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Learning to speak Mandarin in the UK
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China's history as told through its unbelievable queues - BBC News

China's history as told through its unbelievable queues - BBC News | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
Queuing in China is not for the faint-hearted - one photographer has been documenting the phenomenon through history.
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A Radical View - gotCharacters

A Radical View - gotCharacters | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
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Failing Georgia school pushes Mandarin language

Failing Georgia school pushes Mandarin language | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it

(CBS News) MACON, Georgia - A failing school district in Macon, Georgia, where half the 25,000 students fail to graduate, has taken drastic steps to turn the system around -- and it includes an unusual mandate.

At Sonny Carter Elementary School, third-graders are learning the most widely spoken language on earth: Mandarin Chinese.

Learning Mandarin is now mandatory in Macon, Georgia, public schools.

Mark Fuller has Mandarin class three days a week, taught by one of 25 Chinese teachers sent to Macon from China, their salaries partially subsidized by the Chinese government.

"I like learning new things. I like learning the words... It's just awesome," Fuller said.

Within three years all 25,000 kids at all Bibb County Schools will be taking Mandarin. This is one of Georgia's lowest achieving school systems, where half the kids drop out.

Romain Dallemand is the new superintendent for Bibb County Schools, and he wants big change for this troubled system.

"This is about opening their world. This is about preparing these students to compete in a 21st century, multi-ethnic economy," Dellemand said.

He's Haitian-born and spoke only Creole until he came to America in the ninth grade. He made Mandarin mandatory over the objections of many Macon parents.

"Nothing I've read convinces me this is the way, this is the language, this is the avenue that schools need to take," said Macon parent Sandie Parker.


Via Charles Tiayon
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First Chinese Lesson - YouTube

Lesson ideas for the first Chinese lesson for students with no background.
vdawntreader's insight:

Perhaps a bit ambitious for the first lesson!  But nice, useful controlled practice nicely demonstrated.

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Mandarin Chinese Arrange: Thick and Thin

Mandarin Chinese Arrange: Thick and Thin | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
Mandarin Chinese Arrange: Thick and Thin
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Challenging - but I like the inductive approach of these vocab games.

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Two Chinese Characters: Pinyin Pirate

In the Tale of the Pinyin Pirate 拼音海盗人, the 2CC teach you how to pronounce the retroflex sounds 卷舌音 in Mandarin Chinese, represented in the Pinyin Romanizati...
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Just wish they would more as good as this!

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» 澳大利亚前总理、前外长 陆克文 (Kevin Rudd) 在伦敦政治经济学院发表演讲

» 澳大利亚前总理、前外长 陆克文 (Kevin Rudd) 在伦敦政治经济学院发表演讲 | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
vdawntreader's insight:

This looks to be a great blog.  I look forward to exploring it further.  Thanks, Emily laoshi

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的 地 得 grammar summary (Mandarin DE particles) - East Asia Student

的 地 得 grammar summary (Mandarin DE particles) - East Asia Student | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
How to use 的 地 得: A grammar summary of the Mandarin particles 的, 地 and 得 (the DE particles).
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A nice clear summary of the 3 types of 'de' that are so hard to get your head around.

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45 Mandarin Sentences with Chinese Characteristics | 一步一个脚印 - My mission from advanced Chinese learner to professional interpreter

45 Mandarin Sentences with Chinese Characteristics | 一步一个脚印 - My mission from advanced Chinese learner to professional interpreter | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
vdawntreader's insight:

Some really useful stuff here - as far as I can tell, very well chosen, semi-cultural expressions.

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China's National People's Congress Explained

So you may have heard there are some important political meetings going on in China this week. In Chinese they are called Liang Hui or the two meetings. It i...
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说说唱唱《新新年》(增值版)新年好

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Happy New Year song:

今天起得特别早, 换上新衣换新帽, 向爸妈说声新年好, 恭喜恭喜新年好, 人人脸上挂着笑, 见面都说新年好

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Our Brain processes Mandarin and English differently!

Our Brain processes Mandarin and English differently! | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
‘How is language processed in the brain by native speakers of different languages? Is there one brain system for all languages or are different languages subserved by different brain systems? The first view emphasizes commonality, whereas the second emphasizes specificity’.

