I realized that it is not easy to teach Chinese from scratch from the first Chinese lesson I taught 2 days ago.
I have 5 students altogether and most of them are high level managers who need to do business with China. I used to have difficulty teaching a class of 40 students who have problems concentrating. Now, the good thing is that my 5 students give me their full attention for my lessons. The not so good thing is that the Chinese language is completely foreign to them and it is difficult for them to learn. English and Spanish use the same letters/characters while Chinese use different strokes to write a character. For Spanish speakers to learn Chinese, it is a challenging task. 8)
Thank God that I brought some good textbooks from Singapore which teach phonetics and basic conversations. My students enjoyed the first lesson though it is difficult to pronounce certain words. They are smart students and learn rather fast. The challenge for me is to always bring them to the next level of understanding. It was my first time teaching Chinese phonetics because there was no need to teach this in Singapore as all my students already had some background in Chinese already. I learnt more about Chinese phonetics even as I taught the lesson. 🙂
One of my students looked rather critical during the lesson but I was glad that he came up to me at the end of the lesson telling me that he will stick with me throughout the 6 levels of Chinese courses because he really wanted to learn the language well. 🙂
At the end of the first lesson, I was exhausted because I had to think and answer many question which my students posed for me while I was teaching. I think I will improve my skills of teaching Chinese after this beginners’ course. 🙂
Below is a link to a Chinese phonetics table which I find quite useful. If you are interested to learn Chinese phonetics, you can can take a look at this website: http://lost-theory.org/chinese/phonetics/