- 01. Should You Learn to Prepare Your Lessons or Just Improvise Them?
- 02. Start by Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of Contemporary China
- 03. Which Tools Can Help You Teach Chinese?
- 04. Where Should You Give Your Chinese Classes: at Home, Via Webcam, at the Library, or Outdoors?
- 05. Learning to Organize Personalized Tutoring Classes
In order to prepare for a linguistic journey or to boost your professional career, you will need a good Chinese private tutor.
As a tutor, you'll easily find a large number of motivated students wanting to work with you.
In addition to transmitting your knowledge, giving Chinese lessons can prove to be an excellent supplement to your income.
How exactly does one get organized to teach the language when one is a Chinese teacher?
Here are our tips for organizing your Chinese lessons and offer quality learning!
Should You Learn to Prepare Your Lessons or Just Improvise Them?
The question shouldn't even arise: organization is crucial for a Chinese tutor!
Private tutors - whatever their subject - must respect the main rule of teaching: one must be very organized and methodological.
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At first glance, the Chinese language and English, our mother tongue, really don't have anything in common. Mastering the language of the Middle Kingdom is therefore not an easy exercise...
When a student turns to an outside tutor, he or she is looking for personal attention and a great follow-up on how he or she is advancing.
The tutor must carefully prepare all his or her courses according to the language level and expectations of his students.
Learning a foreign language is a complex adventure. If you want your students to advance quickly, you must:
- Identify why your students want to learn Chinese,
- Prepare your Chinese lessons in advance,
- Explain the session's progress to the student,
- Immediately initiate the student to practice (oral comprehension, Chinese writing, Chinese exercises, etc.),
- Make regular assessments in order to track your student's progress.
On one hand, providing organized Chinese classes is very important for the teacher. But it is also very important for the students.
If you get into a nice routine, you will be much more concise and pedagogical. The assessments you make will allow you to follow each session and track the achievements of your students so that you can eventually return to difficult and non-assimilated notions.
The students will have quicker results in terms of learning. With the help of your organization and methodology, they will quickly acquire the basics of the Sinophone language.
Chinese linguistics are very rich and each student will learn Chinese at his or her own pace. As a result, consider giving students a number of required courses in advance:
- 1h of lessons per week for 6 months,
- 2 hours a week for 3 months, etc.
Start by Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of Contemporary China
The language of Confucius is the most spoken language in the world. It is far ahead of English and Spanish, with more than 1.3 billion speakers.
Today there are seven major modern Chinese languages:
- Mandarin: it is the most widely spoken Chinese language,
- The wu,
- The gan,
- The hakka,
- The min,
- The xiang.
These Sinitic languages belong to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages.
Only an expert in Chinese will be able to differentiate between these different languages. Their similarities are important, both orally and in writing.
They are all:
- Tonals: using the system of tones,
- Have a monosyllabic tendency,
- Insulators: there are no rules of accord,
- They use particles and suffixes to change the meaning of a term.
If these Sinitic languages share many common points, mastering one does not allow you to read and speak the others.
Each language uses its own characters (the han) which were simplified over the centuries until 1956. They have their own syntax and grammatical rules.
Chinese-Mandarin is now taught as the Chinese language, because all the other languages have been most influenced by it. Mandarin was the language which influenced the normalization of the Chinese written language.
Find out what qualifications you need to teach Chinese...
Which Tools Can Help You Teach Chinese?
In the digital age, foreign language learning supports are constantly evolving and modernizing.
It would be a shame not to take advantage of these supports when you become a Chinese superprof!
Some of the most effective tools to accompany your Chinese lessons are Chinese textbooks and guides.
These learning manuals contain a plethora of information (texts, images, exercises, tips, reports, etc.) and allow the tutor to organize his or her courses according to a specific program.
They also serve as methodological supports for the teacher.
By quickly becoming familiar with the textbook, the student will be able to easily find the information he or she seeks to gloss over a misunderstood concept or take a look at something before his or her next course.
More Modern Chinese Classes Thanks to the Internet
Once you have read the Chinese textbook and its curriculum, you can adapt your pedagogy and vary your educational materials accordingly.
If you opt for web resources, make sure that the lesson and the contents remain coherent as compared to the "official" curriculum of a student you may be teaching who is also taking Chinese classes in New York City as part of his scholastic adventure.
The internet is full of information and it's up to you to sort through it.
