Mandarin Chinese is a language. One reason of learning a new language is to learn a new way of expressing ourselves. More over, "to express" has a built-in quality of clarity. We learn how to express ourselves in a new language and make all our expressions clear. Therefore, the first meaning of "express" in the title of textbook Mandarin Express series is "to express": to say something in Chinese and to say it clearly.
In the previous two posts, we discussed how inadequate Pinyin is, and how three different methods, all with a primary focus on accumulating a number of Chinese characters, lead to poor learning outcomes.
In this post, we will discuss something more intangible and really devastating – anxieties. Moser is the prime example. Throughout his post, I cannot but feel how defeated he was over his Chinese learning results.
Another thing Moser repeatedly talks about is that the Chinese writing system is difficult. I totally agree, and I will give additional points and examples to elaborate. Nobody can ever make Chinese writing system easy.
For people without any Chinese background, learning Chinese is NOT easy. Do not believe any anybody (mainly publishers, textbook writers, and sometimes Chinese language teachers) who claims otherwise.
Learning Mandarin effectively is about understanding input and output. Let's take a closer look in the context of speaking and listening.
The basic input is sounds, words, patterns, meanings, grammars and etc. The basic output is student's ability to listen and to speak, to carry on a conversation or to express some ideas.