Hard work alone does not guarantee success in learning Chinese. The secret of success is largely due to following a clearly defined path comprised of many manageable, yet significant, small steps, and often requires a conscious change of attitude to the traditional approach.
MSL Master offers two inter-related and also stand-alone series of Chinese textbooks, Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series, which clearly separate between learning to interact verbally and learning to read and write. These books are for non-Chinese speakers to learn Chinese efficiently and effectively, providing a well designed learning path for them to progress from complete beginners to Chinese proficiency and cultural literacy.
Four levels of comprehensive Mandarin instruction ranging from daily activities to world issues
Practical task-based learning with a wide variety of text presentations
Targeted words and structures are re-enforced through interactive exercises and listening drills
Carefully picked characters based on their frequency in Chinese and their places in Mandarin Express series
Numerous illustrations to show how to use these characters in combinations, sentences and narratives
Each character introduced is in connection with, and only in connection with, the characters already presented
These two series of Chinese textbooks are a departure from the traditional approach to learning Chinese. Traditional textbooks are usually made up with a few blocks in each lesson, including a new vocabulary list, main text, a list of grammar points, and some written exercises at the end. There is only one metric that determines the level of difficulties, the amount of new words. April Zhang considers this format is the least inspiring and the least effective approach to learn Chinese.
After many years of development, April is able to create a new format which actually invites students to engage in the process of learning Chinese. Special techniques are applied to make sure students have sufficient opportunities to speak, to question, to present, to explain, and to critique. Different metrics are applied to gauge levels of difficulties. A separate Work Book is written for more targeted exercises. Moreover, the textbooks encourage mutual cultural understanding, and present Chinese culture in the most ordinary way.
Two series of Chinese textbooks, which clearly separate between learning to interact orally and learning to read and write, is the best approach to the task of learning Chinese.
When addressing to students of different cultural backgrounds, it is important to find the right approach to present Chinese culture and to draw students into the discussions.
A high quality Chinese curriculum can guide students through a series of incremental progress, with clear instructions, targeted exercises and sufficient repetitions.
We use a set of metrics to determine the level of difficulties, so that the beginner’s Chinese textbooks are not too hard, or the advanced not too easy.
Understand the structure of Mandarin Express Work Books, an essential component of our Chinese textbooks, and also get some ideas for writing exercises.
In addition to two series of Chinese textbooks, there are many useful resources and interactive devices ready to support teaching and learning Chinese.
These two series of Chinese textbooks help students build up their Chinese language skills and cultural knowledge in four stages. As students progress from a lower stage to a higher stage, they will experience a different type of instruction, and their participation and contribution in the class will also gradually become more and more important to their success.
What can students expect when they start on this four-stage Chinese learning path? What kind of learning curve will they experience? It is beneficial for students to know what to expect when learning Chinese. It prepares them both psychologically and physically for the best possible learning outcomes.