Conversation makes a real difference in Chinese language learning!

25 Feb

In the world of communication, having conversations are the easiest way to hear somebody and make yourself heard. It’s tha same as Chinese language learning. That is why the world has those Six-party Talk, Bilateral Talk, Global Talk and various other talks. To the lower end, it works the same way. In the world of language learning, having conversations is vital in the entire learning process, yet it is always neglected by many learners.

Most people start learning a language in school, while you read the textbook, memorize the vocabulary, answer the questions raised by the teacher, finish the tests and… that’s all! They may never have the real opportunity to talk with other people in the extra language they are learning. After several months, the textbooks are still the textbooks, but their memory of the contents blur. Even if the memorization stays long enough, your communication abilities are not guaranteed. For example, I have learned English for 20 years and regard myself as intermediate level of speaking. However, the moment I entered the U.S. I found myself lost in the greetings “How are doing?”, “What’s up?” and “How are you?”. On textbooks, American people should say “How do you do?”, yet it seems nobody is greeting following the textbooks I have used for years.

However, there will be a difference if they could have real conversations duringlearning, which means using the extra language for real communication. It is a leap forward from memorization to application and also a test in the real world of the true language abilities. You may be able to spell “encyclopedia”, but you may not be able to answer the question “What do you like most about encyclopedia?” All in all, language is a
tool for people to talk. It will remain on the textbook until used in the real world, real communication. I always try to persuade my students to talk to each other in Chinese during class, find a language partner after class, or go on Skype to find some native speakers who can help. The efforts may not have a direct impact on their test scores, but that is the way they can truly master the Chinese language even when the semester ends. Practice makes perfect. What do you use language for? Talking. So start practicing talking now


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