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Friday, November 13, 2009

Learning Chinese - Where is the best material from?

I was just reading this article about a Principal who is going to China to Learn more about Teaching Chinese.

I am curious on how much this will really help? The question I have, which may sound strange, but is China the best place to Learn how to Teach Chinese to American Students?

For Learning Chinese, I agree, going to China or Taiwan where Chinese is spoken natively is the best way to Learn Chinese. Full immersion is an excellent method for Learning a Foreign Language. A friend of mine who did this mentioned they learned as much in a month, as in a 6 month class.

But for teaching? I am not so sure. The reason is the difference in culture betweeen Chinese students and American students in Learning. The traditional way of Learning Chinese is writing characters, again and again using lots of repetition. I would instead suggest look at schools that are successful in Teaching Chinese in the US. There are a couple that turn out fluent Chinese speakers, which does not happen with all school. Finding the right Chinese school takes time. The is also a difference in Chinese Curriculum on what works in China, verses what is suited for use in a US class room.

The authors of the different Learning Chinese Curriculum's that I sell have a common frustration that the current material they were using did not work well with American Students, so they developed their own.



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