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Practicing Mandarin by Guessing, Selling, Dubbing and Narrating Stories

As a language, students can master Chinese only when they practice in the real context. The most important thing is that they should be willing to open their mouths to learn to speak Chinese. In order to encourage learners learn initiatively, teachers should play some interesting games in class to put them into actual context so that students can learn effectively.

The first method can be applied properly to the small class teaching to teach Mandarin language. Five students gather as a team. The team has thirteen cards with the names of certain sporting equipments or sports. When the game begins, four students of each team get three cards each. The left one card should be placed to the center of the table. The fifth student who has no card should guess what one of the four students is going to do on weekend.

Let me explain in detail with examples to show how to play the game in Chinese language school. For instance, the fifth student may say “这个周末玛丽会去打篮球”. If the cards with “篮球” is on John’s hands, John should say “玛丽不能去打篮球,玛丽的篮球在我这儿” and continue like this.

However, if there is nobody opposes to the guessing of the fifth student, the one who guesses should make a more affirmative judgment and say “玛丽这个周末将去打篮球”. When the guesser does it correctly, the first round of the game is over. It is helpful to practice students’ listening and oral expressing in learning Mandarin Chinese. But the names on the cards should be known to all firstly.

Selling goods is a perfect method to practice learners’ oral language when they learn Mandarin in China. First of all, teachers should prepare a piece of television commercial and play it to students for about two or three times. After students have prepared for ten to fifteen minutes, some of them act as salesmen and others performed as the customers and advertise to promote the goods.

When it is finished, teachers can make some comments on it and ask the students to recommend the best sellers, which will be beneficial to stimulate their interest to study Mandarin Chinese. Of course, the television commercial can be replaced by the advertisement in newspapers or magazines. In the practice of oral Chinese, they can master the expressions of the function items like description, explanation, persuasion and inquiry.

Dubbing is interesting to learn Chinese language. Teachers can play a miniseries to students for about two or three times. After that, two to ten minutes will be given to students to recall the story and dialogues of the play. Then teachers will play the last time for them. But the volume should be turned off. In this way, students should dub for the play without sound.

When choosing the television miniseries, teachers should select the one with the slow dialogues. There should be some intervals between the dialogues so that students have enough time to recall the dialogues and dub. If necessary, teachers can record students’ dubbing and play it again after the game and make some comments. This is very helpful to students’ short-term memory training and other comprehensive abilities to study Chinese.

In order to train their reasoning ability and imagination, teachers can play the game of continuing to narrate the story of a play. Teachers should first prepare a television play that students who study in China are interested. To play game in this way, the end of the story should be deleted. In the class, teachers will play the uncompleted play to students. After thinking and discussing about ten minutes, students are supposed to narrative the plots and make up the ending according to their own understanding.

After students narrate the story and make up the end, teachers can play the original one with ending. Then, students can discuss whose ending is the most reasonable one. It is good for students to develop a topic and end the topic during the process when they learn Mandarin. But in this game, the ending of the selected play should be various.

To practice Chinese language by playing games of guessing, selling, dubbing and narrating stories are helpful. These methods can train students’ language ability comprehensively. Teachers should apply them to class properly.

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Martine | France

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I really enjoy coming here because it is like kind of a home for me. It is a great great environment to learn Chinese and meet great people from all over the world. Every one here is extremely friendly. Kunming has a really nice climate. It is a very good mix of modern city and also a lot of historic Chinese culture. Probably got the cleanest air in China and possibly the cleanest water too. I invite you to come.

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We use a lot of games to learn grammar and new words. We have really good teachers, really patient. She helps us a lot. Our class is really nice and we have people from all over the world, different countries. We often discuss topics in Chinese in our class. I live in the dorm of Keats. It is very convenient. I don’t have to spend time on traveling. You can just focus on learning Chinese.

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All my classmates stay together for one year and we improved so much! The teachers are all very great. They like to organize a lot of activities to help us learn Chinese.

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The teachers at Keats know how to read the students. They know the level of the students. I am a slow learner, but they managed to adapt to my learning. They made the class very fun, very exciting. I am pleased that not only I got to learn the culture and the language, I got to make amazing friends, really unbelievable, Chinese friends and European friends, American friends, from all over the world.

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I’ve had a really great time here. I’ve studied a lot with my teacher who was fantastic. Keats School tried very hard to match its students with really good teachers that their personality works very well together. I really enjoy the school and I will definitely come back.

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