Frequently Asked Questions

Please check the FAQ first. If your question is not here or you request for new features, then email - Thanks.

There is no sound on my iPhone

If the iPhone ringer is in silent mode (mute button is down), this app which uses the Web Audio Api is also muted.

On my Android phone, there is English voice but Chinese is silent

On Android, Chinese Text-to-speech may not be available by default. To select, see Text-to-speech output or your phone manufacturer's instructions.

Can I set my spelling words?

Yes, you can. Go to Settings and enter your spelling words. The words are separated by comma (for English only) and limited to a maximum of 10 words. A unique URL and QR code is generated to share with anyone who wants to learn your list of spelling words. Useful for teachers.

The levels and word list are reset

This happens when you clear your browser cache. To get back your word list, use the unique URL or re-enter your words.

Do I need to supervise my child?

Yes, you do. It is a way to bond with the child and provide support and encourage grit and effort. With the right scaffold, the content knowledge can be easily understood by an adult caregiver be it the grandparent, uncle/aunt, parent, helper, social worker, a neighbor who is retired or full-time homemaker.

Why is the stroke order important in 听写 practice?

Stroke order (笔顺) helps in memorizing Chinese characters. 2 short videos explain the basic strokes and the 7 stroke order rules.

Your child will have a deeper understanding of the structure of every Chinese character learnt. Understanding the basic strokes and stroke order is 'sharpening the axe' in the Chinese idiom 磨刀不误砍柴工 (sharpening the axe does not delay cutting the wood).

In the MOE Chinese Curriculum Standards for Primary Schools (小学华文课程标准), under the section Writing Knowledge and Skills (写作知识与技能), Primary 1-3 students shall master the basic strokes and write according to the stroke order rules (掌握基本笔画,按笔顺规则写字).

Why is your application FREE?

We want to make spelling as painless as possible by using scaffolds to reduce cognitive loads. This benefit should be available to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status. Every child is entitled to full marks for spelling. This is not possible if we have to pay for tutors and rent. We are also supported by grateful parents.

What does SHIRA stand for?

Study Hard Is Really Archaic. Instead Study Smart with Scaffolds. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same clothes every day to decrease their cognitive load. Scaffolds do the same. Scaffolds create the Goldilocks effect, introduce practice that neither overwhelm nor under-challenge.