Developing Chinese Language Teachers

StarTalk E-Books and PDF Files

In summer of 2013, the NYU StarTalk Immersion Training Program for Teachers of Chinese (1-6) for pre- and in-service teachers of Chinese welcomed 38 teachers to NYU for training leading to certification in Teaching Chinese (grades 1-6). The teachers participated in the graduate level summer course “Teaching Foreign Language to Elementary School Children” (FLES), which leads to NY state certification extension in foreign language to grades 1-6. Follow-up training sessions will concentrate on immersion education.

A series of pattern stories based on culturally important stories from the Chinese-speaking world were developed by participants in the StarTalk project. The stories were professionally illustrated (by renowned illustrator Denis Bellocq), narrated, and published in iBook format using Book Creator software. 

Eight stories developed during the 2013 StarTalk program are available here. The pdf version can be downloaded and printed; the narrated iBook version can be downloaded and opened in iBook on an iPad or compatible device.

螳螂捕蝉 (Always Watch Your Back)

A mantis is stalking a cicada, but it doesn’t know there is an oriole behind him. This proverb is used to describe people who pursue immediate gains while neglecting greater danger behind.

Always_Watch_Your_Back (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Always_Watch_Your_Back (pdf)

亡羊补牢 Better Late Than Never

A wolf stole the farmer’s sheep through a hole in the fence! But after the famer fixed the fence, the wolf could not steal any more sheep. Originating around 400 B.C., this story teaches us that even though we have made mistakes and suffered from losses, we can still fix them by learning from our mistakes.

Better Late than Never (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Better Late Than Never (pdf)

金太阳,银太阳 (Golden Sun, Silver Sun)

Golden Sun, Silver Sun is a Chinese legend about how the sun and the moon came to be. It reflects traditional Chinese people's belief of the harmonious relationship between nature and human beings.

Golden Sun, Silver Sun (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Golden Sun, Silver Sun (pdf)

小马过河 (Little Horse Crosses the River)

The little horse wanted to cross the river, but he did not know how deep the water was. What should he do? Ask Mr. Cow and Ms. Squirrel, or try by himself? A popular Chinese tale for children, Little Horse Crosses the River encourages children to think independently and not to fear challenges.

Little Horse Crosses the River (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Little Horse Crosses the River (pdf)

小猫钓鱼 (Little Kitten Goes Fishing)

A lovely Chinese fable about a kitten who goes fishing with her mom. She does not catch any fish at first because she was absentminded. What children can learn from this story is that success always comes from staying focused.

Little Kitten Goes Fishing (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Little Kitten Goes Fishing (pdf)

盲人摸象 (Six Blind Men and the Elephant)

Six blind men touched an elephant to see what it was like. Each of them felt a different part and had different perspectives. This tale implies that while one’s subjective experience and opinion can be true, they may be limited because of insufficient holistic knowledge.

Six Blind Men and an Elephant (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Six Blind Men and an Elephant (pdf)

杞人忧天 (The Worrisome Man)

Yoyo worried about everything to the point that he could not even leave his room, out of fear that the sky would fall and the earth would collapse. But are these worries necessary? The tale satirizes people who worry about groundless things, and tells the readers to be broad minded and cheerful.

The Worrisome Man (opens in iBook, narrated version)

The Worrisome Man (pdf)

三个和尚 (Three Monks)

Based on the ancient Chinese proverb "One monk will shoulder two buckets of water, two monks will share the load, but add a third and no one will want to fetch water." The story encourages children to understand the old saying, “unity is strength.”

Three Monks (opens in iBook, narrated version)

Three Monks (pdf)