Month: September 2015

Post by Jianhong Lu

梦想在远方 ——记我的盲人学生Alana M. Leonhardy Alana在春晚上朗诵诗歌 2014年春季开学前几天,我接到了一封特殊的电子邮件。发信人是爱达荷大学的一名本科生,叫Alana。她在信中说,她是盲人,但是很想学习汉语,能否注册孔子学院开设的汉语课。她的请求让我有点为难,教书这么多年,还是头一次碰到这样特殊的学生。经过与学校残疾学生管理办公室和系主管领导的具体协商,我收下了这个学生。 上课第一天,我见到了Alana。她身材娇小,声音甜美,人也长得漂亮,是她妈妈陪着她一起来的。从那一天起,妈妈每天接送她上下课,从不缺席、也不迟到,风雨无阻。她上课非常认真,发音准确,对学过的内容掌握熟练,也能应用自如,很快就成为班里的佼佼者。这让其他学生对她的学习态度肃然起敬。 经过一年零两个月的学习,她在听力和汉语口语表达上有很大进步。2015年爱达荷大学羊年春节联欢晚会上,她的一首配乐诗朗诵《梦想在远方》以其流利的语言、充沛的情感感动了在场观众,成为整场晚会的亮点。为了准备这个节目,我和她在课余排练了多次。因为她无法阅读,我把朗诵内容先录好音,让她反复听记,再一遍遍带她朗读,感受其中诗的节奏和韵律。她没有学过汉语的盲文,所以就利用字母代替声韵母、数字代替声调创造了“自己的文字”来加以辅助练习。以下是她在2015年春节晚会上的中英文朗诵稿,与大家共赏。 大家好! 我叫Alana M. Leonhardy,中文名字叫李莲娜。我是大学四年级学生,我的专业是心理学。 Good evening friends. I am Alana M. Leonhardy. I have a Chinese name: Li Lianna. I am a senior student of psychology of University of Idaho. 2014年1月,我报名参加爱达荷大学孔子学院的汉语课程,到现在已经学了一年汉语,我很喜欢学汉语。可能你们会问,你觉得汉语难不难?你为什么要学汉语? I like studying Chinese language. I … Continue reading Post by Jianhong Lu

Top 5 Chinese Language Learning Apps

Chinese is now the fastest growing language for second language learners, consequently there has been some really incredible learning apps developed for Chinese. Here is a list of 5 can’t-do-without Chinese learning apps. I still highly recommend that language learners consider formal education, learning Chinese is a journey and often requires personal guidance. That being said these apps are a great place to get started, awesome supplements and good way to maintain your Chinese between semesters.

1. MEMRISE, IOS and Android, Free

memrise

First on the list is Memrise. This is an awesome app for learners of all levels and introduces words in a very clever way. For each new word and character it introduces several mnemonic devices to help you remember the character, definition, tone and pronunciation. The program builds on itself, first you will learn the radicals that make up Chinese characters, than single character words, and then words made up of the multiple characters. Learning radicals is very important, it has been shown that students that memorize radicals first have a much easier time remembering new characters and words after. Lastly it uses adaptive teaching methods, so you review the words you struggle with more often than the words you learn easily. There are over 100 courses in Chinese, some better than others, from personal experience I can say there are great options for Survival Chinese, HSK of all levels, and courses on specific tasks such as menu reading.

2. PLECO, IOS and Android, Free to $79.99

pleco

From what I’ve seen this is the very best Digital Chinese to English dictionary and is totally indispensable for any language learner or expat living in China. The free version comes loaded, including hand writing input, flash cards and audio for pronunciation. You can choose to add-on several features and extra dictionaries individually or as packages. These include live translations with your phone’s camera, a document translator and stroke order diagrams.

3. QUIZLET, IOS and Android, Free

quizlet

This is a classic and useful for students of any level for nearly any subject. There is a great way to turn Quizlet into powerful Chinese writing learning software. You can create or download one of the many flash card packs with Chinese characters, then test yourself using the Chinese hand writing input on your phone. This is the best resource I’ve found for testing your ability to write characters from memory and is very customizable.

4. CHINESE SKILL, IOS and Android, Free

chinese skill

Do you love immersion learning software like Duo Lingo and Rosetta Stone? Unfortunately Rosetta Stone costs an arm and a leg and Duo Lingo doesn’t support Chinese. This app is very similar to those programs and does a great job teaching introductory Chinese. Chinese Skill uses a variety of techniques that incorporate writing, tones, reading, listening and speaking.

5. FluentU, IOS, 8$ to $18 per month

fluentuchinese2

This is the one app on the list that I haven’t used, but looks seriously cool. The downside is the pay wall, there is some limited free content, but the bulk of it needs to be paid for. FluentU takes their content straight from pop culture on the web, including viral videos, news articles and music. It ranks it by level and turns the them into teaching tools, providing realtime translations with videos, quizzes based on the content and flashcards. It also includes traditional lectures, and is coming to Android soon!

There you have it, my very favorite Chinese learning apps. There is more than one on this list that I find essential for my personal learning. If you are serious about taking your Chinese to the next level, come talk to us at the Confucius Institute. We have tons of classes at all levels, great instructors all of whom are native speakers, and lots of traditional resources in our library.