Monday, September 10, 2012

Using Chinese News Channel for studying Chinese Mandarin

We are currently learning Mandarin as our second language in homeschooling. We started with Afrikaans, as we are based in South Africa, but with our intention of relocating to China in the future, we decided that it would be better to prepare ourselves.  Especially as Chinese Mandarin is a complex language and takes a long time to master.

*  We started with Mandarin Rosetta Stone for Homeschoolers (and I reviewed it in a very positive light initially - as we were still very new at using it) but I have found that our children needed something else because it became a little monotonous after a while.  It's also a fairly expensive option for us, as we had to pay import costs and packaging, which isn't a problem if you live in North America.  We still use it but it's no longer our primary resource.  Though to be fair, I also know that children go through seasons of learning and sometimes they just need a change.
*  We are using Memrise and we are all still enjoying this.  Learning Chinese characters is fascinating and engaging and we are daily adding words to our vocabulary.  The fun part for the children is to stay ahead of mom:) (why do children always love this?)
Chinese movies and programs has added some fun to their learning and now that we are learning to read and write Chinese characters, we try and see how many characters we can recognise at the bottom of each page.

Our latest discovery though, has been CCTV News - Chinese Television.   (We have it on our DSTV package in South Africa, and though we are only connected to DSTV for the SABC and etv channels, it's one of those channels which are included because they are free.)

They also have their own website and this is where we found some resources to use.

This is a series of lessons for the beginner (100 lessons).  There are also lessons for the intermediate learner as well as the more advanced learner.  The videso takes you through a lesson which includes some basic vocabulary, sentences as well as the associated cultural norms. It includes a transcript of the lesson so that you can practice your Pinyin, Character writing and Mandarin conversation.  I let my children re-enact the same conversation in their own way which has often had us laughing so much, we could barely speak at times.

As part of our studies and curriculum outline, it is important to include Chinese cultural studies. We found a lovely resource on the the same website.

The website seems to archive the programs screened on the telly.  We watch this program at 8.30am every day Tuesday to Saturday and so far we have covered topics like micro-art, secrets of agar wood(which is more valuable than gold), goldfish breeding and filigree inlay. It's only 30 minutes long but offers a wealth of enriching and inspiring content.

Having a variety of approaches definitely seems to be beneficial to learning the language and to stay motivated.

There are so many good Chinese Mandarin resources online.  It has taken me some time to find some of them, but when I do, I like sharing them as it will hopefully save you some time and energy.

Have fun learning Mandarin!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go ahead, leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!