XMUM Students Organize Mandarin Class for Non-Native Speakers

2019-03-07

On 27 November 2018, the very first Mandarin class for students whose first language is not Chinese was launched at Xiamen University Malaysia, providing a convenient and systematic Mandarin-learning channel for all students who are interested to learn the language.

Proposed and organized by the Student Association of Department of Chinese Studies, it becomes an important platform for students from the Programme to demonstrate their professional knowledge and to practise teaching skills learnt in the major core course “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

The first batch of 19 students come from different sides of the world with different native tongues and different culture backgrounds. Their native countries, to name a few, include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, and Sudan. Some local Malaysians whose first language is not Mandarin also joined the course.

“I was quite surprised when I first get my student list which had only 9 students but from 5 different countries, said Zhang Ke, one of the tutors of the Mandarin Class. “Since they are from different language backgrounds, I have more difficulties in figuring out what to focus on during my teaching.

To arouse students’ learning enthusiasm and help them acquire good language habits, three tutors and two teaching assistants applied different teaching methods to ensure the effectiveness of language learning. “Culture” is the word most frequently mentioned during the whole process.

“Students in my class will be asked to share their own experiences about their country, culture, food and the interesting things that happened in their campus life, explained Yeap Pei Yee, a final year student from Chinese Studies Programme. “This is not only an exchange between languages but also an exchange between different cultures.

Wang Yuxin, another tutor of the Mandarin class, mentioned that campus culture will be boosted by allowing students from different cultural backgrounds to better communicate with each other. “While Chinese students are working hard to learn English, Malay and so on, students from other language backgrounds are also learning Mandarin. It not only helps students communicate with friends, but also enables them to meet new friends.”

The Mandarin class is conducted on a weekly basis, with a total of 10 classes in a semester. New class(es) will be organized every semester following the university’s academic calendar. It opens to all member of the university. For further enquiry, you may contact at Student Association of Department of Chinese Studies at chsstudentaffair@gmail.com.

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