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Learn to Speak Chinese by Describing Comics, Photos, Animals and Actions

When foreign learners come to learn Chinese in China, they hope they can speak Chinese languagefluently. In order to achieve this learning goal, teachers should make efforts in classroom teaching to practice their oral language. It is an effective way to train their spoken language by the way of describing certain materials such as the comics, the photos, the animals or even the specific actions, which is helpful to stimulate their interest.

In order to help students to open their mouths to speak Chinese language during the process of learning Mandarin Chinese, teachers can prepare a comic with simple and brief contents that are easy to understand for students to describe. The choosing of the comics should according to the students’ language levels and it should be closely related to the teaching contents.

For those students who just begin to learn Mandarin in China, teachers can encourage them to express by asking “这是什么?” and “那是什么” after they learn the sentences with “是”. If the students are in the intermediate level, they should describe more about the situations and the environment. And for those learners of the advanced level, they can describe the psychological activities and implied meanings and so on.

For the purpose of training students to observe and describe the features of people, thus practicing the comprehensive usage of the words for the five sense organs and colors, teaches can provide some photos for students to describe. Students who study in China should firstly observe the photos carefully and then describe the features of the persons in the photo.

Of courses, this activity can be processed in another way in Mandarin learning courses. Each student prepares one photo. Teachers gather those photos on the platform and ask one of the students to stand out. Another student will be demanded to describe the picture he take according to the memory. Then the first student should find out the picture as soon as possible according to another student’s description.

In the description, students should try to use some specific words for the features description. For instance, “美国小伙子,22岁,较长的金色头发,圆脸,有点儿胖,穿浅蓝色的短袖衫”. If another student can find it out in the limited time, both of them will be marked by one point. To help them study Chinese better, teachers can describe the photo until the student realize that the photo being described is the one he prepared.

Another effective method to train students’ ability of generalizing the features of things and describing them with their own organized language, teachers in Chinese language school can ask them to describe the animals. Each one describes one kind of animal and the others should guess what the animal is.

Each student goes to the stand beside the platform and describes a certain animal. But students should replace the name of the animal with the character “它”. For instance, “它有一对长长的耳朵,眼睛是红色的,它有一身可爱的白毛,喜欢吃草……”. When students learn to speak Chinese in this way, they may meet some animals that are difficult to describe and guess. In this case, teachers should tell the animal name and ask students to discuss how to describe.

When teachers intend to lead in new teaching points or review the learned points, they can do it by asking students describe some certain actions. First of all, teachers should prepare some real objects such as pens and books. The names of those objects should be learned by students before. Teachers can take out the pen and demand students to say “那是一支笔”. If the point is “动作的进行”, the teachers can pretend to write and the students who study Mandarin Chinese should speak out like “老师在写字”.

Once the students master the new grammar points, teachers can use this way to practice over and over again. Of course, this way can also be applied to review the learned contents. To practice more for students to learn Mandarin Chinese, teachers can ask students to do the actions and the others describe. In this way, teachers can connect many points together and learn or review together.

Describing is a very effective method to practice students’ ability of speaking Chinese language. In the classroom teaching, teachers can ask students to describe the comics, the photos, the animals or even the specific actions.

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Stew | UK

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The place is very cool. I am with a great group of people in my class, so coming to classes is very enjoyable. It is fun, we have a lot discussions, games, activities. Our teachers are also very good, very supportive. Learning Chinese is intimidating at the start because you have so many questions. But I would advise coming to Keats because the atmosphere for learning is great. It is very relax. I would recommend the school.

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Ben | USA

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My first semester that I studied at another school, and the pressure there was pretty high, the classroom hour was long, and the homework was pretty tedious. Since I came to Keats, I found I have a lot more opportunities to speak in the classroom. My classmates all are fluent and love speaking and participating in the class. We have great classroom dynamic.

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I have 2 teachers, and I do 4 hours a day. So I have got Dong Laoshi and Jin Laoshi. Both of them are very good. They made the experience very nice to me. They are willing to help you whenever, so if you ever have a question here, the teachers are always there to help you whether it is visas, whether it is getting around the city. Everyone wants to talk to you.

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It doesn’t matter what level of Chinese you have, or even you can start from the zero level. Your teacher will prepare the lessons according to your requirements. The advantage of living in the school is that you will have your tutoring, you will have your private accommodation with your own bathroom and all the meals provided. I highly recommend everybody to actually take the whole package because you get to meet other students.

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Viktor | Switzerland

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My school is amazing. I recommend Keats School because it is a more convenient way to learn Chinese here in Kunming.

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One thing I really liked was that I was able to work with my teacher to make an individual plan of study. Another really nice thing is that you live at the school, you feel completely safe.  You always have a group of people who are willing to do things with you on the weekends or in the evenings. They are serving you all the 3 meals a day, the food was excellent.

Ramji | USA

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The best part of the school is the patience the instructors had and the time to focus on the fundamentals like pronunciation. I think it is very easy to skip over those and go to vocabulary. But by learning the pronunciation, I feel like it helped me gain a better understanding of the language.

Paul | UK

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All teachers are really lovely. The teaching level at Keats is so much higher. I really love the city. It is very comfortable to get around. I fully recommend Keats. It is a great place to come. We are looking forward to coming back again later this year.

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