We have got awesome Teacher's Manuals for you to make your Chinese language class a success.

Within the framework provided by Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series, the learning process can be divided into four stages:

  • Introduction
  • Foundation
  • Development
  • Acculturation

Each stage has its own objectives, determines the type of instruction, and requires different kinds of participation from students.

 

Introduction Stage
Students have no prior knowledge of the Chinese language.

The objective:
Students get familiar with the sound of Chinese, learn basic sentence structures, and carry on basic conversations of daily topics.

The instruction:
Students' own language is the main language of instruction. For some often used classroom phrases like, "I have a question", students are encouraged to use Chinese. Students learn Chinese listening and speaking through Pinyin, and they are not required to learn Chinese characters.

Students' participation:
Students have no difficulty understanding the texts. The vocabulary is small and sentence structures are straightforward. The difficulty lies in the sounds. It is hard to distinguish and to produce correct pronunciation. To address this issue, students must go through numerous repetitions. However, we do not want students just to repeat mechanically after the teachers or the recordings. This drill is the least stimulating, the least effective, and often leads to over-correction of pronunciations, which disrupts the flow of learning and makes students frustrated. Therefore, we are after "progress", not "perfection". With numerous class activities and targeted short pronunciation drills, students will be able to distinguish different sounds and their pronunciation will improve steadily.
Students participate in many interesting class activities and finish carefully designed exercises, during which students stay alert and focused. Students' personal input is limited.

 

Foundation Stage
Students have learned some Chinese. But they have no knowledge of the Chinese writing system.

The objective:
Students acquire 320 basic Chinese characters and develop sophisticated skills in reading and writing Chinese texts. At the same time, they learn to be expressive on various topics. Sentence structures continue to be basic.

The instruction:
This stage sees a gradual increase of Chinese as the main language of instruction. Students continue to advance their verbal expressiveness through Pinyin, while slowly developing their Chinese reading and writing ability, which re-enforces and strengthens their listening and speaking.

Students' participation:

    • Chinese Reading and Writing classes – Texts are simple. The difficulty lies in getting used to and remembering the characters. Students are requested to do various reading and writing exercises to be able to: (1) know where to draw word boundaries in a given Chinese text; (2) understand the meaning of a given character in a context; (3) comprehend the meaning of the entire written text; and (4) write a short essay in a given topic. Students' personal input is limited.
    • Mandarin Express classes – Gradually, topics become more and more complex, and more time is devoted to various discussions, such as sharing ideas, interviewing, and so on. Students' personal input gradually increases.

 

Development Stage
Students have gained essential skills in reading and writing Chinese text, and are able to carry on conversations of various social topics.

The objective:
Students learn 2000-2500 characters rapidly, acquire more complex sentence structures, and develop their abilities in presenting and writing in Chinese on many contemporary topics.

The instruction:
Chinese is the main language of instruction. Pinyin is no longer included in the textbooks.

Students' participation:
Classes are organized around sharing ideas, presenting information and writing short essays. Students' personal input is actively sought after. Peer support and correction are explicitly encouraged both inside and outside of classrooms.

 

Acculturation Stage
Students have developed good Chinese language skills, and have also acquired some understanding on Chinese cultural practices and traditional values.

The objective:
Students read long analytical articles and a selection of classical texts, and get an acute sense of Chinese cultural literacy in various aspects, such as history, literature, philosophy, and so on.

The instruction:
Chinese is the main language of instruction. Students also give mini-lectures of various kinds.

Students' participation:
Students' active participation is essential. There is a deliberate "lack" of information in the textbooks, which students must fill in. Students search for information and present their findings, thoughts and theories. Group discussions are throughout the classes. Peer support is indispensable both inside and outside of classrooms.

 

More detailed specifics of each unit's topics and learning objectives can be found in Teacher's Manuals, where a number of word games are suggested. Word games give targeted exercises on each unit's new vocabulary, help students remember and put the new words into appropriate usage, and can be utilized to bring the classes to life and increase students' interest.

Work Book exercises are written as targeted drills. Each exercise is designed to target one or two specific areas, while tapping into different modes of brainpower for input and output. Exercises can be completed individually as homework assignments or as pair/group work during classes.

One quick evaluation is recommended after each unit. It is also the last class activity of the unit. Students are expected to take this opportunity to put what they have learned into a project, showing their understanding of the texts and expressing their own ideas on the given topics. Evaluations are based on presentations and written reports. Higher grades are given to creativity and fresh analysis, and a clear demonstration of good usage of Chinese language.

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