8 Linguistic Pitfalls to Consider when Teaching English to Chinese Speakers

Perhaps the only thing that the Chinese and English have in common is that each is considered one of the most difficult languages ​​to learn. To that end, but it can also be very difficult to teach. Here are some common linguistic difficulties encountered by Teaching English to speakers of Chinese and some ideas on how to remedy present

Photo :. Element5 Digital

Tones: One of the most outstanding things Mandarin Chinese is the use of tones; flat, rising, rising falling, and falling. While English has shades for things like questions or excitement, these tones are usually not essential to the meaning of words. Note in teaching English to speakers of Chinese that this is where they are coming. Many students of English Chinese instinctively mimic the tone of his foreign teacher. Note, therefore, natural fluctuations in your voice and try not to change their tone erratically

The dialects :. English has many accents, but few different dialects. And what's dialects, rarely intermingle. Not so in Chinese. While virtually anyone who has been at school in China can speak standard Mandarin dialects are many and varied. Thanks to these linguistic anomalies, an English term or concept could be easily understood in Nanjing, but not so much in Chengdu, for example.

While most students are probably from the same place, it is important to be on both of which are from elsewhere. On the positive side, in my experience, Chinese speakers who enjoys talking about the differences in dialects. It is unclear, but also kind of fun

Context :. Another key factor in determining meaning in Chinese is the context in which the words are expressed. As a foreigner struggling with tones and pronunciation can not tell you how many times I have been saved by the context of the conversation. Even for Chinese speakers, relying on context is second nature as many words are pronounced exactly the same.

Chinese speakers, therefore, to hear the words spoken differently to English speakers and do not necessarily understand how different words in English work in different contexts. It is important that students incorporate new vocabulary in spoken and written phrases to make sure they understand the words and are using them properly. This can be time consuming, but be patient and always consider the context

The characters and pinyin :. The teaching English to speakers of Chinese must understand that Chinese speakers do not learn to read in the same way as English speakers. There is no way to look at a Chinese character and "sounding out" as English readers make in elementary school. And contrary to popular belief, very few Chinese characters are pictographs.

China has no alphabet, only small trace elements that combine to create characters. Students should, therefore, know first not only the Roman alphabet, but the concept of an alphabet before learning English. Pinyin, the anglicized spelling of Chinese characters, may also vomit confusion as through her students have learned to read sounds using Latin characters in a completely different way. You have basically all that unteach

Pronunciation :. The most common problems for Chinese speakers learning English are the "r", "L" and "th" sounds. Sound "th" does not appear anywhere in China and therefore often replaced with an "s" sound or "z". As for "r" and "l", these sounds are in China, but only usually at the beginning of words. You can, therefore, be much easier for their students to speak "live" and "read" compared to "always" and "all".

It is important to focus carefully on the placement and movement of the mouth and tongue education "l", "r" or "th" sounds to their students. Start there and focus on the right sounds. This will probably require continued attention, but students will be unlocked capture a significant level of mastery of the English that separate them from their peers

Gender :. Chinese learners English often have trouble mixing "he" and she ". This may seem basic for a native English speaker, and is therefore a common source of frustration for teachers. The reason for this is that in spoken Chinese the sound "ta" can mean both "he", "she" or "her."

is pronounced exactly the same, so the differentiation between genders in spoken language is not simply a concept Chinese speakers are familiar This requires some getting used to, and the only remedy is the almost constant surveillance in teaching English to speakers of Chinese

Age. you may be asked to teach a variety . of age groups in China, especially if you 're working at a language center and while teaching in the primary grades and secondary is very different, it is likely to be asked (ie required). to juggle both such Once even with kindergarten and adult learners

Remember that all age groups have different needs. and needs. With younger, the focus will be the basic vocabulary and pronunciation. With older students, the focus is often on reading comprehension. In my opinion, listening skills are underestimated in Chinese schools, so this is the place where, according to the native English teacher, can be of great value. Personally, I think a student can understand spoken English is better placed than a student with a better reading and grammar skills, but poor command of speech.

So talk to your students, even if not fully understood, even if not directly related to the lesson. Keep talking, but be sure grade, spoken language you are using for the level of their students. At the same you would not talk to kindergarten children about the stresses of life in the office, no need to tell the older students that the grass is green

Culture :. The end point is more general, but offers a way to address the above considerations as a whole. Chinese and Western cultures are dramatically different. Chinese history is much longer than European or American history, Chinese mythology has a completely different cast of gods, spirits, legends, etc., and everything from pop music to the political system is unique our experience.

It is important for teachers to connect on some level with their students, but this can be a huge challenge in an intercultural classroom, particularly one containing more than fifty students. Do as much research as possible in Chinese cultural reference points and seek flashes of communality that will give you an idea of ​​how students think and feel. This will help provide opportunities for connection as essential for teaching English to speakers of Chinese.

Chengdu  Nanjing 

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