Every picture tells a story. Yes, pictures can be very effective for stimulating discussion and prompting creative and imaginative thinking among young children in language class, including Chinese.

For some 22 preschool Chinese teachers who attended a two-day workshop on using picture prompts in teaching young children, the subject is nothing new. However, there is a methodological way to make learning more effective. That’s what the workshop on 22 and 29 April did – helping the teachers to be more proficient in “Using Picture Prompts to Stimulate Thinking and Promote Oral and Aural Chinese Language Skills”.

The participants learned there were many ways to stimulate young children’s curiosity, imagination and understanding by raising questions relating to selected pictures, and how they can effectively promote greater oral and aural development through their growing years.

Using such techniques as associative questioning, interest-led questioning, open-ended questioning and progressive questioning, teachers can get their children to evaluate and integrate ideas from pictures and present them in coherent stories using precise vocabulary and language.

The workshop was conducted by Dr Hu Rong, who holds a  PhD in Chinese Language, a Masters in Chinese Language & Literature and a Degree in Economics. A lecturer with KLCII for the last 15 years, she currently teaches in the Beijing Normal University (BNU) and Zhejiang Normal University (ZNU) programmes run by KLCII and has published various EC teaching resources.