If your students do not take a Chinese language course at a school, then you can choose your own teaching method and completely detach yourself from traditional learning programs.
You can customize your lessons as you wish and come up with a tailor-made learning schedule.
Here are some of the most popular Chinese learning sites:
- Anki: SRS software lets you keep track of everything you’re learning and study it efficiently. If you’re starting out learning Mandarin (or any language), I’d strongly recommend using Anki from the beginning. If you’re already some way into the language, start creating flashcards as soon as possible.
- Jukuu: Dictionaries are useful for quick checks on words, particularly from the target language into your own. But experienced language learners know that to accurately grasp the meaning of a word you need to see it in action. For this you need example sentences, and Jukuu is a website offering Chinese-English example sentence in abundance.
- Tatoeba: If Jukuu isn’t enough, Tatoeba is another great source of Chinese example sentences. It’s already got a huge database of sentences, and more are being added every hour. The thing that makes Tatoeba stand out though is that it’s more than a 1 - 1 list of translations; it’s a web of translations.
Teach Chinese in a Fun Way with Applications
In recent years, many mobile applications have revolutionized the world of foreign language learning. And Chinese-Mandarin is no exception to the rule!
These apps can prove to be a very good complement to accompany your students to success. These apps will even allow you to find students for your Chinese lessons!
Are you thinking of giving your student grammar exercises for the next class?
Why not ask him to download an application (the majority are free) you told him about instead?
With 15 minutes a day, he or she will be able to work on conjugation, grammar, and listening comprehension whenever he or she wants and sometimes even having fun!
Even if these apps will never replace a private tutor, it is possible to learn to speak Chinese on your smartphone or tablet!
The best apps for studying and revising Chinese are:
- Pleco: from dictionary to character recognition and pronunciation exercises, Pleco is the best app to help with learning the Chinese language.
- Skritter: ideal for learning to write in Chinese. It allows you to review characters, tones, and definitions.
- Hello HSK: As its name implies, Hello HSK will allow your students to practice the various exercises present in the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test, which is the only Chinese language level test, much like the TOEIC for the English language .
To boost your lessons further, you can use other fun resources like videos and music for example.
Join the discussion: how much should Chinese tutors get paid?
Where Should You Give Your Chinese Classes: at Home, Via Webcam, at the Library, or Outdoors?
As a Chinese tutor, you are used to preparing all of your lessons and set up your learning program with a certain tool.
Before you start looking for your future students, ask yourself a few questions:
- Where will I teach?
- Will I teach at the student's home or from my home via webcam?
Whether it's at home or remotely, the Chinese language course will not take the same form. However, the price of the Chinese lesson will be different!
At home, you will be in direct contact with your student.
From a distance, you and your student will be much freer: any constraints related to transportation and distance will disappear.
If you have good audio and video equipment (microphone, webcam) and a good Internet connection, you can easily give your first Chinese lesson.
The location can be a barrier when choosing students or tutors. In the digital age, webcam lessons have become an excellent alternative to more traditional tutoring.
If you want to develop your business, here is a little advice: offer remote tutoring classes.
By reducing the time lost in transportation to and from your student's home, you will be able to give more lessons and as a result, increase your turnover!
Discover more ways to find students for your Chinese classes...
Learning to Organize Personalized Tutoring Classes
Whether you are a beginner or more experienced Chinese teacher, you will accompany many students with different profiles and expectations.
All of them will favor a personalized tutoring style in order to progress the most effectively possible.
You must ask yourself this question: Why do my students decide to take tutoring classes in Chinese?
- Learn Chinese writing and pinyin system (alphabet, characters, tones, Chinese calligraphy),
- Prepare a language course in Beijing,
- To go to study or work in China,
- To deepen one's knowledge of the history of China,
- Improve oral comprehension and be able to hold a conversation with a sinophone (pronunciation, phonetics,
- Chinese vocabulary),
- Improve business Chinese to join an international company, etc.
Depending on the expectations of your students, you can then provide personalized Chinese lessons by emphasizing:
- Practice: for students preparing a language exam, for example the HSK exam,
- The rudiments of Chinese linguistics: for students who need to revise their learning (conjugation, spelling, Chinese grammar rules),
- Oral expression,
- Professional vocabulary and politeness.
- The age of the students is also a criterion to be taken into account.
A student's age and educational background will directly affect the educational supports you will use...
Now discover a complete guide to giving lessons in Chinese...
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