Chinese tutoring - find a Mandarin, Wu, or Cantonese tutor online
Chinese language study is gaining steam all over the world, and with good reason. According to the New York Press and China Daily, Chinese classes are increasing. In addition to the typical benefits of foreign language study--from improved cognition and memory to higher standardized test scores--learning Chinese can give students a competitive edge in the global job market.
Yet despite its perks, Chinese is a difficult language to learn. There are seven separate Chinese dialects, and the challenges of learning them are further complicated by the massive system of characters assigned to individual words. Also, in Chinese, inflection is everything: Mandarin alone uses four different "tones" that provide context. Finally, Chinese is known for using a multitude of homophones; the word "shi," for instance, has more than 30 meanings.
A qualified Chinese tutor or tutoring program can help you overcome these challenges while motivating you to take your language skills to the next level.
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Learning Chinese: what you need to know
When it comes to learning a foreign language, studies show that the earlier you begin your study the better. The ACTFL notes that in the United States, serious language courses are rarely offered before middle or high school. As a result, there are no universal curriculum standards. Still, most Chinese courses will focus on the following skills:
- Vocabulary acquisition
- Reading, writing Chinese symbols
- Verb conjugation, tense
- Pronunciation, tone
- Geography, history and culture
Having a reasonably firm grasp of Chinese words and grammar is one thing; effectively communicating in Chinese is quite another. Working with a great Chinese tutor can help ensure your skills are well-rounded.
Find a qualified Chinese language tutor
Begin your search for a tutor by considering your needs and personal learning style. Would you prefer structured, face-to-face tutoring sessions, or a more flexible, self-guided program? Are you a visual or sn auditory learner? Also identify your weaknesses, such as pronunciation, vocabulary acquisition or writing Chinese characters (hanzi).
Once you have identified your needs, find the Chinese help you need through one of these resources:
- Online tutor searches. Services like our TutorFinder can help you find tutors online or locally, by subject and grade level. VolunteerMatch.com is another potential source for locating a nearby tutor--one who volunteers his or her time.
- Online study aids. CSU Long Beach has compiled an exhaustive list of online Chinese language resources.
- Libraries. Many local libraries offer kids' homework help at no charge, though services are often limited to elementary through high school tutoring. Most libraries also lend language study aides, from books to audio programs.
- Colleges. Some college students offer tutoring services at reasonable rates. U.C. Berkeley, for example, offers a message board with a listing of qualified tutors in a variety of subjects, including Chinese.
- Tutoring centers. Both online and brick-and-mortar tutoring services are typically staffed with certified instructors offering support in a variety of subjects.
- Language software. Programs like Rosetta Stone can improve language acquisition for the self-guided learner.
Finding a skilled Chinese tutor can take time: consider interviewing a number of candidates before choosing the one that best suits your learning style and goals.