Linguists count seven living languages in China, each covering a greater or lesser territory. The most commonly spoken Chinese language is Mandarin, with 850 million speakers.
Chinese language and culture, the history of the Middle Kingdom and its multi-religious patrimony seduces more and more people wanting to learn to read, write and speak Chinese.
The Chinese are not known for their English skills. Knowing this, studying the language of Confucius and learning to speak Chinese can also be a useful basic skill if you are planning a trip to China.
So why not recruit a tutor so you can take Chinese lessons? It’s the best way to learn Mandarin quickly!
Superprof has prepared a mini-guide of things to consider when choosing a Chinese teacher.
Before soliciting the help of a teacher to speak Chinese or Cantonese, its important to review what you expect from them: what qualities are you looking for in a Chinese teacher?
Anyone can style themselves a private tutor, even without official qualifications. But learning a foreign language rests greatly on the qualities of the teacher.
Start by verifying their C.V.:
After having gathered all these facts, it is also important to meet with your future Chinese teacher face-to-face: human sympathy is vital for good progress.
Discover how you can learn Chinese quickly…
A native Chinese speaker, from Beijing for example, has a lot of advantages when learning to speak Mandarin. Photo via VisualHunt.com
“It’s better to have a well-made head than a full one” wrote Montaigne.
To better memorise the Chinese ideograms and characters, you will need to understand them. This is where a private Chinese class differs from a university course in Sinology: the private teacher is expected to ensure that his student understands a lesson properly before moving on to something else.
Is that all? Not by far!
A good teacher should:
And while we’re at it: what does a Chinese lesson cost?
Learning Chinese is considered a complex task. In fact, even the most educated of native speakers doesn’t know all of the Chinese characters!
Just like there are several types of Arabic – Modern Arabic, Classical Arabic, Arabic dialects or Quran Arabic, there are several forms of Chinese.
The most commonly taught is Standard Mandarin, the official language of China, Taiwan and Singapore.
This means that Standard Mandarin is the language spoken by most of those native to China and those countries previously under Chinese rule.
But what does that mean?
It means that there are enough people out there to give you the opportunity to learn to read Chinese vocabulary words and progress with your pronunciation.
And fortunately, there are several organisations in Britain that will help you learn this form of Chinese in the UK.
In fact, Britain has just launched a nationwide programme to promote learning Chinese in schools.
The goal is to have 5000 students learning Mandarin by 2020. Meanwhile, the first bilingual English-Mandarin school (with incorporated nursery) has opened in the captial offering Chinese classes London.
Over 30 universities in the UK teach Chinese at an undergraduate or graduate level.
Benefit from private or group lessons with a native speaker from China!
When looking for a Mandarin teacher to help you learn to speak the language of Confucius, you will find that many big cities have some sort of association or school for foreign languages.
Here are a few:
Mandarin classes London are possible with the Hutong School or Practical Mandarin
An exhaustive list would take too long, but here, Google is your friend: simply type in “Chinese in + your city” and all of the institutions, public or private, teaching Mandarin near you will appear. From there, you can choose the Chinese teacher that suits you the best.
You can learn Chinese quickly with these great tools!
Have you been looking for awhile but still haven’t found a Chinese teacher? Group lessons are not your thing? Going to and from a language school is too stressful or far away?
No problem. Why not look to students to teach you in private lessons? Giving private lessons is a good way for a lot of young people to earn a little extra money.
Some might not yet know how to prepare a Chinese lesson the same way that an experienced teacher would, but they have their own advantages…
Ask around at your local university to find the best native speakers willing to teach Chinese classes.
Your local university can yield a treasure trove of affordable Chinsese tutors. Photo via Visual Hunt
From 2015 to 2016, 91,215 Chinese students were counted studying within the UK system of higher education, with a steadily increasing trend.
A nice gold mine of potential teachers, all waiting for future students they haven’t even met yet.
In choosing to learn from Chinese students, you can:
Here’s what you can do to find a Chinese student to teach you:
To find out what these notices are advertising, make your own to find a Mandarin teacher among university students. Photo credit: Marc Ben Fatma – visit sophia.lu and like my FB pa via VisualHunt
A Chinese proverb recommends: “never fear that you are too slow, fear that you have stopped.”
To choose your Chinese language coach, you will need to find an experienced person who will help you make significant progress.
By comparing the different profiles on Superprof – a bit like a dating site – you can separate the chaff from the wheat and contact the teacher that is the best fit for you.
Let’s have a look at the profiles of private Chinese language tutors on Superprof.
You will quickly notice some trends. You can find:
Use a language exchange to find an affordable Chinese language tutor. Photo via Visual Hunt
You will find the whole spectrum in most of the cities harbouring Superprof tutors.
A few clicks, some reading to decide which Chinese teacher corresponds to your needs, and off you go!
Immerse yourself in the Chinese language as though you were off to Beijing tomorrow!
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