Teaching the Ventriloquist’s Daughter (8) ~ the Finale!

We are delighted that our Teaching Consultant and Advisory Board member Dr Theresa Munford, of St Gregory’s School in Bath, has created a blog series for us on the practicalities of using an authentic text to create a Y10 scheme of work. The text she has chosen is The Ventriloquist’s Daughter by Lin Man-chiu, translated by Helen Wang.

Part 8. 9th July 2018

Lesson 8: Character Writing Practice and Display preparation


With the map painted and the display ready to go up, this final lesson not only gave us some of the signs for the display but was also a good way of assessing the students’ confidence with writing unfamiliar characters.



It proved to be a good vehicle for checking and revising the basic rules of stroke order.  One of the hardest things in the earliest stages of learning Mandarin is the confidence to write unfamiliar characters.  Learners often don’t believe that if you’ve got the basics you can write pretty much any character you see.  This lesson reinforced that skill and showed up a few basic errors.  Needless to say,  there are always characters where the stroke order defies logic but I work on the principle that 100% accuracy is not necessary except for aspiring calligraphers!


The final lesson of term was used to mount the display and the students were so self-motivated and needed so little guidance, I was able to sit back and watch it take shape.  The perfect antidote for a busy term!




Central American countries

Lesson 8