Like Magic, Mandarin Chinese is here
Aspire Southfields,337 Merton Road, London
16:00 to 17:00
Start from 23rd April 2019, end on 09th July 2019.
Half term break on 28th May.
It’s me, Mrs Lu. Ever since I became a teacher in 2004 that has been my name.
Today I came across a lovely mum. She shared her concern with me that she can’t understand her 4 year old boy. She said she has been having nerve racking moments every day. What shall we do if we keep having conflicts with our kids because of understanding problem?
A good way to understand your child is by listening to and watching your boy or girl and their peers. There are many methods to listen to and to watch kids, but the foundation is usually through interactive activities. It’s great for parents to get involved in interactive activities, but avoid being dominant in these activities. If you often have nerve racking moments, the first step you need to take is to break the bad habit bit by bit. Normally it takes two months to form a good habit, it varies widely depending on individual circumstances.
I will post more articles about how to listen to and watch kids on this website. In the meantime, it might help to read Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development.
We all know learning is cumulative. Everything new is based on something we have just learned. We also know that it is very important for kids to revise their work during homework. remember and digest what they have learned but we face a big challenge to make a kid sit himself/herself at a desk.
To encourage our kids to do homework, there are some questions we have to ask ourselves first. One of the more important is “do we have a dedicated study space or room with a desk and chair?”
Through my teaching, I came across a family with more than 7 bedrooms, but every room is crowded with stuff (toys, books etc.) It’s hard to say which room is for playing, which for studying, which for sleeping. With so much stuff, homework gets lost easily and the kids get distracted every few minutes. In this kind of environment, kids can’t tell when its time to play and when to study. This leads to a serious fight after parents ask “why have you not done your homework?”.
A lot of how kids act comes down to psychology shaped by their environment. Simply providing a room with a desk, a chair, a pencil, papers and an eraser before homework can reap great rewards. This should then be maintained so that kids gain good habits when studying and so you should see them sitting in their chair studying for hours.
The Lantern Festival is coming soon!
During Lantern Festival, streets and gardens are full of dazzling and colourful lanterns. Families and neighbours gather together to enjoy the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations, people will entertain themselves with a traditional Chinese game called 猜灯谜 (cai deng mi), solve riddles on the lantern and also they will make, cook and share a traditional Chinese Dim-Sum called Tangyuan (汤圆). You may say, when is The Lantern Festival? I would like to celebrate too.
The Lantern Festival(元宵节 yuan xiao jie) is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in Lunar Calendar. It marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, and falls on some day in February or early March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE-CE 25), it had become a festival with great significance.
Recently, October 2016, a lovely group of Chinese learners and their friends and partners enjoyed a trip to some of the most remarkable places in East China organised by Magic Mandarin. Afterwards we were delighted to receive a lovely thank you note from the group:
We thank you sincerely [for] the memorable trip to China. All your effort and hard work to please individual expectations are remarkable. We entrust in you for the future!
Please accept a token of appreciation from all of us.
Kids have their own way to speak, in a humorous and amazing way.
While I was on my way to work, I came across a short conversation between a little girl (about 3 years old ) and her mum. The mum was pointing to a big crane in front of them. She said ‘Look, Natasha, look at the crane, isn’t it big and tall?’. ‘Yes, it is big, it is as big as mummy’.
While I was teaching a 4 year old boy. We were practicing using the Chinese word for ‘plant’. So I gave an example; I said ‘ I planted a tree in my garden’. Then I asked the boy to make a sentence with the word ‘plant’. He said calmly ‘ I planted a daddy at home’.
There is another funny and genius conversation between my student and me. One day I was teaching a 3 three year old boy Chinese tones, the boy got the four Chinese tones correct in just a few minutes. I was impressed and praised him by asking him ‘Could you tell me why you are so clever?’. He answered very proudly and immediately ‘ Because I learnt super a lot of things’.
Have you heard any funny, humorous and genius kids’ word? Sure, you did. Post it here, we will laugh and enjoy together.
Start with Trust
I still remember the first time I arrived in the UK several years ago and I still remember the first time teaching a class of students in the UK. It was so different from my classroom teaching in China. Here there were just 10 students instead of 60 students in China. However, over time the class size more than doubled due to word of mouth. The students were adults instead of teenagers. It was a very small classroom with only one white board instead of a big classroom with a huge black board on a wall.
I was a little bit excited to meet these new students. I was also a bit nervous because I wanted all the people to enjoy their two hours and I spent a long time preparing for the lessons. I was also happy to come back to classroom teaching. The first lesson went very smoothly and I was melted by the students’ hard learning so I started to chat with them. We had a happy chat and I felt more confident teaching in the UK.
A few weeks passed and several students mentioned that it would be good for them to start a small group lesson. One of the students kindly offered to hold our Chinese lesson in her house. I was delighted and feel honoured that they trusted me with their learning. As they trusted me, I trusted them as well. I felt excited when the first group lesson was about to happen.
Several weeks later, every one came to the student’s house at 3:00 pm Saturday. From then on it became a custom for us that every Saturday at 3:00 pm we arrived to enjoy two hours of a Happy Chinese lesson. It lasted nearly three years. Unfortunately this group lesson stopped running because of some of the students’ health condition but the trust and kindness they gave to me supported me going through a hard time. The care and advice they gave made me feel warm.
In the end the student’s successfully learned a lot. One student went on to achieve an A* grade in GCSE in spite of holding a full time professional job. Another was able to effectively communicate with Chinese relatives and others on an trip to China. Yet another is able to read Chinese literature. I feel very rewarded to know that I helped stimulate their interest in Chinese and each student still continues to learn Chinese.
I have been teaching for ten years and I have taught students of all ages. For me, every student is special, every student has their own method to learn and their own way of studying. This has inspired my teaching method. I teach my students Chinese and they inspire me in different ways.
One of the most moving class is the Chinese group lesson for over sixties. They are hard working, congenial and dedicated. The image of them sitting in the squashed classroom concentrating on their writing stoke by stroke is a truly beautiful one. They provide truly moving moments when they arrive on time every Monday no matter what kind of weather and try their best to get all the tricky tones right.
One of my oldest students is 93 years old. She has experienced nearly one century’s worth of events and changes but still come to our Happy Chinese Lesson with the help of her stick, humbly sitting in the little class room to have a 2 hour lesson every week. She is happy, witty and hard working.
Another student who is 70 is so dedicated in her Chinese that she is trying to learn words from her computer and learn to use a tablet to help her writing.
Every student who attends this class has their own story and prove that you are never too old to learn.
We are delighted to announce that we will start a new group of lessons for those in years 5 to 9 starting at the beginning of 2015. The lessons are structured on ‘Kuai Le Han Yu,’ which are successfully used by many schools to prepare students for the GCSE course. (Those without such preparation will probably find the GCSE Mandarin course far too challenging). Lessons will be held in small groups to allow individual attention as well as allowing students to communicate with others. They are ideally suited to those with some basic knowledge of Chinese and would like to continue their learning. Courses. All students will have a home activity book to secure knowledge and practice what they have learnt. Extra fun activities will be run during Chinese festivals and recess periods to help students appreciate Chinese culture and traditions. Lessons will run every week during term time. Free individual assessment of each student will be made. Please contact us to find out more.
Schools in East London, site of the original Chinatown, are being urged to learn Mandarin. Amongst the festivities promoting the language was a traditional dragon dance bringing must excitement to the audience. Local mayor Lutfur Rahman commented: “By the time most of the children born today leave school, China will probably be the leading economic power in the world.”
See http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/stepney_children_urged_to_learn_chinese_languages_1_3683337 for the full article.