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.

7 best of the best Chinese New Year greetings for this coming chun jie

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 16 January 2022. Posted in Front Page

7 best of the best Chinese New Year greetings for this coming chun jie

After January 1st, the next big event is Chinese New Year, 春节 (Chūn jié), also called the Spring Festival. It’s probably the most important Chinese festival. 

This year, the first day of the Chinese New Year falls on February 1, 2022. It’ll be handy to know some Chinese New Year greetings for this special occasion. Whether it is for friends or for business connections, being able to say or write something nice and auspicious is always a plus.

The best entries in the Chinese Writing Contest just published!

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 01 January 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

The best entries in the Chinese Writing Contest just published!

Of all the prizes offered for contestants who participated in the Chinese Writing Contest 2021, the coolest one should be to become a published author. This is a recognition with a far reaching effect.

With the newly published book, Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories, Book 1, seventeen contestants have won this bragging right. Their work is now available for a wide range of audiences worldwide.

How likely is it for China and the US to have a big clash?

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 23 December 2021. Posted in Student's Posts

How likely is it for China and the US to have a big clash?

When working on Mandarin Express Intermediate Level A, at the end of each chapter, students are required to present something for at least five minutes on a topic they select. 

Over the years, there have been some amazing speeches. Two weeks ago, a particularly timely one was delivered by Nathan. There were some really good thought provoking gold nuggets there. 

Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 20 December 2021. Posted in Front Page

Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

The much anticipated holiday season is here. Looking back, we used to be so busy travelling, travelling to visit families and friends, or travelling for some fun experiences. This year, although travel is curbed by the pandemic, our holiday spirit is not. There are still loads of things for us to do at home, drinking, eating, partying, playing video games, watching Netflix, or shopping for holiday bargains. Holidays can be hectic.

What about learning Chinese?

Give the gift of learning Chinese for this holiday season

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 01 December 2021. Posted in Front Page

Give the gift of learning Chinese for this holiday season

The year 2021 is coming to an end. Despite the continuing restrictions and lockdowns, we have good reasons to celebrate. We have created new video and audio Chinese courses, we have made new connections with students and teachers, and we have witnessed amazing creativities from the Chinese Writing Contest. And of course, the season for gift giving has arrived.

At MSL Master, we give the gift of creativity and inspiration. Hope you will like my gifts!

Chinese Reading and Writing series now on SuperMemo and tips on using SRS

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

Chinese Reading and Writing series now on SuperMemo and tips on using SRS

SRS (Spaced Repetition Software) is quite popular among Chinese learners. It uses an algorithm that controls how frequently flashcards are shown based on how students grade themselves in previous tests. This is a learning tool. 

However, a tool is a tool. It can be both very helpful or utterly useless. All depend on how you use it. Here I’m going to share some tips on using SRS, and how you can practice recognising Chinese characters and words, taught in the Chinese Reading and Writing series, using SuperMemo cards. 

The winner of the Chinese Writing Contest is …

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 01 November 2021. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

The winner of the Chinese Writing Contest is …

At the launch of this first ever Chinese Writing Contest 2021, which came with a strict requirement of 320 available Chinese characters, I did not expect the level of the writings could be so high. As I was reading the submissions, I was blown away time and time again. 

Perhaps, even if Dr. Seuss could write in Chinese, he would not have done any better!

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.

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.

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.

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