I am a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and lived in China for 22 years before I came to the States. I recently received an MA degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College.
I'm currently a professor of Chinese I and II courses at St. Augustine's University and am solely responsible for teaching as well as designing the curriculum. I also work at several other language institutes and as a private tutor teaching professionals and K-3 children.
I have five years of language teaching experience working as a tutor with students ranging from kindergarteners to professionals. During this time, I’ve found that to teach a language is to help the student develop a relationship with it. This includes not only fundamentals such as vocabulary and grammar, but also the ideas behind the language and, most importantly, the cultural context.
I have worked with both test-oriented and interest-driven students. In the former case, I emphasize making connections with what the student has learned through recollection, comparison and contrast. For students who have a passion for the language, I would introduce them to the broader background and even encourage students to compare the target culture with their own. Together, these two approaches can build a solid foundation of language and in the meantime bring it alive so that it can become a real means of communication for the student. In this way, the learner becomes able to relate to the language in a well-grounded and thoughtful manner.
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