From a Chinese learner to a Chinese teacher

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 22 September 2021. Posted in Student's Posts

From a Chinese learner to a Chinese teacher

This is an inspirational story from a colleague working in a university in Trinidad & Tobago, Janine L. 

Dedicated and hardworking, she shares her past learning experiences and talks about what it took to get to where she is now.

Mid-Autumn festival fruit guide

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 18 September 2021. Posted in Front Page

Mid-Autumn festival fruit guide

This year’s Zhong Qiu Jie (中秋节), Mid-Autumn festival, is just around the corner, Sep 21 to be precise, and it is a time for Chinese learners around the world to take a break in their regular study routines and to enjoy some of the festivities. Let’s remind ourselves that learning Chinese is also about gaining insights into Chinese cultural practices and about participating in the cultural activities. And you don’t have to be in China to enjoy Mid-Autumn festival.

Complete Beginner’s Chinese Reading and Writing Course Kits just arrived

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 12 September 2021. Posted in Front Page

Complete Beginner’s Chinese Reading and Writing Course Kits just arrived

Thanks for all the engineers, designers, coordinators, printers, couriers and the supporting staff, after overcoming countless small hiccups, finally, Complete Beginner’s Chinese Reading and Writing Course Kits just arrived. One of them is already reserved for the grand winner of this year’s Chinese Writing Contest.

Qian Xuantong - Let’s abolish the Chinese writing system!

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 02 September 2021. Posted in Front Page

Qian Xuantong - Let’s abolish the Chinese writing system!

September 12th, 2021 is Qian Xuantong (钱玄同)’s 134th birthday. In 1923, when he was 36 years old, he proposed to simplify Chinese characters, which was the first step to his ultimate goal of making Chinese into a phonetic writing system. He wanted to abolish the Chinese characters.

Qi Xi, the Double Seventh Festival

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 02 August 2021. Posted in Front Page

Qi Xi, the Double Seventh Festival

It’s time for a beautiful folklore to be told again for anyone who is interested in learning Chinese and learning about Chinese culture, as the seventh day of the seventh month is coming. It is August 14th this year. On this day, two lovers will meet on Queqiao (鹊桥), the Magpie Bridge, to celebrate their eternal love for each other.

Tones and pitch changes of Putonghua and drunken Welshman

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 11 July 2021. Posted in Student's Posts

Tones and pitch changes of Putonghua and drunken Welshman

A fact that all Chinese language learners will eventually learn by personal experience is the changes of tones and pitches. Shared by Tony many years ago, this hilarious recounting of his personal experience will definitely put a smile on your face, as it did to all of us. That was the reason that he wrote it down.

From battlefield to playground: Launching Chinese Writing Contest

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 14 June 2021. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

From battlefield to playground: Launching Chinese Writing Contest

There are many Chinese Writing Contests. But this is the ONLY one that comes with a strict character requirement. Only a maximum of 320 unique Chinese characters can be used, and only 19 of them are allowed to be used as special characters. This requirement effectively places students who have studied Chinese for ten years in a position similar to those who have learned for just one year. And that is a good thing.

Mandarin audio course Basic Level B now available!

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 03 June 2021. Posted in Front Page

Mandarin audio course Basic Level B now available!

After the release of Mandarin audio courses of Intro Level A, Intro Level B and Basic Level A, the fourth audio course, Mandarin Express Basic Level B, is now available! Building up from the previous three courses, the topics featured in this course are more connected to our life and our experience of the world, and at the same time, English explanation is reduced to the minimum.

It’s time for a delicious zong zi

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 02 June 2021. Posted in Front Page

It’s time for a delicious zong zi

One important aspect of learning Chinese is to learn about Chinese food. During the Chinese New Year, we’d love to talk about dumplings and all the auspicious good food. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s all about moon cakes and those wonderful seasonal fruits. Right now, it is about zong zi (粽子), as Duan Wu Jie (端午节) is coming up!

Audio lessons of Mandarin Express Basic Level A just released!

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 12 May 2021. Posted in Front Page

Audio lessons of Mandarin Express Basic Level A just released!

Train your ears with Mandarin audio lessons first, and finish with re-enforcing exercises in the Work Book. Listen better, and speak well. We’re here to help you achieve just that. The third release of Mandarin audio lessons of Mandarin Express Basic Level A is now available!

May Fourth Movement and the rupture it created in Chinese teaching and learning

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 02 May 2021. Posted in Front Page

May Fourth Movement and the rupture it created in Chinese teaching and learning

Recently, film maker Chloe Zhao brought the classical Chinese to the center of the world! During her Oscar speech, she cited a line from a famous text, which most Chinese learners don’t know about. I think this is a good opportunity to explain what had happened to the teaching and learning Chinese, and to commemorate the May Fourth Movement 102 years ago.

Free your eyes and train your ears with Mandarin audio lessons

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 11 April 2021. Posted in Front Page

Free your eyes and train your ears with Mandarin audio lessons

A great way to improve Chinese listening skills is to use ears to learn Chinese first, eyes second. This is especially important for beginner students who are so often baffled by all the similar tones and many look-alike pinyin words. To achieve that, audio lessons are a wonderful tool students should look into. That’s exactly what I’m currently working on. Following the previous release of Mandarin Express Intro Level A audio lessons, I’m happy to announce that Intro Level B audio lessons have just been made available!

2000 years of history imbedded in the Chinese Reading and Writing series

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 02 April 2021. Posted in Front Page

2000 years of history imbedded in the Chinese Reading and Writing series

To be exact, 1668 years on April 14, 2021, which is the third day of the third month in Chinese lunar calendar. It was the same day in 353CE that the poet and the great calligrapher Wang Xizhi (王羲之) composed and wrote a poem in the semi-cursive script, Preface to the Poems Collected from the Orchid Pavilion,《蘭亭集序》. It is perhaps the most well known masterpiece of calligraphy in Chinese history, and it is this masterpiece that appears on the covers of all Chinese Reading and Writing books. 

Bring listening into the core of your Chinese study

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 17 March 2021. Posted in Front Page

Bring listening into the core of your Chinese study

Listening has always been a weak spot for beginner students who are learning Chinese. After they’ve learned some phrases, they experience a total blank when the same phrases are coming out from other people’s mouths. Today, I’m happy to announce that we have added one more solution to our tool kit for beginner students to develop their listening skills.

Three must known Chinese women in history

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 02 March 2021. Posted in Front Page

Three must known Chinese women in history

International Women’s Day (March 8) is coming. It is a highly celebrated day worldwide. In Chinese, it is called 妇女节, 三八节, 三八妇女节, or 国际妇女节. As MSL Master is 100% female led and operated, I am happy to contribute to this special occasion and introduce three must known Chinese women in history. 

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April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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