Supporting resources for teaching and learning Chinese
In addition to two series of Chinese textbooks, Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series, we also provide many teaching and learning resources that teachers and students can tap into, and that include free online materials, Teacher’s Manuals, Chinese Learning Pen and App.
These resources share insights into learning Chinese, support teachers conducting lessons, and expand the learning scope for students.
Free online resources
These free online resources are available at finger tips, including articles on teaching and learning Chinese, class activities that teachers can use right away, and some frequently asked questions.
Article section covers a wide range of topics, containing important information or research results on teaching and learning Chinese. Many articles give in-depth analyses on Chinese language and offer actionable advices on how to develop Chinese language abilities. Some of the most popular articles include: Give me a word, any word, talking about how Chinese language have absorbed words from other languages; Controlled exercises - How lower level students develop listening ability, analysing why it is difficult for beginner students to improve their Mandarin listening abilities and what they can do about it; Chinese radicals - a fact sheet, addressing some myth and misconceptions about radicals; and more.
Class activities are a small sample of what teachers can do to get students involved in their Chinese learning process, and to have them interact with each other. For example, Find some one who ..., a great class activity for students to practice communicating in Chinese and to know more about one another. Interactions, when done well, not only bring outstanding learning result, but also make learning Chinese fun and enjoyable, and build rapport between students and the teacher.
In the section of frequently asked questions, we give our opinions on some highly debatable issues regarding teaching and learning Chinese. For example, should English translations be included in Chinese textbooks. Our answer is “No”. English should not be printed side by side with Chinese texts. If translations must be given, it should be hidden.
We intend this online resource centre to be convenient and helpful for both Chinese teachers and learners. And we will continue to add more content regularly.
Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series are best used in classrooms where a teacher is facilitating the process of learning, practising, and consolidating. To best assist teachers in conducting lessons, we have produced Teacher’s Manuals which are free for MSL Partners, who are Chinese teachers or schools using our textbooks as their main teaching materials.
Covering Chinese Reading and Writing 1-6, Mandarin Express Intro, Basic and Pre-Intermediate Levels, twelve Teacher’s Manuals provide a clear statement of the learning objectives, the outline of lessons and extra class activities, and help teachers address how to teach students at different levels. Beginner students, who are at the Introduction Stage, are taught differently from advanced students, who are at the Acculturation Stage. Teachers are advised to use different strategies to best involve students into Chinese classes. The better students get at Chinese, the more they are expected to contribute to their learning.
Chinese Learning Pen
Listening is an important input. Listening skill is a critical language skill. Listening to the authentic audio while reading the Chinese texts written in characters promotes the association between Chinese characters and their pronunciations. All these can be achieved by using the Chinese Learning Pen.
Chinese Learning Pen provides native Mandarin Chinese audio of the contents of the books, for students to have adequate listening input and to gradually develop their listening abilities. It also has an interactive dimension, allowing students to bring the teacher anywhere as an aid when learning Chinese. Moreover, the Pen can be used to record students’ speaking in order to compare with the recordings done by native Mandarin speakers.
Chinese Learning App
The Chinese Learning App, once connected with the Chinese Learning Pen via bluetooth, further expands the learning interface by providing additional functions. The App can display animation of writing Chinese character for students to practice writing on the screen directly using their fingers.
Moreover, the App displays colour coded Chinese texts, teaching students how to deconstruct Chinese texts into words and to construct the meaning of the texts. If they have difficulties, English translation is available at the push of a button. By doing so, English texts will not act as an obstacle to learning Chinese, or divert students’ attention from the Chinese texts, instead, give help when needed.