From the second machine age to creativity in Chinese classes - NCACLS 2022

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 05 August 2022. Posted in Book Fairs & Conferences

From the second machine age to creativity in Chinese classes - NCACLS 2022

NCACLS (National Council of Associations of Chinese Language Schools ) annual conference is a great place for ideas. I was in one a few years ago and I still remember that a teacher shared how she used kites to inspire her students and to build connections between learning Chinese language and doing scientific experiments.

A few days ago, I returned to this marvellous event, the eighth annual conference this time, sharing my idea to a roomful of (or rather, a screenful of) Chinese teachers from the other side of the world. 

Qi Xi, the Double Seventh Festival

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 01 August 2022. 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 4th this year. On this day, two lovers will meet on Queqiao (鹊桥), the Magpie Bridge, to celebrate their eternal love for each other.

Ask MSL Master - Can I submit more than one story?

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 21 July 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Ask MSL Master - Can I submit more than one story?

This is an important question! I’m glad it is asked.

For people who get their creativity going, it’s very likely that they can write more than one story or poem or mini play. All writings are written using the 320 Chinese characters, and all are really good.

Ask MSL Master - I used some characters that are not included in the list of 320 Chinese characters. Do I need to change them?

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 04 July 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Ask MSL Master - I used some characters that are not included in the list of 320 Chinese characters. Do I need to change them?

This question has been asked a few times. One of them was particularly elaborate on why the limitation of Chinese characters made no sense.

When reading this particular email, I was really touched, as I knew this email was from someone who really loved the Chinese language and really enjoyed writing in Chinese.

A.I. writing vs human writing

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 17 June 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

A.I. writing vs human writing

Things happen in Google often make into the news. This time, it is about an engineer who was placed on paid leave because he claimed that Google’s A.I. is sentient. 

From a language learning point of view, this story reveals the power of A.I.’s ability to process language is far better than any human beings. It probably won’t be long when we think that “artificial intelligence” is convincing enough to be considered as “authentic intelligence”. 

Ask MSL Master - Public voting is good, but will it be fair for candidates who have few followers on social media

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 12 June 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Ask MSL Master - Public voting is good, but will it be fair for candidates who have few followers on social media

Chinese Writing Contest is intended to be an open event that connects people. Anyone can have some fun with it. Therefore, the requirement is about what to write, not about who can participate. It is also about how to let everyone have a say in selecting the winners.

How to keep the selection process as open and as fair as possible is an important question. Voting on Twitter makes it very transparent and open. But, will that be fair?

It’s time for a delicious zong zi

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 01 June 2022. Posted in Front Page

It’s time for a delicious zong zi

Chinese people are very proud of Chinese food. One important aspect of learning Chinese is to learn about Chinese food. 

During the Chinese New Year, it’s about dumplings and all the auspicious good food. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s 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 here!

Printable posters for learning Chinese or for artistic appreciation

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 22 May 2022. Posted in Front Page

Printable posters for learning Chinese or for artistic appreciation

Learning Chinese has so many layers of meanings. To capture some of them, new products are now offered at MSL Master. They are printable posters with drawings and printable Chinese character posters. 

From battlefield to playground: Launching Chinese Writing Contest 2022

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 06 May 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

From battlefield to playground: Launching Chinese Writing Contest 2022

Hey fellow Chinese language learners! It's that time of the year. Time to show off your creativities and Chinese writing skills with 320 Chinese characters.

Get ready for Chinese Writing Contest 2022! It's bragging time! 😀

In this contest, depth is valued more than quickness, ingenuity more than vitality, and creativity more than erudition. 

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

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 03 May 2022. Posted in Front Page

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

May 4th 2022 is here. 

It’s time to commemorate the May Fourth Movement that happened on May 4th, 1919, and revisit the irrevocable changes happened to the Chinese language.

NCLC 2022 presentation: Embracing constraints and encouraging students’ creativity

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 25 April 2022. Posted in Book Fairs & Conferences

NCLC 2022 presentation: Embracing constraints and encouraging students’ creativity

Attending a big event, such as NCLC, was always something worth talking about. It was especially cool to be a speaker, even a small one as I was among all the big shots. It was a good opportunity to learn and to share some of my experience.

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

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 01 April 2022. Posted in Front Page

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

April 3, 2022, is the third day of the third month in Chinese lunar calendar. 1669 years ago, on the same day, i.e. the third day of the third month in 353CE, a great calligrapher, and also a great poet, composed and wrote a poem in the semi-cursive script. His writing eventually became the most well known masterpiece of brush calligraphy in Chinese history. And it is this masterpiece that appears on the covers of all Chinese Reading and Writing series.

Three must known Chinese women in history

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 02 March 2022. 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. 

I would say that all these three women were skilled and powerful and all of them have left a huge mark in Chinese culture and in Chinese’s collective memory. However, not all of them were remembered fondly.

Ask MSL Master - How Chinese characters are introduced to Chinese children

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 20 February 2022. Posted in Front Page

Ask MSL Master - How Chinese characters are introduced to Chinese children

Occasionally I receive some good questions about learning Chinese. I never thought about publishing any until today, as it suddenly occurred to me that other people might also be interested in these questions. Below is one I received from a 79 years old grandma from Australia, Pat. 

Wrap up Chinese New Year with sweet yuanxiao

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 05 February 2022. Posted in Front Page

Wrap up Chinese New Year with sweet yuanxiao

The fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year is a special occasion, a festival within a festival. According to Lao She (老舍), this is the climax of the Chinese New Year. It is the brightest and the most beautiful festival. 

In 2022, this brightest and most beautiful Yuanxiao Festival (元宵节) falls on Feb 15.

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