Home » Articles posted by Admin

Author Archives: Admin

Father of “modern” Pinyin

January 13, 2018 marked the 112th birthday of the “father of pinyin”: Zhou Youguang

You can read more about it here:

  • https://www.google.com/doodles/zhou-youguangs-112th-birthday
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_Youguang

Learning Mandarin 3–5 days weekly is critical for kids

Kids Go Mandarin Parent+Child Music Classes at Hanwen School in Fall 2017

Han­wen School is hap­py to be able to offer our local com­mu­ni­ty a pro­gram for par­ents and chil­dren ages 0–6 years old.

Kids Go Man­darin music class is a Man­darin immer­sion music pro­gram that com­bines music and Man­darin Chi­nese in an immer­sion envi­ron­ment. It helps kids devel­op musi­cal skills in ear­ly child­hood and help devel­op mul­ti-lin­gual abil­i­ties (by learn­ing Man­darin in a pre­dom­i­nant­ly Eng­lish-speak­ing coun­try).

Cur­ricu­lum is com­bin­ing method­olo­gies of 2 ped­a­go­gies of Kodá­ly Method and Orff Schul­w­erk to build a play­ful musi­cal envi­ron­ment for kids to learn musi­cal skills through play.

Find out more about the Fall 2017 Kids Go Man­darin class­es hap­pen­ing at Han­wen School.


Our architect’s wonderful design & beautiful photos

On the morn­ing of our first Open House, our archi­tect, Tai-ran Tseng, came out to take pho­tos of our won­der­ful space. He is a knowl­edge­able archi­tect and has worked on some great music & dance space designs. He made sure our class­rooms and music rooms would designed to be sound-proof from our activ­i­ty area where kids will be run­ning around and play­ing. This way, stu­dents can focus on study­ing when they are in the class­room and have fun play­ing when they are in our activ­i­ty area.

Check out our pho­tos below:

Direc­tor Ron Chung and Archi­tect Tai-ran Tseng

Activity Hall & Entry

Hang­out Area and Entry
Activ­i­ty Hall — North
Activ­i­ty Hall — East
Activ­i­ty Hall — West

Classroom Space

Class­room — Out­side
Class­room — Inside

Arts/Crafts Classroom & Kitchen/Snack Area

Arts/Crafts Room
Arts/Crafts & Snack Area
Kitchen/Snack Area

Music Lesson Room

Music Room

First Open House Success

Thank you for every­one who came to Han­wen School’s first Open House to learn about our after school pro­gram and sum­mer camp. We will be start­ing after school lan­guage pro­gram in Fall 2017, so con­tact us to reg­is­ter and enroll your child.

Click here to view the pho­tos from our Open House

We had a won­der­ful Lion Dance from UC Berke­ley’s VSA Club. They did a fan­tas­tic job bring­ing good luck to Han­wen School. The kids real­ly enjoyed feed­ing the lion cab­bage and tak­ing pho­tos.

Ron Chung, the founder of Han­wen School, gave a pre­sen­ta­tion about the chal­lenges for our chil­dren learn­ing Chi­nese in the US and what are some tar­get learn­ing goals.

Image result for powerpoint pdf

Han­wen School Open House
Pre­sen­ta­tion — May 20, 2017



Thanks to Go!Mandarin for com­ing out and doing a lan­guage & music activ­i­ty with kids at our Open House. They will be offer­ing a Man­darin immer­sion tod­dler & par­ent music class in Fall 2017.


Why Learn ZhuYin ㄅㄆㄇㄈ (BoPoMoFo)

One of the main rea­sons we teach Zhuyin is the large amount of qual­i­ty chil­dren sto­ries is wide­ly avail­able from Tai­wan and Hong Kong. These chil­dren’s books typ­i­cal­ly use Tra­di­tion­al char­ac­ters along with Zhuyin pho­net­ics. By pro­vid­ing kids with inter­est­ing read­ing mate­r­i­al, we can keep chil­dren inter­est­ed in learn­ing Chi­nese in our after school pro­gram.

Chil­dren want fun sto­ries to read and we want to encour­age them to self-read as much as they can.

Mag­ic Tree­house is trans­lat­ed into Chi­nese



Supporting Children to Read Independently

Com­pare the fol­low­ing Ele­phant and Pig­gie (Mo Willems) sto­ries. For a child that knows zhuyin but may not have learned a vast amount of Chi­nese char­ac­ters, they can learn to read the sto­ry by them­selves. Con­trast that to the Sim­pli­fied Chi­nese ver­sion where unless you have some­one help­ing you with words, it is hard to read inde­pen­dent­ly.

Tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese with Zhuyin

Sim­pli­fied Chi­nese ver­sion

Tendency to Scan Pinyin instead of Recognizing Chinese Characters

In addi­tion, as dis­cussed below, a read­er has the option to scan and read only pinyin and not look at the Chi­nese char­ac­ters. How­ev­er, zhuyin forces the read­er to read across the Chi­nese char­ac­ters.

Below is an excerpt from Learn­ing Chi­nese – Pinyin or Zhuyin? (source) that dis­cuss­es the rea­sons why an Eng­lish-speak­er learn­ing Chi­nese may be slight­ly impact­ed by their abil­i­ty to read Eng­lish Pinyin much faster and get­ting less visu­al prac­tice with look­ing at & rec­og­niz­ing Chi­nese char­ac­ters.

