How to Learn Chinese

Learning Objectives: Setting your own goals

As kids in school, we didn’t have much say about what we studied. School curriculum was set so that all students got the same kind of education. Perhaps in high school you got to choose some of your courses. Then in university you chose your major, and some elective courses.

But whatever course you took, the text book and learning objectives were predetermined. As a student you were told what you were expected to learn. This has turned many of us into what I would call passive learners. A passive learner may choose the subject or course, but allows or even expects someone else decides what exactly they will be taught.

Is that the best way to learn? Well, it might be considered efficient by some. Standardized curriculum is efficient for teachers who can teach the same lessons over and over. It’s efficient for potential employers, who can determine what education requirements are necessary to do a certain job, according to what they know is being taught. It may even be efficient for young people who ‘don’t know what they don’t know’. For adults with particular learning goals, however, being a passive learner may not be efficient at all.

Different learning paths for different learning objectives

Adults who decide to study Chinese have different reasons for doing so. Someone may want to learn Chinese for tourism, to chat with people as they travel in China. Being able to ask some basic questions and understand simple answers may be sufficient. Another person may plan to do further education at a Chinese university. They need to be able to read and write at an academic level as well as understand lectures. Someone else might be planning to do business in China. They would need good conversational skills, and an understanding of Chinese business etiquette, but might rely on a staff member to handle reading and writing tasks. Putting all of these people in the same Chinese class isn’t going to help them all meet their goals in the most efficient way.

At TenWest we offer personalized Chinese courses based on individual needs. Knowing and being able to explain your learning objectives and learning style allows your teacher to work with you to plan the best course of action to help you achieve your particular language learning goals.

Why not contact us today and tell us why you want to learn Chinese, or to arrange for a free introductory online lesson?

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