WAM Videos

We need your feedback 🙂

We are making WAM videos!

No not Wham videos!

Although our technology at the moment seems very 80’s 🙂

WAM stands for ‘Words Action Music’.  WORDS ACTIONS and MUSIC together use Multiple Intelligences and create a more complex representation of a word, making recalling second language vocab easier.  Plus putting it all together like this to rhythm feels fun for both body and mind.

These are our very first ones (learning fruit vocab), and even though we had a microphone we know we have to work on the sound more…and framing, and lighting…we are amateurs learning LOL. But we will work on it for our future videos, but only if you think they might be useful for you! So please give us your feedback so we know 🙂

We hope to use a better platform to share these videos with our families soon, together with story videos so that we can incorporate vocab, sentence patterns and grammar in our WAM videos…but we need to know if you think they would help you!

In the meantime here are our pilot videos and the instructions on what to do. Let us know if you think they will be good for learning Mandarin vocab and practicing your Auslan signs in the bargain 🙂 (***See Auslan note at end of post***)

There will be a sequence of 4 WAM Videos, to help you practice, then try and recall all by yourself 🙂

1. An example video that has a student, showing you what you have to do…ie be the echo to the beat, repeat the WORD and do the ACTION 🙂

2. A video that leaves a space in the beat that you do the echo, repeat the WORD and do the ACTION. This is the video to keep watching and echoing to practice 🙂

3. A video that just does the ACTION, and you have to say out loud the WORD all by yourself! If you miss a WORD, just let the video play and try and get the next WORD. If you find this tricky, then watch video 2 some more and practice before trying again 🙂

4. A video with the WORD only, and you have to do the ACTION. Again if you miss an ACTION just carry on and try and get the next ACTION. If you find it tricky, watch video 2 some more to practice, and then try again 🙂

We will work on the sound and adding text to these videos for you etc….but first we need to know if you think WAM videos will help families at home learn some vocab 🙂

The words in our video are as follows:

苹果 píng guǒ Apple
香蕉 xiāng jiāo Banana
葡萄 pú tao Grapes
橘子 jú zi Orange
草莓 cǎo méi Strawberries
西瓜 xī guā Watermelon
柚子 yòu zi Grapefruit
营养 yíng yǎng Nutritious
好吃 hǎo chī Tasty / Yummy

****AUSLAN note***
Our actions to accompany our Mandarin are to get the Multiple Intelligences working and help recall Mandarin vocab.  We use Auslan signs, as we feel that children may as well be learning Auslan sign vocab and learning vocab for two languages at once 🙂  AUSLAN is a language, with its own grammar, word order and culture, just like any other language.  When we learn another language we have to learn a new set of grammar rules, and often a word order that is different to our first language.  But in doing so we actually get to understand our first language better!  Mandarin has a different word order to English at times, and some grammatical particles that just don’t exist in English.  But as we learn the language, we get used to these differences.  Auslan too has a different word order to English! So it is important to know, that if you want to learn Auslan, I would really recommend enrolling in a course, like the ones Lisa Mills Online has.  That way you can become a multi lingual and communicate in Auslan too!  You will already know a few signs 🙂

Music in videos : “Street Party” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

了解世界 Learning about the World

Visitors to our classroom have probably seen some snippets of information being added to our big world map!

Lucas has been having fun picking random places in the world and finding out a little more about them 🙂 As he does it he writes some things he found interesting in English and some things in Mandarin.  This way he can write what he feels comfy in Mandarin, and the other things in English.  It makes for a nice colourful knowledge of the world journey around our big world map 🙂

We have used Randall Munroe’s  万物解释者 (Mandarin version of his book ‘Thing Explainer’) to springboard these little journeys of knowledge.  It is great, as Munroe has only used vocab from the most common 1000 words, making reading about things in a second language (for an intermediate reader) less tedious! Another thing that has been great about it, is that the little bit of writing to each place is really nothing more than a curious tidbit…inviting you to find out a little more about that particular part of the world!

