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Seven reasons to teach Mandarin

TES – Katharine Carruthers

“Language learning in UK schools is in decline. GCSE take-up of these subjects in some areas has dropped by as much as 50 per cent, and the trend continues at A level: the number of students studying German A level, for example, has dropped by 45 per cent since 2010, while French – still the most popular foreign language – has also been in steady decline. But there’s one language that’s bucking the trend. It’s one that could open up a new world of opportunity to students. It’s the most widely spoken first language in the world. It is Mandarin.” (more)

Are Chinese language skills necessary to work in China?

The Global News – Lily Wong

” Speaking Chinese may not have been a requirement a decade ago when any foreigner who did not look Chinese could secure a job as an English teacher. Nowadays, if expatriates look for jobs in the Chinese market, it is a “must” found in most job listings. Indeed, Chinese language requirements vary depending on the job. Some positions, such as English language teachers, or lawyers handling international cases, may not require Chinese language speaking capabilities. With some companies, it is possible to get around this language barrier.” (more)

Stepping stones to firm foundations for Mandarin as a foreign language

The South Morning China Post – Anita Shum

“Many of us have heard of the four elements of a language, which are “listening, speaking, reading and writing”. In fact, they are also the stepping stones each child must firmly grasp in this same sequence to manage their Mandarin studies competently.” (more)

Gestures help students learn new words in Mandarin: study

ECNS – Gu Liping

“Students’ comprehension of words in a foreign language improves if teachers pair each word with a gesture, even if the gesture is arbitrary and does not represent a word’s actual meaning, showed research released by the University of Illinois (UI) on Tuesday. The 30 participants in the study were all native speakers of American English or considered it to be their first language. While about one-third of the participants considered themselves bilingual, none had any experience with Mandarin or any other Chinese language.” (more)

Why I Used to Dread Learning Chinese Until I Went to College

Next Shark – Grace Wang

“My teacher was so supportive, and she not only taught me a great deal, she made the class equally fun and interesting. If I was ever struggling with a lesson or grammar structure, she would always be there to help me. I looked forward to every assignment, whether it be writing, speaking exercises, essays, etc. On days where class was more lax, she would show us videos about different cultural topics like food and historical landmarks. We listened to several Chinese songs, and even got to make food like mochi. ” (more)

New teaching methods spur Mandarin learning in US

The China Daily – Staff Writer

“In the past 20 years, Chinese education has had tremendous momentum in North America, thanks to the hard work of dedicated educators, said CSAUS President Liu Shen at the convention’s opening ceremony. Liu said that in recent years, Chinese-language education in the United States entered a new era, defined by more diversification and healthier growth in Chinese cultural learning.” (more)