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It has never thought previously that our son, Tom, finally can learn Mandarin. It has been his dream to be able to learn Chinese correctly as he loves watching Chinese movies. Jackie Chan is his favourite actor. He also loves listening to Mandarin songs. The biggest motivation of learning Mandarin Chinese is our background as a Chinese inheritances without Chinese language ability and qualification at all. Watching our faces and knowing where we are from, you might not believe that we cannot speak Mandarin Chinese at all. Our ancestors came from China since they were toddlers, but they were dutch educated so that no Chinese language we can speak, read, write, and understand. By learning Chinese it is expected that we can get in touch with more Chinese cultures. You might read how our Chinese cultures have influence our life through some tradition in our family.
There are some kinds of Chinese speakers here that try to offer a tutor for many people that have a similar background with us, but it is not easy to decide to have a Mandarin Chinese tutor. Mandarin is quite different from other languages in terms of written languages and the pitch influence. The written mandarin might be easier for any people to handle, but spoken Mandarin really needs a native speaker or a recorded correct model so that learners can listen over and over when there isn't any native speaker. Once someone gets wrong with the pitch, it will be hard to revise. Therefore, although we are really aware of the importance of Mandarin as a language with the most number of speakers in the world, we have never enrolled our children to local Mandarin tutors here. We also have never taken any online Mandarin lesson previously as we start forgetting the possibility to learn Mandarin.
Can you imagine how happy we are to receive a chance of learning Mandarin Chinese Online from Middlebury Interactive? It adds up the language my son acquires and uses. As you know we live among non-English speaking people and we learn English together. We speak Javanese, Indonesian, and English. We do really hope that Chinese can add the language collection our children have. You might read our 10 tips of learning other languages among the local people to see how we learn the foreign languages.
Doing the lesson twice a week, my son Tom is very happy. Here is some example from the lessons he has had.
Reading and Listening
Learners will be able to listen to stories related with legends to introduce grammatical and vocabulary in online Chinese lesson with Middlebury Interactive. It is great that Tom can get in touch with Chinese cultures considering our basic family background. He needs to know our family basic culture, such as respect to the elder, Chinese family relationship, etc. It gives us more indirect resource to introduce our children the Chinese character education since there are Chinese stories or myths and also Chinese traditions shown up in each reading and listening lesson. It is not easy for a modern boy to accept more traditional Chinese culture.
There isn't any translation of Chinese reading and listening lessons at the first time, so it gives time to my son interpreting the words. It is important to grow a sense of knowing other languages naturally.
The vocabulary is introduced later on after the listening.
To practice pronunciation, learners can listen to some parts of a story which have the highlight of new vocabulary before they practice with them. Learners need to imitate the pronunciation as close as possible with the example given and record themselves. Next, they can listen to their own recording to evaluate how close they have been to the model. For this purpose, a set of speakers and microphone is compulsory to get the lesson in maximum benefit. we don't have any microphone, but one of our speakers can function as a microphone.
Before learners imitating the sound of each word, there is a button for them to listen and self-practice without recording for as much time a they need. Here is a short recording of Tom practicing his speaking. Before he records himself, he practices for many times to be able to speak up like he is expected to.
Chinese writing is quite complicated since it consists of strokes that need to be performed in certain sequence and push. Here is an example of writing lesson with Middlebury Interactive. There is a set of instruction for characters learnt in each of the lesson. Shortly after learners watch the video, they can drill themselves copying the characters on a piece of large squared paper provided.
At the end of the lesson, there is a summary or handout that can be printed for learners reviewing the lessons beside the online review materials. After finish reviewing the lesson, learners can take an online test.
We are really thankful to Middlebury Interactive to provide us a wonderful Mandarin Chinese Online lessons. There are also other language lessons available in Middlebury Interactive:
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Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.