top of page

Reading number in Cantonese

Lesson Overview

This project uses the Scratch programming platform to engage preschool and primary school students in learning how to count in Cantonese. Through interactive programming activities, students will simulate the pronunciation of various numbers, gaining insight into Cantonese number pronunciations and the structural composition of numbers (units, tens, hundreds). The initiative also focuses on fostering computational thinking, enhancing problem-solving capabilities, and promoting an understanding of fundamental programming concepts.

Learning Objectives

  • Improve comprehension of numerical structures—units, tens, hundreds and thousands—and their combinations to form different numbers.

  • Develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills through hands-on programming tasks.

  • Acquire basic programming abilities in Scratch, focusing on conditional logic and sound file manipulation.

Task Description and Resources

Problem Statement: Please design a program that can pronounce numbers in Cantonese according to your input.

Suggested Steps:

(1) Audio Preparation

  • Record the Cantonese syllables for numbers 0-9, as well as for “ten,” (十) “hundred,”(百) “thousand,”(千) and “ten thousand.” (萬)

  • Ensure the audio quality of all recordings and that the file names accurately reflect the represented numbers or terms for straightforward integration into Scratch.

(2) Designing the Input Interface

  • Construct a simple user interface in Scratch that allows for number input by users. This might include a numeric keypad or a simple text input box.

  • Utilize the “ask and wait” block to prompt users to enter a number and store this input for further processing.

(3) Logic for Number Pronunciation

  • Single Digits: Play the corresponding digit’s sound file for input numbers less than or equal to 10.

  • Tens: For inputs between 11 and 19, play the “ten” sound followed by the single digit’s sound. For 20 and above, sequence the playback starting with the tens digit’s sound, then “ten,” and conclude with the unit’s sound (if not zero).

  • Hundreds and Beyond: Implement conditional statements to select appropriate sound files for playback, based on the numerical values of the hundreds, tens, and unit positions.

Reference Code:



Through these tasks, students will not only discover the value of Pi in a fun and engaging manner but also gain insights into fundamental mathematical and programming concepts. By blending the exploration of Pi with Scratch programming, students will advance their mathematical reasoning, computational skills, and understanding of pi, setting a solid foundation for future learning in STEM fields.


The author would like to thank Hui Yan Ye for designing this lesson and appreciate all the anonymous teachers and students who participated in this research.

bottom of page