Are you learning Chinese? Want to get better? I can help!
I took my first Chinese lesson when I was seven. I don't know why I wanted to learn. I just did. I still get a thrill when I remember the smell of the fresh practice booklet that first day, the look of the characters on the page. Since then, I have sat through hundreds of hours of Chinese classes. I've paid attention every minute. Not just to the content of the lessons, but to the way they were being taught. I've seen some truly first-class practices, and I've seen some lesson plans that didn't work so well. I've listened and remembered, hoping to be in a position to use what I learned one day. The teaching of language is my passion, and I would love to be able to share it with you.
Though I am certainly qualified to serve as a Chinese tutor in a general sense, there are two areas in which I can offer special expertise.
The first of these is pronunciation. I've spent several years in Beijing (broken up over a four different trips). During that time, dozens of locals have asked me whether I grew up in China, or, when speaking to me on the telephone, have assumed that I was a Chinese national. Native-quality pronunciation is becoming more and more common among Chinese-language learners, and for good reason -- it's important, fun to master, and really not that hard! It just takes practice and patience. And, of course, guidance. On that score, I have one advantage over tutors with native-speaker backgrounds: since I had to acquire pronunciation skills myself, not being born to them, I know exactly what it takes to learn them.
Second, my experience with Chinese is extremely varied. In addition to standard Mandarin, I have worked with a great deal of Classical Chinese, the early language in which much of China's vast literary tradition is recorded. Knowledge of Classical Chinese is very helpful for a true understanding of modern Mandarin, because it is the language from which modern Chinese developed and is still in large part based. I have also worked as a volunteer translator of technical documents for the Natural Resources Defense Council, collaborated on the translation of an anthology of modern poetry and, most recently, become qualified as a medical interpreter. These different pursuits have furnished me with a number of different perspectives on the Chinese language.
In addition, I have a good deal of experience as a language teacher. Most recently, from 2008 to 2010, I lived with a Chinese family in Beijing and taught ESL and Latin to their children. It was a blast.
I wish you the best of luck with your studies. If you would like me to help you, please get in touch!
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