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.

Abstract:

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.

Unfortunately, Chinese culture is often introduced in a way that alienates students from Chinese culture. For example, chapters on what Chinese people usually do during Chinese New Year, textual analysis often shows a clear boundary between Chinese culture and the students' culture.

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 30 minutes long. Registration fee is HK$100 per person per workshop. Early bird fee is HK$80. Subscribe to the newsletter (below) to receive coming schedules.

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".

Mandarin Express Intermediate Level B features a nice collection of Chinese famous texts, including poetries, essays, novels, and etc. This collection covers a time span of almost 4000 years, ranging from 2100 BCE to 1950s CE, and includes classical texts as well as modern vernacular texts. At this level, the students get to a real grasp of Chinese, not only as a language per se, but also as a means of carrying Chinese historical events and thoughts forward till today. The students get to appreciate and also participate in some important debates which have shaped China as it is now. 

ISBN: 978-988-13831-7-4
Author: Zhang Xuehong
Publisher: MSL Master
Category: Chinese textbook
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication time: 2015
Pages: 142
Price: 

HK$370.00

Contact us for sample pages.

Mandarin Express Intermediate Level A features long texts, written for the students to get into historical events, world issues, and exchanges of abstract topics. Realistic discussions actively require the students' full involvement.

ISBN: 978-988-13831-6-7
Author: Zhang Xuehong
Publisher: MSL Master
Category: Chinese textbook
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication time: 2014
Pages: 102
Price: 

HK$370.00

Contact us for sample pages.

The Work Book is written within the framework of the Student's Book. Targeted words, phrases and patterns are shuffled and used again and again in numerous sentences, paragraphs, conversations and readings. Large amount of interactive exercises and listening drills help the students achieve desired learning outcome.

ISBN: 978-988-13831-9-8
Author: Zhang Xuehong
Publisher: MSL Master
Category: Chinese textbook
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication time: 2014
Pages: 93
Audio: 2 CDs (104 min)
Price: 

HK$320.00

Contact us for sample pages.

Mandarin Express Pre-Intermediate Level B is the second book of this level. It also focuses on 10 advanced topics. The course takes on many different contemporary issues, such as pollution, crimes and economy, and helps the students articulate their thoughts in Mandarin. Short, concise and in-depth readings are incorporated into the text to increase the students' reading and writing abilities.

ISBN: 978-988-13831-8-1
Author: Zhang Xuehong
Publisher: MSL Master
Category: Chinese textbook
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication time: 2014
Pages: 85
Audio: 1 CD (76 min)
Price: 

HK$370.00

Contact us for sample pages.

Book Reviews:

"The follow through and expansion of vocabulary from Pre-Intermediate A is significant as is the need to continue revisiting previous lessons so as to move words and phrases from short term memory to something that is ingrained. A realistic measure of grasp of Chinese at this point is simply to try and listen to the news - preferably a channel with subtitles - and to realize that genuine headway has been made. Motivation to push through is there because it is no longer all Greek!! The feeling is that by following this program, fluency is within grasp. Well worth it!"

- Keong Hui

The Work Book is written within the framework of the Student's Book. Targeted words, phrases and patterns are shuffled and used again and again in numerous sentences, paragraphs, conversations and readings. Large amount of interactive exercises and listening drills help the students achieve desired learning outcome.

ISBN: 978-988-13662-9-0
Author: Zhang Xuehong
Publisher: MSL Master
Category: Chinese textbook
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication time: 2014
Pages: 109
Audio: 2 CDs (77 min)
Price: 

HK$320.00

Contact us for sample pages.

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