Apart from pro­vid­ing a new sys­tem of pro­nun­ci­a­tion that enables you to com­plete remove your­self from any influ­ence of Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion, Zhuyin also has great ben­e­fits when read­ing Chi­nese. Learn­ers of Chi­nese will know this all too well – that when you look at a poster or news­pa­per that has both Eng­lish and Chi­nese, your eyes are auto­mat­i­cal­ly drawn to the Eng­lish. Nat­u­ral­ly, this prob­lem also occurs when read­ing Pinyin accom­pa­nied Chi­nese too, and is ampli­fied by the Pinyin being on a sep­a­rate line than the Chi­nese. Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing text:

When learn­ing Chi­nese and read­ing this text, the read­er is forced to look away from the Chi­nese to read the Pinyin, sub­se­quent­ly over­look­ing the Chi­nese:

When read­ing vocab­u­lary or ter­mi­nol­o­gy lists, as the Pinyin is even fur­ther away from the Chi­nese, the effect is more pro­nounced:

Again, result­ing in the Chi­nese being ignored or over­looked unless the read specif­i­cal­ly diverts their atten­tion to it:

Zhuyin, on the oth­er hand, is tucked in next to the char­ac­ter, almost becom­ing part of the char­ac­ter. It is near­ly impos­si­ble to read the Zhuyin with­out being exposed to the Chi­nese char­ac­ter. The result is that when read­ing Chi­nese, the read­er of Zhuyin receives increased expo­sure and rein­force­ment of the Chi­nese char­ac­ters, at the same time speed­ing up reten­tion.

Obvi­ous­ly the main set back up Zhuyin is that the learn­er must first mem­o­rise all of the char­ac­ters that rep­re­sent the Zhuyin alpha­bet. This process usu­al­ly takes a cou­ple of weeks, but as seen above, the long term ben­e­fits far out­weigh this tem­po­rary set­back.


Calligraphy in Motion (Special Camp Session) : June 26–30, 2017

A few fam­i­lies asked about sum­mer camps empha­siz­ing Chi­nese artis­tic expres­sion. So we decid­ed to set up a spe­cial camp ses­sion dur­ing the week of June 26–30.

Our “Cal­lig­ra­phy in Motion” camp will focus on Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy and mar­tial arts.

In the morn­ing, var­i­ous art and craft activ­i­ties will be taught by a local Chi­nese art teacher, San­dra Chang.

In the after­noon, campers will learn kung-fu from local mar­tial arts instruc­tor Mas­ter Guo from U.S. Shaolin Kung Fu.

Through­out the week, we want kids to have fun, but also learn to express Chi­nese char­ac­ters in art and to learn a com­plete kung-fu form (a chore­o­graphed pat­tern of kung-fu moves).

Like our oth­er ses­sions, we will com­mu­ni­cate with chil­dren in as much Chi­nese as they are capa­ble.

  • Reg­u­lar camp hours: 9:00am — 3:00pm
  • Extend­ed care hours: 8:00am — 6:30pm

Fill out our Sum­mer Camp Reg­is­tra­tion Form (click to down­load) and mark Ses­sion 2 (our Cal­lig­ra­phy-in-Motion camp).

Come to our Open House 2017

We are hav­ing our first Open House. We want to show every­one our space, chat with dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies and share our sum­mer camp and after-school pro­grams.

WHEN: Sat­ur­day May 20th from 4 to 6pm
WHERE: 1548 Uni­ver­si­ty Ave, Berke­ley, CA 94703

We will have var­i­ous activ­i­ties for kids and infor­ma­tion avail­able for par­ents.

Come explore our space.

New Logo, Website Redesign, and Presenting at GMIS Parent Info Night

New Logo

Han­wen School final­ly has a logo. Great thanks to a gen­er­ous and artis­tic Chi­nese teacher San­dra Chang who has a back­ground in graph­ic design. She helped cre­ate a style that evokes writ­ing cal­lig­ra­phy in a fun,child-like man­ner.

Along with the new logo, we adjust­ed our web­site to bet­ter match our new logo and the col­ors of our loca­tion. Our old web­site was some­thing quick­ly put togeth­er to get infor­ma­tion out to the com­mu­ni­ty. We hope every­one likes the new logo and web­site re-design.

GMIS Parent Info Night

We also had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to present at the GMIS Par­ent Info Night about “Local Man­darin Options after Preschool” and share some infor­ma­tion about our Han­wen School after school and sum­mer sci­ence pro­grams.

Yay! Zoning & Building Permits Approved

Our zon­ing and build­ing per­mits were approved by the City of Berke­ley last week.
Con­struc­tion is ongo­ing and our facil­i­ty will be ready mid-March 2017.

Our Man­darin immer­sion & Chi­nese her­itage school will pro­vide after-school lan­guage pro­grams and sum­mer sci­ence camps to chil­dren in our local East Bay com­mu­ni­ty.

Infor­ma­tion about our 2017 Sum­mer Sci­ence Camp will be avail­able lat­er this week.
Join our mail­ing list to stay updat­ed.

We are locat­ed at 1548 Uni­ver­si­ty Ave, between Sacra­men­to St. and Cal­i­for­nia St.


Our facil­i­ty has great spaces for chil­dren to engage in fun activ­i­ties while learn­ing Man­darin Chi­nese.

  • A large activ­i­ty area allows kids to run around and is a great way for kids to learn Chi­nese through kung-fu, dance, and phys­i­cal game activ­i­ties. Relay races and oth­er games teach­es kids to rec­og­nize Chi­nese char­ac­ters while hav­ing fun.
  • A class­room space lets our teach­ers help kids improve their Chi­nese read­ing and writ­ing skills.
  • The library/study and arts & crafts areas break kids into small groups for var­i­ous activ­i­ties. The library will have a books in Chi­nese for kids of dif­fer­ent pro­fi­cien­cy lev­els.
  • The tutor­ing and pri­vate music rooms are avail­able for par­ents to pro­vide their child addi­tion­al sup­ple­men­tal instruc­tion or enrich­ment.
Floor Plan
Floor Plan