This Intensive Mandarin Program is a beginner’s integrated Chinese learning program, designed for non-Chinese speakers with no Chinese background to have a quick start in learning Mandarin Chinese. This program helps students rapidly build up their abilities in terms of four basic language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
This program includes three key components: targeted drills, core lessons and supplementary class activities. The following table explains the structure of this Intensive Mandarin Program.
Each lesson starts with a targeted drill, focusing on a specific area of difficulties, such as differentiating some of the confusing sounds in Mandarin, practicing tones, or training muscle memories of writing Chinese characters. This drill is short and prepares students, both mentally and physically, for the core Mandarin lessons of the day.
The core lessons include the content of two Mandarin Chinese courses, Mandarin Express Intro Level A and Chinese Reading and Writing 1, which students learn on alternative days. These two courses have different focuses, and are inter-related. Lacing them up will create a nice re-enforcing structure and bring out the best learning result in a very short time.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, students take Mandarin Express Intro Level A core lessons, which focus on listening and speaking Mandarin, teaching students the uniqueness of Mandarin pronunciations and helping them develop conversational abilities around ten fundamental topics, such as self introduction, places around the town, and daily activities. There are many interesting, fun and interactive class activities, providing opportunities for students to speak Mandarin as much as possible. Adequate listening exercises are included in the Work Book for students to train their listening skills.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students take Chinese Reading and Writing 1 core lessons, which teach students strokes and stroke orders and how to read and write Chinese texts with 70 most frequently used Chinese characters. The objective of the reading and writing lessons is to develop students’ abilities in reading and writing short Chinese texts, such as sentences and conversations, not to push them to follow the stroke orders rigidly. At the start of learning Chinese characters, many students are overly concerned about whether or not they are following the correct stroke orders. And this is not necessary. Stroke orders provide guidelines and are beneficial, but they don’t dictate how people write Chinese.
Following the core lessons and a brief break, a supplementary section is arranged with various class activities of cultural interests. Students sing popular songs, or read some nice articles on Chinese culture.
This is a 4-week half-day program, and will leave students sufficient time for revision and rest.
Evaluation of Progress
Students are assessed based on their performance of interacting with the teacher and others during class activists and their writing in clear and comprehensible Chinese.
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