Apart from oral language games and structuring of teaching reading to early Chinese learners, a focus on how to write Chinese is also important. Our research indicates that having young children (kindergartners) copy characters is negatively associated with their early literacy skills. It is possible and even likely that such copying is very helpful for older children’s learning, but for the youngest learners, a better method of teaching writing is to point out components (radicals) of characters and to point out shared characters across words. The more children are encouraged to write for themselves, the better they learn. Focus the children on any interesting patterns (shared radicals, shared characters across a list of words, visual similarities) to maintain focus. Examples of characters and words that share a pattern in common include the following:
 

她

Unique radical: 女 Meaning: Woman

他

Unique radical: 人 Meaning: Human/Man

跳

Unique radical: 足 Meaning: Foot

挑

Unique radical: 手 Meaning: Hand

淺

Unique radical: 水 Meaning: Water

錢

Unique radical: 金 Meaning: Gold

帕

Unique radical: 巾 Meaning: Towel

柏

Unique radical: 木 Meaning: Wood

呵

Unique radical: 口 Meaning: Mouth

荷

Unique radical: 艸 Meaning: Grass

笆

Unique radical: 竹 Meaning: Bamboo

疤

Unique radical: 病 Meaning: Sickness

Focus on distinct structures of characters

Common radical:也

Common radical:兆

Common radical:

Common radical:白

Common radical:可

Common radical:巴