How students get the most out of their Chinese class time

In Chinese classrooms, students are not passive. They own their success, also share the responsibilities for the failures.

Responsible for learning

Teachers encourage students to learn Chinese. The real motivation comes within each student. And successful students take great responsibility for their own learning. Not only do they participate actively in Chinese classes, but also spend time to learn on their own. 

Students should always be invited to use available tools and resources to enrich their learning experiences. And the current technology has made it easier than ever to search for Chinese learning resources, audio and video content, references books, Chinese grammar books, and so on.

Be a team player

In the real world, we need more than Chinese language skills. Social skills are just as important, if not more important. For this reason that team work and cooperations are built-in factors in many class activities. Students are encouraged to support each other both inside and outside of the classroom. Learning and practicing Chinese becomes a way to make friends, to solve problems together, and to discuss social issues. 

At the same time, in order to contribute to such a collaborating environment, it is necessary that students exercise their own independent thinking, and form their own opinions. Learning Chinese opens up a pathway for students to come up with fresh thoughts and to share their in-depth analyses.

Bring in something extra

Many students have great ideas. Bring them to the Chinese classes. If there is a picture which is related to the topic, share it with the Chinese teacher and fellow students. If someone knows an interesting story, try to tell it in Chinese in the class. Find ways to practice Chinese with the teacher, and engage in discussions with other students. 

The only thing not to be concerned too much about is the fact that you will be making mistakes. You are learning Chinese, making mistakes will always be part of the learning process. A smart thing for a student to do is to ask the Chinese teacher to correct some of the mistakes after the discussion is over.

How to help Chinese teachers

And finally, how can students help teachers to better help them.

First of all, we let in a little secret. For second language learners, no matter what level they are, learning Chinese necessarily involves the following four steps:

  • Be exposed to Chinese
  • Understand its meaning
  • Understand its form
  • Practice Chinese

With this information in mind, students can understand what the Chinese teacher is doing during their classes, and step in when necessary to create a more favourite learning environment for themselves. 

Is the form not clearly explained? Are the meanings not understood? Is there enough practice? Is it necessary to have more listening exercises? Is it necessary to bring in more speaking exercises? Students are welcomed to raise these questions to the Chinese teacher when they find they are not making good progress as they would like to. 

The simplest and the most effective thing a student can do to interfere the learning sequence is to study ahead. Spend some time looking up a dictionary and get the “understand its meaning” part right. Some grammar books can explain the “form” very well. With so many Apps available, it is really easy to accomplish. That will allow the Chinese teacher spend very limited time to explain the meaning or the form and allocate the better part of the class time for practicing.  

Moreover, make sure use as much Chinese as possible during Chinese classes.


April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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(852) 9739 8065


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