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It’s time for a delicious zong zi

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 19 June 2023. 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!

Students’ anger after DSE English exam calls for reflection on HK’s education system

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 05 May 2023. Posted in Front Page

Students’ anger after DSE English exam calls for reflection on HK’s education system

One bizarre thing happened last month after Hong Kong DSE (Diploma of Secondary Education) English exam, which used some excerpts from the former US First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming in one reading section.

After the exam, many students went on to Michelle Obama’s social media account and left unseemly comments, blaming her for the exam being too difficult and for their own failures.

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.

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.

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!

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! 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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!

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