Normally adult learners learn Chinese in one of the following ways: with a personal tutor or an online tutor on a Chinese language learning website, in a training school, or at a university.
I’ve taught in all of them. I was a personal tutor and part-time Chinese teacher in one of the biggest training schools in Shanghai when I was a graduate student, a lecturer at two universities for six years, then an online tutor for more than four years.
From my experience, there are several pain points to learning Chinese for adult learners.
It’s a difficult language and it takes a long time to master Chinese grammar.
Normally you start learning the basics from a textbook; there is no systematic grammar structure – it bounces about and takes a lot of time to explain things like “we say “le” here but not there”. The result is not really satisfactory and you are no less confused about grammar. The process kills the fun of learning Chinese: there’s no fun, no motivation and no passion.
It’s hard to cope with certain situations in Chinese in real life.
Many people tell me that they find it so difficult to learn Chinese. They’ve studied for six months or more but still can’t handle daily communications, such as grabbing a cup of coffee, seeing a doctor, buying tickets etc. It’s so frustrating. The problem is, as I said above, that they began learning based on textbooks and the content is often out of date or about a topic such as the life of a student – scenarios which you would never use in your daily life. You may have learned the grammar, but you have no idea of the relevant vocabulary as it relates to your own life.
This problem has not gone unnoticed, so people have created websites which provide thousands of lessons that try to cover every aspect of real daily life – which I think is great. You have a sense of achievement when you finish each lesson. But from my teaching experience, you’ll have remembered many useful words, but you can’t use them correctly because there is still no systematic grammar. You jump from this topic to another topic, you speak Chinese, but most of the sentences are wrong. Of course you can carry out real conversations now and Chinese people will understand you as you have the correct vocabulary, but you’ll still get “His Chinese is very bad”: a result which doesn’t do all your effort justice.
It’s easy to forget what you learned in the last lesson.
Due to the combination of the last two pain points we also have a third one: you always forget what you learned. Without systematic grammar, your efforts come to nothing.
In contrast to the above, as a university lecturer I taught HSK prep courses for local, non-Chinese speakers who were taking the HSK test in order to enter Chinese universities. The course design was more about accumulating systematic knowledge and skills for the test than for actually learning the language. Fortunately for those students, they lived in China and had a chance to regularly practice what they learned in the class. For this reason, they were usually able to take regular university classes together with Chinese students after two years language training. And some of them speak Chinese just like native speakers!
Based on my years of experience, my philosophy is that the objective of learning Mandarin Chinese is not to only accumulate knowledge, but to systematically master it as a tool. To combine “systematic grammar” and “real and relevant Chinese”, I have created Step-by-step Mandarin Core Courses and also provide online classes.
The main features of the courses and classes are as follows:
Focus is on the core of Mandarin, and step-by-step language mastery
From the Newbie to the Advanced level you’ll learn high-frequency vocabulary and grammar patterns. 5000 words and 300 grammar structures in total – Once you’ve got them down, you’re speaking Mandarin fluently! And the lessons build upon themselves in a step-by-step way so you can keep reviewing the grammar and vocabulary you learned in the following lessons and you won’t forget them since you practice them from time to time, and are able to use them freely.
Real and fresh content that is relevant to your life and all the benefits of full involvement in the interactive class
The Step-by-Step Mandarin Core Course is based on the real lives of six Chinese people living in Shanghai today. You’ll be learning about the issues and situations that are most relevant to your own life and the reasons for learning Chinese. You will also learn how to use Mandarin when using it to solve problems.
Optimize your valuable time with a professional Chinese teacher. Practice what you learn with a regular 40-minute online class. The main focus is on listening and speaking in order to:
1) practice and drill structures/vocabulary
2) recycle and recover earlier structures/vocabulary
3) guided conversation, based on structures/vocabulary
You and your teacher will expand on the lesson you’re learning so that you can discuss topics that you’re actually interested in, and communicate effectively in real-life situations: just as if you were living in China and talking with a Chinese friend! It’s fun, casual, and it works!
Now start to efficiently & effectively Learn Mandarin Chinese online with us!