So Lucas chooses a place, reads what Munroe has written about it in Mandarin, then tries to find more information about the place in English.  He has learned all about Victoria Falls today in Zambia/Zimbabwe, and now wants to visit the Devil’s Pool 🙂 Up to now we have learned about New Zealand being much bigger than it looks above the sea!  How Iceland is fire! How Alaska had the biggest ever recorded wave! And how they dug a tunnel through Panama so that ships didn’t have to go all the way around South America 🙂

I highly recommend Munroe’s book translated into your target language for LOTE learners!!!  It has been really cool to be reading about countries on a world map in Chinese!  Then delving into more research to find out what Munroe is talking about! A different way to find out about a different place each week 🙂

For more info about Munroe’s book read on about the other things kids can ‘springboard’ off  🙂

Randall Munroe’s  ‘Thing Explainer’) in your target language is perfect for the LOTE learner! The author who works for NASA, claims to be able to explain complicated stuff in simple words, using a vocab of no more than 1000 words. Things like how the Mars Buggy lands and works.

How bathroom pipes work.

Lots of other random stuff, how washing machines work, how car engines work, how a biro works, how a cell in the body works…to the control panel of a space rocket….

What I really liked about it, is the appeal to an older student (diagrams look like they would contain pretty scientifically difficult captions to explain)…but the language is quite simple, so if you are reading in a second language the content is interesting but not too out of reach for an intermediate learner 🙂 Readers can find out about stuff in a second language, and if it rocks their boat, then delve deeper into the science, technology, or maths.

The book has been published in many languages…so just search for the language you are learning and learn the language and a little science at the same time 🙂

迷你厨房 Mini Kitchen

Doing a little fun tech and design has taught us a new word in Chinese: 迷你 (mínǐ) or ‘Mini’ 🙂

My daughter has gotten into the ‘Mini Kitchen’ craze!  Everything in this kitchen is handmade by my daughter, workable, and 迷你 MINI!

In Chinese the word for ‘mini’ 迷你 is a loan word, so one that ‘sounds’ like the western translation.  It is used for Mini Coopers and Mini-skirts!  The 迷 (mí) means to ‘bewilder’, and can also mean ‘an enthusiast, or a fan of something’.  This is a really good phonetic to use for the ‘mi’ part, as often something ‘mini’ is made for a trend, (like a mini-skirt or a car!) or something to bemuse or bewilder us! The 你 (nǐ) part means ‘you’.  So basically something 迷你 (mí nǐ) kinda means something made mini as a trend to bewilder / bemuse you!

There’s lots of Chinese we can integrate into such a fun project 🙂

First we have to plan, get the materials and make the 迷你厨房 (mínǐ chúfáng)  ‘mini kitchen’

设计迷你厨房   shèjì mínǐ chúfang            Plan / Design Mini Kitchen
迷你厨房材料   mínǐ chúfáng cáiliào         Mini Kitchen Materials
做迷你厨房       zuò mínǐ chúfang                Make the Mini Kitchen

Some things in the 迷你厨房!

迷你厨房水池      mínǐ chúfáng shuǐchí    ‘Mini Kitchen Sink’
迷你粘土烤炉     mínǐ niántǔ kǎolú            ‘Mini clay oven’
迷你锡罐烤炉     mínǐ xīguàn kǎolú           ‘Mini Tincan oven’
迷你厨具              mínǐ chújù                        ‘Mini Kitchen Utensils’
迷你蛋糕              mínǐ dàngāo                     ‘Mini Cake’
迷你食谱书          mínǐ shípǔ shū                 ‘Mini Cookbooks’

Here’s a video of the 迷你厨房 in action:

做迷你蛋糕 (zuò mínǐ dàngāo) ‘Making Mini Cakes – Fun Mandarin in Motion 🙂