My character in the online video lesson

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 26 December 2019. Posted in Front Page

My character in the online video lesson

The first animated video lesson was just officially released. If you have never learned anything about reading and writing Chinese characters, you can watch this video and learn strokes and stroke orders. 

This lesson is part of the preparation chapter of Chinese Reading and Writing 1, covering basic strokes, basic stroke variations, basic stroke combinations, combination variations and stroke orders. It is published here, and more video lessons will come soon.

This video lesson and all the future ones will be free for all learners of Chinese. For those who have taken speaking lessons but not yet learned how to read and write Chinese, and for those who have learned quite a number of individual Chinese characters but still can’t read or write sentences or paragraphs in Chinese, they are probably the ones who find the video lessons the most helpful.  

In this post, I’d like to comment on my character in the video, in case any viewer will point out that this character does not look like me. In fact, I have already got this comment before I released the video lesson. The question is, why would I want the character looks like me?

If you have watched any Chinese video lessons online, you must know that all the hosts are young women who are exceedingly beautiful and sexy. All the video lessons make teaching Chinese online a beauty pageant show of Chinese teachers.

I even heard a teacher, during a conference on Chinese teaching and learning, declared out loud that the success of a online video course depends on how beautiful and sexy the host is.

Hmmm..., now I am experimenting online video lessons, and I can’t say that I am young, beautiful or sexy. That means, I must not be me if I want to attract viewers.

An obvious way out of not being me is to use someone else, and a cute animated character solves all the problems. I tempted to use a much younger looking character with full of back hair and in a low cut red dress. But I eventually decided against this idea. Let’s not upgrade me too fast! The character in the video, my representation, is cute enough. And she is somewhat middle-aged and also wearing glasses. 

Adopting an animated character gives me a lot of flexibility. It is likely that a new character, who is young, good-looking and sexy, will step in the scene in the future video lessons, or a scary looking one comes in just for the fun of it.

About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and the author of two series of Chinese textbooks, Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series, which are highly relevant and very effective for non-Chinese speakers to learn Mandarin Chinese.


April Zhang
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