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Teaching Approach

How do We Teach Chinese?

Mandarin Capital

For language study, it would be the basic for students to use the language in daily life. However, most of the mandarin courses which are provided by universities and institutions focus too much on grammar and vocabulary, which cause students be good at reading while speaking and listening become their big disadvantage. Therefore what they learned becomes a so-called mute Chinese. Although in the universities which also provide Speaking and Listening Courses, students still can’t achieve their goal of study due to the big size of the classes and lack of practice.

The Speaking and Listening Course provided by Mandarin Capital is a main and basic course that students who apply for Intensive Small Group Chinese Couse and Private Tutoring Chinese Course would choose. This course would mostly improve students’ Chinese language level and ability. It directly applies daily topics as the content, so that students can practice what they just learned straight after the class. Besides, there would be plenty of time for students to practice during the class, rather than just sit on the chairs and listen to teacher bala bala throughout the class.

Mandarin Capital

Grammar would also be an important part in the Speaking and Listening Course in Mandarin Capital. However, it is a learning tool rather than the learning object.

The way we explain the grammar helps students to feel the inner-sense of Chinese language and to gain the ability of building up sentences with their own. In this way, students would get more sense on “why structure is like this” and “when we use the structure” than only knowing “how is the structure formed”. Besides, students would generally feel that all of the Chinese grammars act like a related net rather than a bunch of listed points presents in the grammar books. In Mandarin Capita, our Speaking and Listening Course is divided into beginner’s level, elementary level, intermediate lever and advanced level. During beginner’s level, the course focuses on Chinese pinyin system. Students would not only get well-trained especially on the five tones (neutral tone included) which are the key point that make them understood by other Chinese person, and also get to know vocabulary such as number, time, date, place, as well as basic sentence patterns. In this period students would learn vocabulary within sentence structures or phrases, which would help students to have a better idea with the usage of the words rather than only trying to remember the words’ meaning.

For elementary level, Mandarin Capital Speaking and Listening Course pay more attention on simple dialogues with single sentence. There are three principals summarized by Lu Ping when we talk about the Chinese sentence pattern in general. Principle One, The order is very important and normally we won’t change sentence’s order. Even if it is a question, we never move question pronouns at beginning or the end of the sentence. The order of a question is the same as the order in a describe sentence. Principle Two, The more important information is usually at the end of the structures or sentences. For example, when we show location in Chinese sentences, the location word is always after the place word. For example to describe on the table, we say in Chinese zhuozi shang which literally means table on. Because in this case the place we talk about is the location rather than the table itself. Principle Three, If we change the normal sentence’s order in some special sentence patterns, we mean to emphasis the part which is remaining at the end. In the sentence of “ba (把)” or ”bei 被”, the more important information would always be the result of the action which remain at the end rather than the real object which is moved forward.

Compared with elementary level, Mandarin Capital Speaking and Listening Course for intermediate level would have two signature differences on vocabulary and grammar structures. For vocabulary, students would have a strong feeling that the words they learn are not brightly new anymore. There would be more and more words students may feel familiar, because they have learnt other words which have similar meanings. There are words only used in positive or negative sense, while are only uses in spoken or written language, or even some words can only be used in certain particular phrase combination. In this case, Mandarin Capital Speaking and Listening Course for intermediate level focus more on distinguishing the words than only explaining. And students would start to get in touch with the Chinese folk saying so that they can have a better sense of the language. As for the grammar, we would consider that the basic single sentence structures are almost done. For intermediate level students need to know about what the Chinese logic is for organizing sentences into a paragraph. This abstract logic is based on ten kinds of specific relationships of sentences with quite a lot of detailed lining words, which would be presented in the course. Also the course for intermediate level requires students to have a lot of reading after class so that they would enlarge their vocabulary while immersing themselves in the atmosphere of Chinese.

Mandarin Capital Speaking and Listening Course for advanced level are designed for students who would like to speak and think as a real Chinese. There is not too much grammar to be introduced, but different kinds of rhetoric to get familiar. Chinese language is a language full of image. It has been proved throughout the process from the way how Chinese characters are formed to how Chinese characters form words. And you can also strongly feel it in how rhetoric affects the language. In order to use rhetoric in Chinese fluently, students need to read selected reading materials that come from various sources not only on the class but also after class. And students would have plenty of time to practice what they learned with designed topics.