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.
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.
April Zhang will deliver this paper in full length at The Third International Conference on Chinese Heritage Education: Cornerstone to US Global Collaboration 中文傳承教育: 立足全美、放眼世界, Newark, CA, USA, Aug 12-13, 2017. Come and connect if you are around.
For young adults or adults, non-Chinese speakers often come to learn Chinese for some practical reasons, for example, to travel around China and to learn Chinese culture. Chinese textbooks are the necessary means to fulfill this need.
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.
There are many workshops under this theme, as there are so many many idioms in Chinese language. Chinese idioms are hard to understand and equally hard to use. Participating through these workshops helps you learn one idiom at a time. Chinese original text and English translations will be read together back to back. High level of Chinese proficiency will be a plus, but not a must. Each workshop features one Chinese idiom, and is 20-30 minutes long.
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".