Welcome to WayMandarin, the best place to learn mandarin Chinese on the internet! This is my first blog post here. To start off, I’d first like to introduce myself.
My name is Josue Masson (just call me Joshua, it’s easier), and I’ve been living in China for the past 8 years. Even though I’ve been living in China for a while now, I actually started learning Chinese much earlier at just 3 years of age. Because of my fascination with different languages, I wanted to become a language instructor. So I decided to study linguistics and applied neuroscience at the University of Science, Art, and Technology (U.K.). I obtained my Master degree in Education in 2015, and I have been teaching English and Chinese ever since.
During my studies, I saw how different teaching methodologies work, and which are the most effective. My personal experience has taught me that if you really want to learn to speak a language, you have to practice it. However, that is exactly what many online language courses lack. Often, the teacher speaks a lot, but doesn’t allow you much time to repeat or practice the language. You get very good at understanding the language, but you have a hard time speaking the language. This is one reason why I created this course: to help you learn how to SPEAK Chinese, and not just listen.
I have found the Pimsleur method to be one of the best ways of learning how to speak Chinese. This methodology was invented by Dr. Paul Pimsleur as a result of his extensive research in the field of applied linguistics. He discovered that if learners were reminded of new words at gradually increasing intervals, each time they would remember longer than the time before. This is called the Graduated Interval Recall approach, which is one of several fundamental principles that WayMandarin was inspired from.
At first, you may be surprised at the slow pace of the course. Don’t worry, this is on purpose. You NEED to practice several times before your brain puts the word or phrase into long-term memory. If you don’t give up, you will slowly be able to achieve what linguists call automaticity, or spontaneous speech.
I’ve also incorporated phonemic awareness (the ability to distinguish sounds from each other to differentiate meaning), muscle memory techniques, and the word frequency approach (where you learn the most common words and phrases first), among other things.
If you want to know more on the different methods used in this course, I recommend you check out my complete thesis on the subject of teaching Chinese to speakers of foreign languages here:
Until next time!
Language Coach and Instructor