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Key Points of Teaching Officers and American Born Chinese to Learn to Speak Chinese

People who are learning Chinese in China are not only students. There are some people who are working. These people hope to make use of the spare time to learn to speak Chinese so that it can be the preparation for the promotion of their jobs in the future.

It should be mentioned that these people really have strong decision and motivation, for they are willing to give up their rest time to learn to speak Chinese. Therefore, you must make more efforts and spend more time in teaching preparation. When teaching these people to learn to speak Chinese, the greatest problem will be time. You have to overcome this special difficulty.

Different from students, these office workers who are learning Chinese in China need to work in work day and can only make use of the time before or after working or weekends to learn to speak Chinese.

One of my teaching assistants once tutored a manager who is working in Beijing to learn to speak Chinese. They needed to meet at 7:00 every Thursday. The poor guy had to get up at half past 5 and take underground to meet his student. If your student is a “flying trapeze”, that will be much troublesome, for your tutoring time may be canceled every three or four times. This will not only influence his or her study effects, but also interrupt your own time schedule.

What should you do?
According to my experience of teaching office workers to learn to speak Chinese for several years, I strongly suggest you to emphasizing the significance of guaranteeing the tutoring time and let him or her to attach importance to the ideology of continuing study. If your student agrees it, you can charge the tuition fee one month in advance. The advantage for this is to make pressure for the student: he or she had paid for tutoring, so he had better not to break the appointment.

You should have this psychological preparation to teach this kind of students to learn to speak Chinese: their time for reviewing is too little. They have no time to study after your teaching usually. That is to say, your requirements to their study should not be too high, not even to blame them that they are not hardworking. He or she has to work, raise family, take care of the children as well as to learn to speak Chinese. As a tutor, you should not constrain him or her to do things that are beyond his or her power. To guarantee their study quality, you can discuss with him or her whether he or she needs to increase the time for tutoring.

Seeing from the contents of tutoring, these office workers pay more attention to the practical applicability of study. They can’t wait to make a call with their Chinese trade partner immediately to show off their study achievements. Therefore, it also requires you that your teaching must emphasize on the practical applicability. You need not to care about too much the completion and comprehensiveness of the language knowledge. Things you need to do is to tell your students the most common used and authentic saying and practice with them again and again so that their vocabulary and sentence patterns can reach the level which is close to Chinese people have. The process needn’t to be too fast, but it must be sturdy.

As for the students who are Chinese American, you should also treat them as foreigners. Although they have the same appearance with us, you can’t use the traditional way to get along with them. Some of ABC will speak Chinese at home, but their mandarin is not that good. However, they have strong language sense to Chinese, thus the process of learning to speak Chinese will be faster. You can start with culture and introduce more Chinese history and culture to them and show the astonishing achievements in recent years. If you can show them more video materials, the students will feel that your class is fresh and active.

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