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Successful Phonetic and Sentence Patterns Teaching in Mandarin

It should be assured that the phonetic teaching of Chinese at present is basically successful. As the beginning of Chinese language learning, the speech sound should be mastered in the first step. As a result, the teaching of speech sounds should begin with the single speech and then move to the flow of speech. To answer the question that how to study Chinese better, you should have enough oral practice in the period of the speech sounds teaching, starting from imitating to master the initial consonants, simple or compound vowels and the four tones. However, it is impossible for all students to have standardized pronunciation because their abilities of accepting the phonetic knowledge are different.

The most successful teaching nowadays should be the teaching of sentence patterns. Decades of practice proves that the method of collecting the basic grammar points of Chinese language together to train and master in short time is effective and also has high efficiency. In the teaching phase of Chinese sentence patterns, the teachers will feel everything goes smoothly and the students also feel enriched. Each day has certain progress and the students will find their great progress after three months. In this way, the sentence patterns are very popular.

This is the successful sample of the application of structural linguistics and behaviouristic psychology in foreign language teaching. However, several years ago, the teaching of sentence patterns was criticized by many people. Some people think the mechanism practice is isolated with the actual language context, thus failing to form the fluent communication. Some people think language is not purely the structure but also function. Indeed, it is wrong to think one can mater one certain language as long as they acquire the sentence patterns. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to reach that goal only relying on the sentence patterns teaching.

The advantages of the teaching of sentence patterns lay in the concentrated intensive training to the basic structure of the language so that to lay a firm foundation, which is really important for those students in qualified Mandarin program to study further. Teachers can apply the sentence pattern teaching to help the students to master the basic structure of language as soon as possible, thus having better understanding to the Chinese materials. And the present sentence patterns teaching is no longer the mechanism type as it was. The sentence patterns have been emerged into the exercise and dialogues.

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