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.
Teaching and learning Mandarin Chinese are going to stay around for a while. We want it to be enjoyable and effective, and to create great experiences for both teachers and students. And we want more people to know about it. So, next stop is Frankfurt Book Fair! Situated in the heart of Europe, Frankfurt is the place to meet, to discuss and to forge long term relationships. It is all about books, or about people who make books matter.
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.
A call for all Chinese teachers and Chinese educators: an exciting event is just around the corner now! Organized by Asia Society and College Board, the tenth annual National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC) will be held in Houston, April 6 – 8, 2017. Representing Mandarin as a Second Language Master (MSL Master), Ms April Zhang is scheduled to present to the conference on April 8, at 9:45am-10:45am. The topic is Class Activities that Benefit both Students and Teachers.
The Annual Convention & World Languages Exposition organized by ACTFL on Nov 18-20 was a big event in language teaching and learning. We are happy that MSL could be part of it.
Student's post, by Adam C.
I began taking Mandarin lessons with MSL Master / April Zhang in June 2015, starting essentially from scratch. Shortly before studying with April, I had short-lived experiments with two other Mandarin tutors, but I left both of those tutors fairly quickly without picking up much of use -- it was too frustrating to be taught by someone who was unenthusiastic about teaching, and was simply reading straight from a textbook with which they were barely familiar.
Student's post, by Keong:
It's often said that learning Chinese (Mandarin) is very difficult. When considering the truth or otherwise of that virtual cliché, the reality is that learning ANY foreign language presents all sorts of challenges – particularly when at that stage of learning (and it is a long stage) where you are relying on memory, when language ability is not yet at that level which can reasonably be described as 'fluent' and there is no practical opportunity for immersion.
Ok, the title sounds pretentious. But everyone has a reason to write. My reason to write 20 Mandarin textbooks, to put up with the pain and the long hours, are stated below.
Many people start learning Mandarin after they have started their career. For them, time is precious. But often, half of the time they spend on learning Mandarin is wasted. They often spend too much time trying to remember the tones, and lose the opportunity to do focused practice.
Have you ever had dinner in a Chinese restaurant? If you have, you probably noticed how loud the diners are! The atmosphere is bright with lots of lights on. These Chinese people eat, chat and laugh, merrily. This is in contrast with dining in a western restaurant. The light is dim. The diners eat quietly. If you have taken a flight with many Chinese tourists, you will find yourself surrounded by a happy buzz. But if sit with many western people in an airplane, you will notice that nobody is talking to each another. This brought lots of westerners' comment: "ah, Chinese people are so loud".