The first year is a critical one because it builds the base of the language knowledge, and students will have to rely on this foundation throughout their Chinese speaking careers.
It is also the introduction of a new language, and it needs to be something that students enjoy and are excited to learn. Often times if the student is struggling, it can be very discouraging for them as well as affect their feelings toward wanting to learn another language!
I tailor my teaching toward the specific needs of the students and focus on practicality in their future communication and interaction with Chinese natives.
In intermediate to advanced levels, I incorporate knowledge of Chinese culture, custom, and social and professional etiquette in my teaching.
I believe that learning a language is like learning to swim. Traditional language learning systems often stopped at building a rough connection between the new words and the ones in our mother language. While these systems help students get better at translating and understanding, many students still have trouble speaking and forming sentences.
In my experience as a language teacher as well as a student, in order to speak a language fluently, we need consistent reinforcements and exposures to establish and enhance the "muscle memory". The "muscle memory" connects the new language directly to our THOUGHTS and IDEAS, skipping our mother language entirely.
The organization of my teaching is highly customized to the learning style, time and expectations of my students.
I found a two-tier approach to be most effective with the majority of the adults I have worked with. On a weekly basis, this two-tier approach involves intense and frequent conversation sessions, as wells as writing and reading sessions.
The conversations are intended to improve the speaking and the application of the newly studied words and sentence patterns. These frequent sessions are intended to mimic an immersion environment. I will usually only speak Chinese during these sessions. Because these sessions are relatively short, we can accomplish them through phone calls or live video chat when most convenient for you.
In the writing and reading sessions, we will focus on new sentence patterns and vocabulary. I will provide explanations and tips in both Chinese and English. We will also spend time working on character writing and reading. I will recommend suitable textbooks, but I can also work with any textbook if you already have one that you like.
TECHNOLOGY & TOOLS
Suitable technology and tools help to improve our access to learning resources. They also improve the efficiency of our language retention. In order to maximize the effectiveness of my lessons, I utilize various computer tools and online resources during and after my lessons.
These tools, which include online flash cards, interactive pronunciation practice, video comprehension programs, character-writing demonstration tools, and vocabulary retention calculators, are essential for sustaining the momentum of classroom learning.
By utilizing these tools for learning, my students have greatly improved their vocabulary and language patterns memorization process. This is accomplished through a particular system called "Spaced Repetition", which emphasizes a consistent and strategic review schedule in order to achieve learning targets.