FMP Weekly Post 8: Poking the system

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This is my favorite part! I taught Chinese to twenty students from different countries including university students, teachers, security staff at my flat, and waiters in restaurants. When writing Chinese, the order of strokes is difficult. They have no idea where stroke to start and which to end. It is like drawing a painting for them. Matts and pinyin are really helpful. When I started to do this, I was afraid that I couldn’t find people to be my students. But it really surprised me that they all really enjoyed it. This is the most precious memory during this whole process. I want to express my sincere gratitude to every one of them.

I want to develop an effective method to help people write Chinese. I interviewed many people from different countries whose native language is not Chinese, and tried to teach them one Chinese character. Through this process, I discovered many obstacles people might encounter when learning Chinese. First, the pronunciation is not accurate. Some students tried to memorize the pronunciation by using their own language. Second, they often wrote the character strokes with wrong order. It felt like drawing a picture instead of writing. So I used matts to help them. That is how I learnt Chinese at first. I explained the order of strokes they should follow. It turned out that they can write more smoothly and nicely later.

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