Best bilingual Montessori flashcards

  • Post last modified:27 January 2021
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Hello. 你好。


Today we are going to learn about using flashcards for teaching. In my career as a special needs educator, I have used my fair share of flashcards for teaching. And in my honest opinion, I find the Montessori 3 part flashcard system to be the most effective and versatile.

What is the 3 part Montessori flashcards system?

3 part Montessori Flashcards

You can probably gather from the name, there are 3 components to the flashcards.

1st part – Base flashcard, with all the components

2nd part– Picture only

3rd part – Label only

It is a fantastic tool for teaching vocabulary, reading, writing, and classification of objects.

Each set of flashcards should be colour coded for ease of organisation. 

The pictures should preferably be real objects instead of cartoon cliparts, to aid in understanding and support independent generalisation from flashcards to the real environment.

What is the Mandarin Homeschool bilingual flashcards system?

After months of designing and tweaking my flashcards, I have come up with my own 6 parts bilingual flashcards for teaching both English and Mandarin Chinese to my children.

On top of the original three parts of the Montessori flashcard, I have also separated the language component to Chinese label, pin yin/zhu yin and English label to accommodate students’ varying needs and abilities.

6 part Montessori style Bilingual Flashcard

1st part – Base flashcard, with all the components

2nd part– Picture only

3rd part – Label only (Chinese, pinyin and English)

4th part – Chinese word only

5th partpin yin/zhu yin only

6th part – English word only

How do I use it for teaching?

There are so many ways you can use the flashcards. Depending on the age and cognitive level of your student, here are some ideas for you. I have listed them down from the easiest to the most challenging.

  1. Picture to Picture Matching – Using the second set of flashcards, give the child the picture part to match. Place at least 3 cards down as discriminants (*See rationale below)
  2. Object to Picture Matching – Give the child real objects or plastic objects to match to the picture card.
  3. Picture naming – Showing only one picture card at a time, name the picture clearly for your child
  4. Receptive Language (Basic) – Place at least 3 picture cards down for discimination (*See rationale below). Ask your child to “show me (Label)”.
  5. Expressive language (Basic) – Ask your child “What is this?”, starting with the picture cards, and then moving on to the actual object.
  6. Sorting (Basic) – Give your child all component cards and have them match it to the base card.
  7. Receptive Language – (Intermediate) – Place at least 3 language component cards down for discimination.  Ask your child to “show me (Label)”.
  8. Expressive Language – (Intermediate) – Ask your child “What is this?/What does this say” and point to the language component cards.
  9. Sorting (Intermediate) – Without giving your child the base card, have your child match all the language component cards to the picture card. 

*Rationale for having at least 3 cards as discrimination. For younger students, when they are learning something new, they may guess and while it may be tempting to reduce the number of cards, 2 cards means they have a 50% chance of getting the correct answer without even understanding the concept. So NEVER place 2 cards down only!

~Note: I suggest printing the cards on cardstock or if you have a laminator to laminate them, so you can get multiple uses out of it

Free Bilingual Flashcards

Here is a free set of the 6 part bilingual flashcards for you! If you like them and find them useful for your personal teaching, please leave a comment or drop me a line! 

More flashcards can be purchased here from my TpT store. More to come as I find time to make them!

Currently I have these themes ready for purchase in three different versions

  1. Simplified Chinese, English & Pinyin
  2. Traditional Chinese, English & Pinyin
  3. Traditional Chinese, English & Zhuyin
Shapes Flashcards
Fruit Flashcards
Vegetables Flashcards
simplified chinese english flashcards transport
Transport Flashcards
Colours Flashcards
Simplified Chinese English Flashcards utensils
Utensils Flashcards
Simplified Chinese English Flashcards clothing
Clothing Flashcards
Simplified Chinese English Flashcards food 1
Food Mains Flashcard Set 1
simplified chinese english flashcards food
Mains Flashcard Set 2
Simplified Chinese English Flashcards head
Body (Head) Flashcards
My Body Flashcards
Simplified Chinese English Flashcards animal
Animal Flashcards

I also have other really awesome teaching materials for Mandarin Chinese here for you. Check it out here.

References and Links used:

This Toddler Life 

Montessori Print Shop

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