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Learning Mandarin Chinese At That’s Mandarin

by | Mar 12, 2016

shanghai thatsmandarin campus wuding road 6

Curious to know what it is like learning Mandarin Chinese at That’s Mandarin? Considering signing up for a class?

Take a look at the learning experience one of our students, Jane L from Indonesia, has shared with us.

Jane’s Chinese Learning Experience

I’d like to share with you my personal experience learning at That’s Mandarin. Let’s get right into it.

I started learning Chinese three years ago at my University back in England. Although studying at degree level helped me to become fairly proficient, I always felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of characters I had to learn, or texts I had to memorise. Although I studied regularly, I always found that I could not commit Chinese words to long-term memory…until now! I have recently started learning Mandarin Chinese at That’s Mandarin, and after just a few lessons, I can feel my Chinese improving dramatically. I wanted to share some of my learning experiences with you:

For those of you who don’t know, That’s Mandarin is a language school with a difference! It is a school extremely committed to providing interesting and unique ways to study Chinese, from interactive lessons to exciting cultural activities, for example cooking classes or movie nights. Not only this, but the school environment is bright, warm and friendly. There are relaxing terraces, complimentary teas and coffees, spaces to study, lovely plants and cute photos which are dotted around the school. You instantly feel relaxed when you walk through the door which certainly helps if you are going to be speaking Mandarin!

Learning Mandarin Chinese at That's Mandarin, An Insider's Guide

What I do in class

I am currently taking a part-time course, which is basically 2 lessons a week, each 2 hours long. I am also doing a 2-on-1 class (2 students, 1 teacher); this is great as you can practise with another learner who is at a similar level to you. At That’s Mandarin, the foundation of the curriculum is based on individual-focused learning. I want to improve my reading, as well as my speaking and listening skills, with the view of working towards my HSK 5. So in one of my classes I am concentrating on speaking, while in my other class there is a focus on reading skills.

Learning Mandarin Chinese at That's Mandarin, An Insider's Guide

Speaking classes

In this class my teacher uses interesting short-films which we watch, re-tell, summarise and discuss, so as to build understanding. My teacher cleverly draws our attention to important words within the films and then we create our own examples. We then have to include these words when we re-tell or role-play the story for ourselves. There is a lot of talking but it is interesting and good fun as we joke about certain parts in the film. What I think is particularly comforting for any Chinese learner to know, is that we are never shot down for an incorrect answer. I have experienced this before and it really makes you lose confidence in speaking out again! Instead, at That’s Mandarin the teacher helps you work out the answer and when you do get it right, it is a great feeling.

Reading classes

In this class we are focusing on reading and listening. I am also learning all about the method behind the HSK 5 exam. My teacher is helping me to understand how reading can also assist on the listening part of the HSK exam. This is because I have to unpick the questions in the listening part of an HSK exam paper and not only understand the deeper meaning, but also predict what the recording might say after having read a question. I study key words and structures found in an exam paper and this is really important as I am taught links between different words and phrases or helpful hints that help with reading or listening. VERY CLEVER! It also makes the whole process easier and you are constantly building a bank of vocabulary and grammar.

What is more, That’s Mandarin have developed their own online Mandarin learning platform. All class notes from your lessons are instantly available on your online account so you can review whenever, wherever. Mandarin Café also has a large selection of mock exams and language exercises available to all students.

Overall thoughts

All in all I am finding myself more inspired and eager to review my classes. 好好儿复习复习!

I have really found a new passion for this language and I am understanding more everyday thanks to That’s Mandarin.

Thank you!


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