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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! 

The rich 4000+ years of Chinese literary history is the real treasure, the true gem, and perhaps the holy grail, for Chinese language learners. It is so vast with so much wisdoms, and frankly, so much fun to learn. Reading some ancient poems, or Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Sunzi, Mozi and more in their original texts, gives so much joy and such a profound understanding of life itself. 

Unfortunately, classical Chinese is difficult, and it is not included in the majority of Chinese curriculums that are designed for second language learners. Students can count themselves lucky if they come across a few poems here and there. 

This situation can be improved. More materials to learn classical Chinese can be made available for students. And this is the reason behind the newly created video series: Bits and Pieces of Classical Chinese - “零星文言文教室”.

教室: classroom

文言文: classical Chinese. Alternatively, it is also referred to as 古文.

零星: bits and pieces

“Bits and pieces” really describes the nature of these mini video lessons. Each lesson introduces only one sentence that is selected from famous poems or texts. There is very little background information about these poems or texts or authors. The idea is that, if you find this particular sentence interesting, you’re encouraged to do some original research on it.

This way of learning is in line with the design of the textbook Mandarin Express Intermediate Level B Student’s Book, from which the selection is made. The teaching philosophy behind this book is that teachers do not dominate the learning process. Students’ initiatives and willingness play a key role in their own success. 

Also, this book is the last one in the Mandarin Express series. After completing all the previous books, and with their long accumulated knowledge, students finally get to use Chinese to learn Chinese, without English translations as intermediary. I think it is awesome to appreciate the crown jewel in the long Chinese literary history as it is.

Therefore, different from the video lessons that were made previously for beginner students to learn the Chinese Reading and Writing series, this new classical Chinese lesson series is all in Chinese, definitely a good listening resource for higher level Chinese language learners.

As for now, there are seven mini video lessons are available to watch, including selections from Confucius, Mozi, Sunzi, and others. There are more to come in the future. So stay tuned.

I hope these bits and pieces of classical Chinese, even just a glimpse of it, only a few drops of water in an ocean, can blow you away with its beauty and depth.

Enjoy these mini video lessons!

About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and she enjoys teaching and interacting with students. She constantly explores new and interesting ways of teaching Chinese through creative and imaginative activities.

With her help, many students have achieved outstanding result, which has enriched their understanding about China and has significantly contributed to their work.