One needs to adopt Language learning Philosophies and Take certain Fundamental Learning Actions !
There has been a lot of emphasis on the importance of "Immersion" when it comes to learning Chinese. Hundreds of westerners live in Taiwan and HK and do not speak Mandarin. And same goes for hundreds of Chinese who live in Canada or the U.S who choose to speak Chinese on a day to day basis. It does not mean that because you live in a Chinese-speaking country that you will naturally pick up the language.
In order to ensure that our students learn Chinese in the most effective and efficient way , there are 5 principles and 7 actions that we live by , teach by and believe in at Goasia Taiwan. These are based on in-depth Psychological research by Chris Lonsdale of Lonsdale university in Hong Kong .
The 5 Principals that will allow you to learn Mandarin in the most effective way possible :
Principle #1 : Focus on language content that is relevant to you and that relates to your survival. We master a tool when it is relevant to us, meaningful to us and important to us. Therefore our program is set up in such a way that you are encouraged and motivated to speak Chinese during the duration of your course.
Principle #2 Use language as a tool to communicate from Day One. As a child does - no inhibitions. No fears of saying the wrong word. Allowing you to make lots of mistakes is our goal. The more mistakes you make the faster you will learn.
Principle #3 Chinese mandarin Language learning is focused on Comprehension. Its not about attaining lots of knowledge. When you first understand the message , you will unconsciously acquire the language. Comprehension is Key. Teaching should follow the method of "Comprehensible input" .
Principle #4 Physiological Training is required to learn Chinese. Speaking takes muscle. You need to co-ordinate your muscles in your mouth in such a way that creates the right sound. That is why after your first day of learning Mandarin your face muscles feel exhausted. Just like when you do a sport that you are not used to, the next day your muscles feel sore.
Principle #5Your Psycho-Physiological state matters. Its important that your emotional state is one of happiness. If you are sad, angry or upset you will not learn Chinese. It is also very important that you are tolerant of ambiguity. This means you do not have to understand each and every word spoken. By being tolerant and not beating yourself up about not understanding each word you create a space for yourself in which you allow yourself to improve step by step. At Goasia Taiwan fun activities are a part of the program which endeavors to put people in a positive state to maximize learning.
The 7 Actions which will allow you to learn Mandarin in the most effective way possible :
Action #1 Brain Soaking. Listen a lot to pick up Rythm and patterns.
Action #2 Body Language. Learn postures and how Chinese use their bodies to communicate.
Action #3 Start Mixing. Use the very first adjectives,nouns and verbs to have fun with . Be creative with these very first few words. Use them without being afraid of making mistakes. The point is to forget completely about perfection. And mix them around in playful fun and creative ways.
Action #4 Focus on Core. 3000 Chinese words gives you everything you need to for daily communicating in Chinese. Anything you learn above this is icing on the cake. Learn a few questions which you can ask anyone wherever you are so that learning happens fast: What is this ? and How do you say.... ? Play with simple adjectives like a baby would. This is at the core of our teaching Philosophy - getting you to a level where you can teach yourself wherever you are and whatever you are doing in Taiwan.
Action #5 Find a Language parent. Its important that when you are learning Chinese that you have someone that works very hard to understand you. They consistently offer feedback . They use words you know in among some words you don't to help you build your vocabulary fast. Goasia Taiwan's teachers are better regarded as your language parent. Having being trained in these philosophies and in teaching Chinese as a second language , they are able to lead you to a higher level of Chinese in a very short period of time.
Action #6 Copy a face. Learn how Chinese use their faces. Hear how it feels and see how it sounds. Learning Chinese is to listen by seeing not only with your ears. You absorb mandarin in a much deeper unconscious way by paying careful attention to facial expressions and then mimicking them. This is also based on a modern method of learning called "modeling" used by top performing athletes and business entrepreneurs for achieving greater levels of success in their business or professions. The same concept is a part of Chinese language learning at Goasia Taiwan. Modeling works the same way in language learning too.
Action #7 Direct Connect. Everything you know is an image in your brain. When you learn Chinese , going into that imagery in your head is extremely effective as you create and come out with new mandarin pathways in your brain. Sounds are linked to internal representations.