This resource centre includes articles which explain some perplexing Chinese grammar, analyse some unique features of Chinese language, suggest the best way of learning Chinese, provide some video clips and ideas for teachers to conduct interactive class activities, and recommend informative readings about China written in English.
Some ideas can be applied directly into Chinese classes or practice routines. Some ideas can bring out a conceptual change in how Chinese should be learned or taught. Topics are varied and indexed. New articles are added from time to time.
Don’t be confused about when to use “两 liǎng” and when to use “二 èr” any more.
When learning Chinese, it is important to understand the function of “的 de” is associative, not possessive.
Chinese learners and teachers must pay attention that “了 le” does not indicates past tense. It is about change.
Understand the origin and learn some of the meanings and usages of “就 jiù”, which is often overlooked or misunderstood.
Understand the difference between “一点儿 yī diǎnr” and “有一点儿 yǒu yī diǎnr” in Chinese.
Mistranslating “很 hěn” into “very” is only because we don’t have other options.
Short animated videos are made for students to review their lessons in Mandarin Express Intro Level, and to practice speaking Mandarin.
Short and engaging animated videos are provided for students to consolidate lessons in Mandarin Express Basic Level.
Engaging animated videos are for students to practice and review what they have learned in their Chinese class, Mandarin Express Pre-Intermediate Level.
These short animated videos explain some interesting facts which students are likely to encounter when learning Chinese.
Watching these short videos, and get a quick understanding of what our Chinese courses offer.
Articles Written by April Zhang for in-depth Chinese Teaching & Learning
Cantonese or Mandarin? Traditional Chinese or simplified Chinese? What it takes to succeed in learning Chinese? Get your answers here.
Choices of Chinese reading materials are limited. That’s why many students opt for reading children’s books. But that’s not the best solution.
Many Chinese words share the exact same pinyin and that creates so much confusion that the only solution is to learn Chinese characters.
Start learning Chinese characters? Recognise some common Chinese fonts too!
Five effective ways to improve your Chinese pronunciation. More importantly, improving your Chinese pronunciation without you knowing it.
Cantonese has some unique characteristics which are different from Mandarin. But they also have a lot in common.
If there is one thing to guarantee the success of learning Chinese, what would that be?
There are so many dialects in China, and Mandarin is one of the many dialect groups of Chinese.
Effort was made in two fronts to simplify Chinese characters, to reduce the number of strokes, and to reduce the number of characters.
There are disadvantages of learning Mandarin in Hong Kong, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
There could be hundreds versions of Putonghua out there with slight differences from one another. One of them is Putonghua with a Beijing accent.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars, a virtual learning tour to China is cheap, and provides many benefits for students to learn Chinese.
Learning Mandarin can lead to anxieties. Overcoming these anxieties requires understanding them first.
Understand more on how cultural differences and different upbringing environments lead to tensions between the teacher and students.
Ten arguments for learning Mandarin are analysed and find out which one can drive students to the ultimate success.
Many Chinese words are originally from other languages and Chinese people simply made them their own.
Dragons are magnificent, but it is people whom students will talk to. Let's re-think about how to represent Chinese culture in textbooks.
Both strokes and components are building units, while the latter gives us a deeper insight of the intrinsic beauty of characters.
Many resources are there for listening training. Understand them better and use them well.
This article offers actionable advice for non-Chinese students’ to train their ears.
Find out what the biggest misconception is and gain some insightful ideas about Chinese radicals.
Understand what IBDP Chinese curriculum requires and tests, and get help with choosing the appropriate level of IB Chinese to study.
A new version of HSK is in place. Find out what the new requirements are, and the reasons that you don’t need to take them too seriously.
Learning pinyin has great advantages. But it is not without its problems. Find out the real issues about pinyin and how to overcome them.
Chinese characters are visual, like paintings. They can make an immediate impact upon people, even if they can not read Chinese.
For non-Chinese speakers, who start learning Chinese in their teens or adulthood, the difficulty inherent in the process of memorising Chinese characters is very real. It is something they have to overcome.
For students who want to have a meaningful grasp of Mandarin, they must look beyond pinyin, as pinyin will confuse the hell out of them!
Stroke order is not the most important thing in learning Chinese reading and writing. Find out what really is.
In the context of speaking and listening, we discuss how the input and output take place in learning Chinese.
There are several ways to start learning Chinese characters. A list of most frequently used characters is one of them.
This beginner’s guide to pinyin teaches you how to use English as cues, most of the time, to grasp Mandarin sounds.
English-Chinese bilingual books are used by many to learn Chinese. To what extent these books are helpful for adult learners of Chinese?
There are different ways to address father and mother in Chinese. And traditionally, father and mother carry different connotations in Chinese culture.
