Problems for learners in ChinaWhile traveling with my husband in Asia, I used a program designed for journalists covering the Olympic Games in Beijing called “Say it Right in chinese
,” which came with a book and a CD. The program made chinese
sound so simple to learn, promising that if you knew english
phonetics, you would be able to speak chinese
. The course actually was quite helpful as an overview, but it was daunting to learn the correct pronunciation of the most basic Mandarin greetings. I wondered how a chinese
speaker would go about learning english
! As I continued to travel with my husband, he sought out qualified chinese
employees for his US-based company and I heard many candidates explain that they simply memorized how our english
I have decided to write this essay on common problems encountered by chinese
people learning english
. There are many significant differences between spoken chinese
and spoken english
. Thus, I felt that if I were able to understand the difficulties that chinese
people encounter when they try to learn english
, I would more effectively be able to teach chinese
There are many dialects of the chinese
language including Wu, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Mandarin. Mandarin is considered the mother tongue of China and about 70% of chinese
speakers accept Mandarin as the standard written language of all chinese
. It must be kept in mind that chinese
does not have an alphabet, but instead uses a logographic system of symbols for its written language. These symbols represent words rather than pieces of words. This fundamental difference may make it very difficult for chinese
students to read english
text and spell english
words correctly. Indefinite nouns such as “a” and “an” are not used in chinese
and are very confusing for chinese
students to use correctly. chinese
is also considered a tonal language, whereas in english
tones do not give entirely different meanings to words.
does not use certain sounds that are very common in english
speed, such as “L” and “R.” To the chinese
ear, “rake” may easily become “lake” and “low” may sound like “row.” There are many common tongue twisters that can assist with learning these sounds. Practicing saying “lalalalalalala” without moving anything but the tongue may also help chinese
students become accustomed to creating and hearing the unfamiliar sound.
language does not distinguish between singular and plural verb forms, posing another hurdle in speaker proper english
. In chinese
the plural is indicated by the use of numbers. Translating literally, a chinese
person might say “I have one child,” “I have two child,” or “I have many child.” The word “No” also does not exist in chinese
. One would instead say “I drink not” instead of “I do not drink”. Learning to use the direct form of the word “No” can be quite confusing to chinese
does not use prefixes and suffixes to indicate tense, making it difficult for students to differentiate between words such as “hesitated” and “hesitating.” Phrasal verbs do not exist in chinese
, so chinese
students may experience serious difficulty understanding and using such common phrasal verbs as “made up” and “ran into.”
As I continue to travel extensively in Asia, I remain determined to complete this TESOL course so as to better instruct those who are eager to learn english
. I am glad to know about these differences and difficulties so that I may be a more effective and understanding teacher. I am also grateful that I am now equipped with wonderful tools that will assist me in teaching those in China who want to learn to speak english
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