One important thing for students to study Chinese effectively is to open their mouth to speak more. Describing pictures is a good way to train their oral language. According to teaching contents and students’ language levels, teachers provide a brief, simple, understandable picture related to the teaching contents to the students. Then the students should describe the contents in the pictures as detailed as possible.
This method is very proper to use after learning the “是” structure to practice “这是什么” and “那是什么”. For the students who learn Mandarin at the intermediate level, they need to describe the environment and the situations. For the students of advanced level, they can describe some mental activity.
Another interesting game for practicing the oral language and ability if describing things is “to find the shoes”. Every student takes off one shoe at the door and back to the seats. Students study in Chinese school in China should describe the appearance of their shoes. The description should be brief and clear about the features.
After the first one student describes his shoe, the teacher should go to find it. Then the student should go to find out the shoe according to the second student’s description. This game will greatly increase their interest in learning Mandarin Chinese, especially when the shoe is wrongly picked up. For the incorrect description, teachers should point out and correct in time.
The game “finding the right order” is also an effective method. Two students work as a team and sit face-to-face. Teachers will give each team two pictures with eight to ten people on them. The figures in the pictures are all the same in all aspects except for the order. Students who learn Mandarin can practice oral Chinese in this way.
The figures in the first picture have names but the second one has no names. Therefore, student A should describe the persons in the picture in detail and also speak out the names. Another student should tell the persons apart according to the description. Students who study in China should never look at the other picture. It is good for training the skill of describing people.
The ability of describing a certain things is very important in the process of Chinese learning. The three methods listed above are effective students to train their oral Chinese by describing the things.