Something that I already knew became starkly apparent to me the other day when doing my daily 10 minutes of teaching Max to read (in English). We read the same stories over and over again and sometimes – when Max is reading really well – I can tell he’s just memorized the text. You need to realy read it, I command, making a mental note never to use that particular story again. In English you are only reading when you sound out the letters. In Chinese, of course, there is no difference between reading and memorizing. The only way to read a character is to remember it. A huge amount, I suspect, rests on this fundamental distinction.
Learning your ABC’s
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