Thursday, September 20, 2007

Why 'Practice' is the most important?

Many Chinese learners do not like to open mouth to practice what they learned. They always think reading books and listening to mp3/podcast is enough to learn Chinese. It is absolutely incorrect.
We did a comparative experiment through a survey among learners who already learned Chinese about 1 year by themselves or with Chinese teachers. They all never come to China. One group of learners keep practice with Chinese at least twice a week. The other group almost open mouth to speak Chinese with real Chinese people less than 2 times per month, they like to learn by themselves, listen mp3 or use some software, have some Chinese friends on instant messengers to chat by typing or exchange email. The result is as followed,

The first Group:

Listening ability - 85% is good and can understand clearly what they already learned.

Conversation ability - 68% can express some simple topics clearly in Chinese. (Example: 你住在哪里?你家几口人?你孩子几岁了。今天天气怎么样?) Pronunciation is good or qualified.
48% already can express some complex topics (Example: 你知道最近中国猪肉价格上涨迅速,大家担心会引发通货膨胀的新闻吗?最近美国次级抵押贷款市场引发的危机,对你有影响吗?你觉得你是一个内向的人还是外向的人?)

Characters understanding - 62% can read characters they already learned. Among them, about 85% have learning experience with teachers.

The second Group:

Listening ability - Only 24% can understand clearly our questions in Chinese. Almost 72% cannot understand our question after we repeat 3 times. Finally we have to translate to their native language. When they hear translation, some of them only express 'I ever learned it before, but already forget now'

Conversation ability - Almost 35% only can speak some very simple sentences, example: 你好,我叫... , 我在学中文。Over 85% ' s pronunciation is not good or difficult to understand. 32% cannot express a complete sentence. No one can express any complex topics.

Characters understanding - Only 9% can read characters.

Our suggestions to Chinese Learners after this survey:
1, Only learning with book and mp3, chatting and writing email is not enough. Open your mouth to practice and use Chinese with real Chinese people at least twice per month.
2, Find a professional teacher to learn. It will help you to save time.
3, Do not feel shy to talk with Chinese volunteers. They love to talk with you.
4, Many language points cannot be remembered without enough practice. Example: Quantifier 一个人, 两只梨头, 三口钟, 一把茶壶, 一轮明月, 一钩残月, 一弯新月, 一叶扁舟, 一缕笛声 These Quantifiers also are difficult for native Chinese speakers to remember without practice during childhood.

Posted by Chinese Adviser Carter

Monday, September 17, 2007

How to use Reservation to meet Volunteers?

We added new reservation function in Voice Connecting China - Practice With Volunteers. Maybe you met the following difficulties. When you want to learn Chinese or practice Chinese with a certain volunteer, but he/she is not online at this time. Now you can use Reservation function to ask this volunteer to meet you at requested time.
Please do as followed steps,
1, View Volunteers list, Watch Say Hello Video and read background of volunteers
2, Find or select your favorite Chinese volunteer
3, If he/she is online now, please call him/her directly. If he/she is not online, please fill reservation form to input a time when you want to meet based volunteers' open time map
4, After Chinese Volunteer receive your reservation, he/she will confirm and you will get confirmation info in Practice channel of student zone.
5, Meet your favorite volunteers at reserved time.

Notes: Only Formal students can use Reservation system.

Go to Voice Connecting China - Practice Chinese With Volunteers

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Comparison between Private Class and Group Class

Strong Points of Group Class:
1, Join at any time, do not need to reserve
2, Lower Cost

Week Points of Group Class:
1, Cannot Choose favorite teacher before class. Do not know evaluation history and experience of teacher. Cannot join trial class from a targeted teacher.
2, Only offer conversation practice around limited topics. Cannot offer complete education system including textbook, preview, review, vocabulary, exercise... in the class
3, Teacher cannot track student' s progress. Does not know which part a student already learnt or not because teacher is always changing in every class.

Strong Points of Private Class:
1, Can Choose your favorite teacher before class through joining trial class from the teacher, view evaluation from previous students, watch saying hello video and class demo. All of teachers are excellent and have their own features, but every student has different favour. You can choose based on your favour.
2, Teacher will go with you from beginning to the end of learning process. He/She knows every detail of your learning including weak points and strong points. Teacher can design personalized solution for you. You will not waste time.
3, Textbook and class process is complete. Not just conversation.

Weak Points of Private Class:
1, You need to reserve before class
2, Cost is a little higher than group class, but class efficiency is much higher.

If students have no enough budget to join private class, we suggest you can choose basic package. Cost is lower than group class. Our volunteers are also good teachers, compared with formal teachers, they only are lack of enough experience. You also can view evaluation history of every volunteer from previous students.