I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while—to create a practical Chinese online learning course, which can help learners easily apply to daily conversations. No hard grammar, no infrequent textbook vocabularies, and no “spoon-feeding” method! My biggest motivation is from some special friends. They are studying really hard to speak Chinese, because they want to share the good news of God’s Kingdom with Chinese people. How loving is that? As a native Chinese speaker, I ask myself what I can do to help them and many other people who want to learn Chinese for whatever reasons. Maybe I should start from somewhere!
A Chinese philosopher named Laozi (as the picture shown below) once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So this will be our warm-up exercise today:) Just try it! Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it. You will one day! I hope this proverb is helpful when you need the strength to try something new, start a big project, or plan something special!
Qīan Lǐ Zhī Xíng, Shǐ Yú Zú Xìa.
千 里 之 行， 始 于 足 下。
Are you still shy to say it? Haha, I know! But you can do it! Just stand up, walk to your family or friends, and say it! It’s fun! It also means you are serious and excited about learning a new language–Chinese, one of the most ancient and difficult languages in the world!
Before I start to write anything about this course, I asked myself, “How did I learn Chinese when I was little? How did I learn a second language as I grow older? What are some successful techniques in language learning? And what are some drawbacks of the current textbooks?” These are important questions for me to think about. After all, I don’t want to waste my time writing something useless, and of course I don’t want to waste your time reading it!
So as I dig into the content and learning methods, I came up with the following structure. It looks like a long list (because I want to keep you entertained while learning, lol), but it won’t overwhelm you, I promise:)
- Part 1– A little bit of basic knowledge (it varies each lesson in a systematic way)
- Part 2– Practice a new conversation: I will set up a life scenario, introduce some new words/phrases and make up a conversation
- Part 3– Learn how to use Pinyin
- Part 4– Learn the story behind each Chinese character
- Part 5- Review a few previously learned words/phrases
There will be a review lesson for every five courses. The entire structure of this Chinese learning package is designed based on most people’s learning habits and the concept of space repetition (the most effective learning method in my opinion). Part 4 is based on a real example I saw in a Chinese TV Program. An American man can speak very fluent Chinese and also read and write over 2,000 Chinese characters. “Over 2,000 characters? How is that even possible?” People asked. “The trick is I learnt the stories behind every single Chinese character.” He explained. Did your light bulb go off after hearing this? If he can do it, you can do it too!
Of course, nothing’s set in stone. Let me know your valuable feedback and we can work together to make learning Chinese a rewarding and fun experience! Stay tuned for the first lesson! Thanks for your time!