Books printed in both Chinese characters and pinyin have their usages. Developing Chinese reading skills could be one of them if we know how.
The connections between a Chinese character’s component, its pronunciation and its meanings are not foolproof.
Beautifully designed flash cards are promoted to students who are learning Chinese. Let’s take a look at their problems.
Chinese characters, the sounds and the tones all can make a Chinese name beautiful, meaningful, and unique.
Now you have learned some Chinese, it is enough for you to take your first trip to China? Read our observations.
A few things students can do to improve their Chinese reading skills. Learning more Chinese characters is the last of them.
When facing a long list of new vocabulary in your Chinese textbooks, we need to be innovative, while the best practice is “out of sight and out of mind”.
Memorising tons of new words won’t help you speak better Chinese. But speaking Chinese definitely helps you increase your vocabulary.
When speaking Chinese as if speaking English, Englinese happens. Take a look at some common errors and their sources.
Four signs for you to tell if you are having bland, boring and uninspiring Chinese classes, which lead to bad learning experience.
Movies are lots of fun and are great resources for students to learn Chinese. But people speak too fast in movies. What can we do?
If you have learned 2000 frequently used Chinese characters, you probably still can not read Chinese newspapers. Let’s find out why.
What is the best way to learn Chinese grammar? Most people did not know that modern Chinese grammar has a Latin origin, which has created many thorny issues.
Many students spend so much time in pinyin, thinking they are learning Chinese. Actually, what they are learning is a tool.
English appearing in Chinese textbooks is inevitable. But putting English translations next to the Chinese texts is not a good idea.
People love well written Chinese. It could be calligraphy where Chinese characters become an expressive form of art, or beautiful Chinese texts which transcend the world.
Radicals have played an important role in learning Chinese. However, spending too much time on radicals no longer makes any sense.
The Chinese writing system does not provide any spaces between words, that means, we have to deconstruct Chinese texts into smaller groups by ourselves.
Copying texts is a real and fundamental writing practice of learning Chinese. It’s an effective way to develop students’ writing skills.
Passing HSK4 or IB Chinese definitely means a lot. But learning Chinese should be more than passing a test.
In a diversified language terrain, let’s take a look at how Cantonese and Mandarin find its place in Hong Kong.
Try a better and easier way to learn Chinese grammar. Ignore most of the grammar points and grammar exercises.
Understand the difference between spoken Chinese and written Chinese, and improve Chinese reading skills.
Sometimes, only sometimes, we can use radicals to explain some Chinese characters. Know where the boundaries are.
There are two advantages that a Chinese kid has but a non-Chinese speaking student doesn’t have.
Have you ever worked through a grammar book and only to realise that you’ve forgot everything? It’s not your fault.
A few observations of many Chinese learning programs for kids. Improvements are needed.
Chinese learning APPs have been developed rapidly and nicely. Some cool features can definitely replace teachers.
Artificial Intelligence is such a hot technology that it is no surprise that it is used for learning Chinese.
Hokkien is the oldest Chinese language. It has been spread far and wide, and branched into many different varieties.
For beginner students, we set that number at 320 Chinese characters.
There are many different kinds of books for people to learn Chinese. Not all of them are good.
Many students learn a bit knowledge about Chinese characters at the expense of developing good Chinese reading and writing skills. Know how to avoid this situation.
There are no “correct tones” in an absolute sense, because tones are a fluid and a dynamic concept. Learn what it means for teaching and learning Chinese.
Self-study is a good way to learn Chinese. Understand some foreseeable pitfalls and make your learning a success.
Listening to Chinese audio lessons is a great way to learn Chinese. But it is not all. There are more things students can to do to maximise the benefits.
Learn about those fantastic Chinese names in outer space, their origins and folklores, and get a deeper understanding of Chinese cultural roots.
Tea is a wonderful drink enjoyed by Chinese people. Read some wonderful stories about tea in China, starting with its origin.
Engage students' attention, give them opportunities to move around, and get some competitive spirit going on! Use these activities to bring your Chinese classes to life. And there are more practical and handy activities available in Teacher's Manuals.
Reading a long Chinese article
Involve students in their Chinese learning process
Practice analytical and critical thinking skills
Deliver presentations in Chinese
Other Great Resources Recommended by April
The easiest way to gain understanding of China is to read about China. When reading Chinese is difficult, students can read books written in English.
Read about well known Chinese people who have left permanent marks in Chinese history. These books, written in English, are must reads.
Read about famous foreigners in China, who have had a huge influence on the course of Chinese development in various areas.
We all enjoy a good movie. Try these classic Chinese movies and also learn some Chinese while you are watching.
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