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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Learning Chinese Complaints

I just had a very nice chat with a Professor who teaches Chinese, and we were sharing our observations about the challenges of teaching Chinese.

Learning Chinese Frustrations:
  1. Native Chinese teacher, who does not know how to teach (just because they are a native Chinese speaker does not make them a great teacher).
  2. Too much use of English in the class.  When I was teaching ESL, I was not teaching in the students native language.
  3. Material is not relevant to the age.  My ESL experience was teach people English they could use right away and practice.
  4. Just memorizing lists of words.  This is not how you learn a Foreign Language.  You learn it by practicing it.
  5. Material which is not labeled who it is best for (there is a huge difference between a student who speaks Chinese at home, but born here, students with no native speakers at home, and students who just arrived from a Chinese speaking country).  1st Grade Chinese material in China/Taiwan is 1st grade in the US, for example.
  6. Chinese schools that are just baby sitting
  7. Material that has age inappropriate words.  In English when teaching at 1st grade, you don't use 12th grade vocabulary.
  8. Material that is not kid friendly.
  9. Material that just focuses on learning Chinese Characters.  Learning Chinese is not only learning a few Chinese characters.
  10. Lack of a clear direction in a Chinese class.  Learning a few Chinese songs is not Learning Chinese.

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