My name is Wen from Tianjin China. I have been teaching Mandarin in secondary schools for 12 years. I came from the Mandarin teachers recruitment program for the Education Department. Through years’ experience in teaching, I get a deeper and deeper insight in the process of acquiring a foreign language and also the influence from one’s mother tongue. For kids, the golden period to acquire languages starting from 2.5-5 years old. Parents are advised to let their kids start at 2.5 years old as it will guarantee a smooth growth and solid foundation in the targeted language. For adults, they will need more motivation, a bit innate talent and more hard work. I have encountered many parents who worry about their children getting confused with learning a few languages together. In most cases, it is not a problem at all. They can figure them out and acquire all at a younger age. Another common doubt among international parents is whether they should choose international schools rather than local schools for learning better Mandarin. The results tell us that students who completed from local schools are much capable in Mandarin in all aspects rather that students competed from international schools. Acquiring a foreign language is definitely a valuable asset and horizon broadening experience throughout one’s lifelong journey. My teaching method is adjusted according students' personality and capability. I can ensure obvious result with a reasonable frequency of involvement in classes.
It is easy to learn the speaking part for any age. For the reading and writing part, kids starting from an early age should take all at the same time. While children over 5 years old, teenagers and adults will need much more patience and effort to learn all at one time.
For kids from 2.5-4, 1-2 years can make a very solid foundation for them to become like a native speaker. For children after 4, they will need to learn in more frequency in order to be fluent. For adults, they can manage themselves in many situations in Mandarin after studying hard for 1 year. For total beginners, a short cut to manage basic conversation will need 3 months and at least twice a week lessons.
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