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

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 01 May 2023. Posted in Front Page

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

May 4th 2023 is coming. 

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

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

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 15 April 2023. Posted in Front Page

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

April 22, 2023, is the third day of the third month in Chinese lunar calendar. 1670 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. 

This 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.

Schools need to have a clear definition for what constitutes cheating when using ChatGPT

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 24 March 2023. Posted in Front Page

Schools need to have a clear definition for what constitutes cheating when using ChatGPT

Despite harsh penalties, cheating has never been stamped out in schools. The advent of ChatGPT, or generative AI in general that is widely available, is making the situation worse. 

Before ChatGPT, the following ways are considered cheating: students pay someone to write papers for them; they copy papers from other students; they plagiarise sections from other sources; they present translated materials from a foreign language as their own; they describe ideas of others as their own; they do not give proper credit to others.

Feel the sorrow from a distance - our very first song “By Myself” released

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 13 March 2023. Posted in Front Page

Feel the sorrow from a distance - our very first song “By Myself” released

I’m not a bar person, but I regularly visit a nearby bar on Tuesday evenings. It is because that night is the jam night. Each musician gets to choose two songs to play or to sing. Other musicians will go along with these choices and stage a performance. The sounds of keyboard, guitars, bass, drums, vocals, and sometimes a saxophone, are fused together and exemplified by loud speakers.

Although I am always a spectator, I find the whole experience fascinating.

Sorry about broken links after “disruptive” software upgrade to MSL Master website

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 06 March 2023. Posted in Front Page

Sorry about broken links after “disruptive” software upgrade to MSL Master website

On the surface, it may not look any different. But MSL Master website had just went through a massive software upgrade over the weekend. I was told that there were many benefits that this new upgrade would bring. However, an immediate problem is that the upgrade seemed to be able to rewrite old URLs, and my tech support guys couldn’t figure out why.

I admit that it is very very “disruptive”, a fitting term used so often in the technology community. And I’m very sorry about the problems that readers will likely to experience when browsing the website, a ton of “404” pages.

Three must known Chinese women in history

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 01 March 2023. 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, and also because I’m in a profession that is predominantly female, I am happy to contribute to this special occasion and introduce three must known Chinese women in history.

It’s crazy! We’re making a song

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 24 January 2023. Posted in Front Page

It’s crazy! We’re making a song

Meet Luiz Antonio Gonçalves Neto, everyone!

Last year there were a few beautiful poems included in Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories, Book 2, a collection of the best entries of Chinese Writing Contest 2022. 

And I said to myself, wouldn’t it be nice if at least one of these poems could be made into a song?

Thanks to Luiz, it’s going to happen.

Hello, 2023! Hello, new office!

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 01 January 2023. Posted in Front Page

Hello, 2023! Hello, new office!

What has magnificent 2023 brought us?

A new office!

MSL Master just moved in to its brand new office, located at Bonham Strand. It’s a very lively neighbourhood with so many restaurants, shops and convenient stores. It is very close to the old neighbourhood where the previous office was, about five minutes on foot, yet it’s so different. It is definitely appropriate to say 新年新气象!

Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories, Book 2, published!

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 21 November 2022. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories, Book 2, published!

The final prize for Chinese Writing Contest 2022 is coming out. It is an old fashioned paper book that gives bragging rights to all fourteen authors who have written remarkable short stories and powerful poems. 

Following the previous book in the series, the title of this book is Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories, Book 2. It’s ready for shipping starting Dec 1, 2022.

YouTube mini lessons for learning bits and pieces of classical Chinese

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 14 September 2022. Posted in Front Page

YouTube mini lessons for learning bits and pieces of classical Chinese

Have you ever thought about learning classical Chinese but are discouraged by its difficulties? Here is a good news. A series of mini video lessons that teach some must known classical Chinese is now available! 

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. 

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?

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