Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Teachers’

  1. Why good feedback matters and how to get it

    Teachers give feedback in many different ways, some terribly bad, others very good. The bad ones let you struggle for hours just to correct your essay, not necessarily learning much on the way. The good ones not only allow you to correct your essay, you also feel that you’re learning a lot and won’t make the same mistakes again. This article sets down some guidelines for how to give good feedback, useful for both students and teachers.

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  2. Learning how to fish: Or, why it’s essential to know how to learn

    Learning how to learn is an essential skill for anyone who studies Chinese. It’s important even if you’re enrolled in a language program, because even though it might feel safe to have someone telling you what to do, that feeling is partly false. Only you can make sure that you’re learning what you need, so you’d better learn how to learn if you want to succeed!

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  3. About fossilisation and improving your Chinese pronunciation

    It’s a fact that most foreign adults don’t acquire native like pronunciation in Chinese, but what’s the reason? In most debates at this point, someone will throw in the word “fossilisation”, as if that actually explained anything. This article is about why the concept of fossilisation is bunk and how we should think about adult pronunciation instead.

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  4. The question you have to ask about your Chinese teacher or course

    The most important question you should ask yourself about your current teacher or course is what you won’t learn. Since this isn’t something most teachers and schools like to talk about, it’s typically something you need to figure out on your own. This article discusses this question from various angles, highlighting the importance of being aware of what you need to study on your own.

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  5. You shouldn’t walk the road to Chinese fluency alone

    The road to Chinese mastery is long, but fortunately, you don’t have to walk it alone. This article describes four different kinds of people and how they will help you to master Chinese: the local, the traveller, the supporter and the guide. They all have their different strengths and you should learn what they are in order to make the journey as smooth as possible.

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  6. The importance of counting what counts

    The way in which we count proficiency or progress have a huge impact on how we study. This is relevant for teachers and students alike. Teachers should strive towards counting (grading) what counts (is important); students should do likewise when assessing themselves and also be aware of what kind of consequences counting the wrong things can have.

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  7. Native speakers and native speakers

    I’ve come a cross enough examples of people overstating the importance of being a native speaker to lead me to think that it’s a general trend and not an isolated phenomenon. This attitude is so bizarre it left me baffled the first few times, but I’ve come across this so often that it can no longer be dismissed as coincidence: people really seem to think that native speakers know everything, although it’s obvious that they don’t. This also means that most native speakers over-estimate their own language ability.

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  8. Take responsibility for your own learning now

    You are the only one responsible for your own learning and if you let other people take responsibility for you, the results might be disastrous. This might sound obvious, but I think the problem is widely overlooked, especially by people who take language courses.

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  9. The virtues of language exchanges

    A language exchange is simply a relationship between two people who want to learn each other’s language. It is useful because it allows you to focus fully on language without having to worry that your ordinary friends think it’s taxing to be with you because you always ask so many questions.

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  10. The art of being corrected

    Very few people can receive criticism for something they do with a perfectly open mind and a positive attitude. In fact, I would go as far as saying that being able to do that is an art. Being corrected is a natural process when learning a language and something you should welcome with open arms, even if it takes courage and practice to do so.

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