For example, if your child says “lion” and starts jumping, you can copy his gesture and say “Yes, The red lion is dancing!”.
  • Keep the conversation going. Play ‘I Spy’ while watching the fireworks to encourage turn-taking. For example, say “I see a red sun. Now it’s your turn. What do you see?”. When the child points to, or names, something, you can keep the conversation going by saying “You see a purple circle”. Continue to take turns pointing out interesting things you can both see.
  • Talk about what could happen next. Make comments and ask questions that encourage your child to think about what may happen next. For example, “I’m hungry. What do we do when we are hungry?”. Wait expectantly for your child to respond. If s/he doesn’t respond, give two choices (for example, are we going to eat or run?).

What other ideas do you have for building on language skills during Chinese New Year?

We wish you and your family a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!