——for intermediate and higher levels
This article is not going to repeat the advantages of taking online classes, but to share with you some tips that I think are necessary to know before you purchase your first online CHINESE class.
1/There are no good teachers, only appropriate
Most people tend to find a teacher with rich experience, full of diplomas and certifications on their profile. Of course, it’s necessary. In fact, those teachers know very clearly students’ general faults before you realize yours. They can give you clear explanation and instructions than others do. However, two things you need to realize are: 1/a good teacher is not necessary to be experienced but to be understandable. 2/a popular teacher may have many students, which means he/she can not put most of his/her energy on you. Thus, in this case, finding a less popular but with good feedback would be a wise choice for you. If you have not too much budget, that’s exactly what you should do.
2/Get your studying material prepared if necessary
You should know: A teacher’s knowledge and resources are limited, moreover, in most case, they may not meet your expectations! Therefore, if you don’t want to do a lesson by following a boring textbook, but really focusing on your language problems (pronunciation, grammar, the ability of making sentences, or even writing), then it would be clever if you can prepare your own studying material and send them to your teacher/tutor before or at the beginning of your lesson.
For example, if you want to improve your pronunciation, my suggestion is to prepare some articles (each article around 100-200 words) which suit your level, then you take a photo or scan it and send to your teacher or tutor. During the lesson, you tell him/her that you are going to read it, what he/she need to do is just to correct your nonstandard sounds. I bet this would be more useful if you just talk constantly with your teacher/tutor, because probably they are tired of correcting your sound faults but focus more on grammar or word structures problems, etc.
You don’t need to feel embarrassed if you want to ask something or you have a bunch of questions to ask. Actually, teachers are always willing to answer your questions. So do I, I like the students who question me a lot during the lesson, and I encourage you to do this, too. It is always a good opportunity to start a deeper communication and make your teacher know better your difficulties.
If you think you are a good self-learner, why not try this one!
4/ Structure your lessons
If you are at this stage, I need to congratulate you first! Because it means: YOU ARE YOUR OWN TEACHER NOW! No one knows better your problems than yourself, you know well what kind of exercise you need to do, what kind of lessons you need to take, to improve and enhance your language skills. Everything is ready except one thing…you need a native language person to make it perfect!
Thus, my suggestions are: if you book a package of 5 or 10 lessons, why not prepare yourself 5 or 10 different topics of each lesson and send to your teacher before your teacher tell you what you should do (you know why…) Or You can even make a clear plan for the conduct of the lesson, for example, 10 min question-answer, 20 min freestyle talk, 30 min explanation of texts; or, 15 min freestyle talk, 20 min explanation of the nuance of words, 10 min recitation of texts, 15 min question-answer…etc.
I hope this article will be useful for you, and if you like it, don’t forget to share it with your friends. 🙂