World Languages Expo Boston USA 2016

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 24 November 2016. Posted in Book Fairs

World Languages Expo Boston USA 2016

The very first international convention that MSL Master participated - the Annual Convention & World Languages Exposition organized by ACTFL on Nov 18-20, 2016,  was a big event in language teaching and learning.

Learning Mandarin - From Pinyin to Characters

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 01 October 2016. Posted in Front Page

Learning Mandarin - From Pinyin to Characters

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. 

Learning Mandarin - Difficulty is an illusion

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 20 July 2016. Posted in Front Page

Learning Mandarin - Difficulty is an illusion

Student's post, by Keong:

It's often said that learning Chinese (Mandarin) is very difficult. When considering the truth or otherwise of that virtual cliché, the reality is that learning ANY foreign language presents all sorts of challenges – particularly when at that stage of learning (and it is a long stage) where you are relying on memory, when language ability is not yet at that level which can reasonably be described as 'fluent' and there is no practical opportunity for immersion.

Florence Italy and Teaching Chinese

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 15 November 2015. Posted in Conferences

Florence Italy and Teaching Chinese

I did not expect that giving a lecture can also earn me another certificate. A certificate I earned indeed at this trip to Florence Italy, for the International Conference ICT for Language Learning, November 2015.

Mahjong, maque, majiang, anyone?

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 11 July 2015. Posted in Front Page

Mahjong, maque, majiang, anyone?

I have only played mahjong twice. Each time I played for four to five hours. The game started after dinner, and it was finished just before mid-night.

In Hong Kong, this game is also called máquè (麻雀) which means sparrow. I was quite puzzled when I first saw the huge street signs saying "sparrow house", but I eventually figured out that it meant mahjong. According to Wikipedia, "sparrow" is still the most commonly used name in southern China. For me, I only see it displayed prominently in Hong Kong. I have either not noticed the street signs in other southern cities, or overlooked them completely. The reason might be my limited experience in playing mahjong.

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