Mandarin Course and Mandarin Classes SubPages

Friday, February 12, 2010

The cultural differences which would impact the learning of Mandarin Course and Mandarin Classes (Part 2)

No one can expertize in Mandarin language without understanding the cultural difference between China and other countries. Today, I would like to talk about five major differences I found between China and the United States.

First, the "harmony" v.s. "conflict". Chinese people would not like to challenge others in front of them, but that does not mean that they would not say something bad behind them. However, the American style is much more straightforward. Americans are willing to discuss the problem and confront each other face to face even some arguements may raise. This is one of the most unacceptable factors that many Mandarin teachers have said, they felt uncomfortable to a bi-directional teaching and learning scenario.

Second, the relationship with friends. Chinese people may have many friends, but only few of them would become the real friends which means they are truthful and reliable to you. On the other hand, Americans can establish deeper relations with more friends easier than Chinese, but they might not be the lifelong friends which means the relationships may terminates after a specific period.

Third, the conscious about "self". Chinese people think that they are one member of a bigger organization, such as the company, club, family, class, and so on. Moreover, they will do what the bigger organizations want to prevent from being isolated. Nevertheless, Americans see self as the first priority and always try to promote themselves instead of promoting the team or group she or he is belong to. Therefore, a Mandarin teacher has to know this and keep in mind to offer opportunities for such students to show themselves off.

Fourth, "public" and "private". Chinese people treasure the private relationships among others very much and usually we will consider the private preference on someone when we are dealing with public affairs with her or him. Unlikely, Americans separate public and private very clear. For example, Chinese people will expect a public return if they do you a private favor or a private return if they fo you a public favor. But the Americans will never ever think or do that way. As a result, Mandarin teachers should not expect that American students will rank their classes high just because they are your friends.

Fifth, it's the "money". Most of Chinese people are used to save their money into a bank or banks and only spend a little amount of their income every month for pursuing a better life after retirement since they are still young. However, Americans prefer to enjoy the current moment so the average saving percentage out of total income is incompetible to Chinese people. And that's why Americans were hurt more seriouly in the financial tsunami than Chinese.

These are very important factors that each Mandarin course teacher and / or Mandarin classes student should know so that they will get along with each other smoothly and joyfully.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is multimedia important in Mandarin Course and Mandarin Classes?

According to my experience, multimedia materials are very useful in motivating students and bettering the learning performance. However, the time required for preparing multimedia materials is much longer than general paper textbooks.

One of my friends has been teaching Mandarin in Thailand for two years. He tried almost everything he could includes flash cards, body language, Mandarin-to-Thai translation, candies, and even whips in his Mandarin course and Mandarin classes in the past two years; Nevertheless, none of them did a good work. So he was very frustrated and disappointed about his job there. He asked himself everyday that why he could not attract students’ attention and improve their ability? He thought the problem was his boring teaching style and tried to give up such career in Thailand. Fortunately, the college where he was teaching established a computer and multimedia classroom which greatly enrich his classes.

You may wonder how did he make it? Me too. So I asked him and the answers are as followed,

First, he rearranged the contents of his Mandarin Course syllabus. Actually, he divided it into several smaller and interactive Mandarin Classes.

Second, in each class, he not only engaged and blended the pictures, videos and voices with what he would like to teach, but also interacted with his students by the internet based multimedia learning unit designed by himself.

Third, the students could not only interact with him but also interact with each other. The classroom became a micro social network, students could learn, share, and even teach other students real time.

That was definitely a wonderful and the best experience those students could ever have, therefore, they stuck with the teaching system he created after that. And what even more exciting for him was their learning result which was much better than he had expected.

Now, my friend is very happy and I think he will be more and more happy in the future by blending the multimedia factors into his teaching.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will learning Mandarin put children off?

I just read an article "Learning Mandarin will put children off" from Times. In the very beginning, I am really nervous about what the author is going to discuss. Because as a Mandarin teacher, if there is any evidence which shows that people on the earth should not learn Mandarin, then we possibly have to go to the Moon or Mars whatever to teach aliens. :-(

Fortunately, that’s not the picture I would image after reading the whole thing. :-) The author pins out a very good point of view that a better way about learning Mandarin should to make it voluntary rather than compulsory. For example, having it as a student club in campus and interesting the demand of learning Mandarin language by sharing and discussing the Chinese culture, food, beverages, games, dramas, knots, songs, poems, paint, calligraphies, architectures, astrology, and history.

And that’s what I am doing in this blog. I am trying to introduce the readers everything related to Mandarin course and/or Mandarin classes as broad as possible and I have done something so far, for instance, the famous Chinese table game, cultural difference, Chinese festivals, and so on. Wish you would enjoy the stuff here and please remember to leave your comments for bettering this site. Thank you.