This is the opening statement of a research article published in the January, 2015 issue of PNAS in which scientists have investigated how our brain processes two very diverse languages: a tonal language (Chinese) and a non-tonal language (English). A group of researchers from China and the UK, led by Jianqiao Ge from Peking University, Beijing, have performed a study on 30 native Mandarin Chinese speakers and 26 native English speakers.

In English and non-tonal languages in general, pitch modulation is used to express emotional information. In contrast, pitch modulation in Mandarin and other tonal languages indicates different words altogether with distinct meanings. For example, the word Bi in Mandarin could mean force, nose, wall or compare, depending on how you pronounce it. Processing Mandarin speech therefore requires a higher degree of mapping tone to lexical meaning as compared to English. The researchers claim these differences between Mandarin Chinese and English change the way the brain’s networks work.

The classic brain regions associated with lexical speech processing are the Broca’s and Wernicke’s regions found in the left cerebral hemisphere. The corresponding regions in the right hemisphere have been implicated in the emotional speech processing. These findings were made, before real time functional brain imaging such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was possible. Brain autopsies of patients with speech impediments revealed lesions to these regions.

Previously, using fMRI to study the activity of the interconnected brain regions across languages was limited by the huge computational requirements. In this study, Ge and his team used cloud computing to analyse thousands of dynamic causal models to map the flow of activity between the regions involved.

The experimental task exposed the subjects to previously audio recorded intelligible and unintelligible phrases from their native languages. The phrases were voiced by a male and a female who are native speakers. The subjects were required to identify the gender of the speakers.


Two areas on the left hand side of the brain associated with language. OpenStax College/Wikimedia, CC BY http://bit.ly/17VBrvX
The results reinforced previous findings in general speech processing, showing activity in three regions of the left hemisphere namely, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG/Broca’s area), the anterior and the posterior temporal gyri (aSTG and pSTG/Wernicke’s area). The sound signals for both the groups entered the neural system via the pSTG.

However, there are some differences in the nature of the interactivity between the regions. In English speech processing, the pSTG to IFG connection is stronger, whereas the aSTG connections to both IFG and pSTG are stronger in Mandarin speech processing.

Another significant difference is the recruitment of the right hemispherical aSTG by Mandarin speakers, but not by English speakers. The right aSTG has active connections to both the classic left regions in Mandarin speakers.

These findings emphasize the importance of developing a bilateral network between the two brain hemispheres to speak and understand languages, particularly for tonal languages like Mandarin Chinese.

Extending this research to cover another feature called “pitch accent”, associated with certain languages, could increase the comprehensiveness of understanding speech processing. Scandinavian languages and Japanese are examples of pitch accent languages, where stressing on syllables alters the meaning of the word. However, such pitch alterations are restricted to one or two syllables in the word. This differs from fully tonal languages where each syllable has its own tone.

There are more than 7000 different spoken languages currently in use. With advancements in computational capabilities, the time is ripe for the neurolinguistics field to expand cross-language studies to include several languages.

The original paper can be accessed here.

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Learning Chinese Radicals

Learning 100 Chinese Radicals
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What a great resource for learning radicals!

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English-Mandarin bilingual free school to open next year - Telegraph

English-Mandarin bilingual free school to open next year - Telegraph | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
The Marco Polo Academy will open at the beginning of the academic year for 52 pupils and will run classes in both English and Mandarin
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I mean to get in touch with these people.  It seems to be such an interesting initiative.

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Learn Chinese Characters Fast and Fun

Highly Effective Chinese Characters Learning Software for Children. Download the software from http://www.easytolearnChinese.com. Fun and Fast to learn and r...
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It's always useful to collect these videos - best "cut  up" into sections and served up as and when.

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Mandarin | Class 3BM's blog

Mandarin | Class 3BM's blog | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
Posts about Mandarin written by class3bm
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Inspiring Primary School blog.  Just goes to show what's possible with enthusiasm and commitment.

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一二三四五六七, 我的朋友在哪裡?Song for Beginners, Pre-school ~ nihaohello

一二三四五六七, 我的朋友在哪裡?Song for Beginners, Pre-school ~ nihaohello | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
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Dead easy song for little kids.

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Nik's QuickShout: Create Instant Interactive Text Based Activities

Nik's QuickShout: Create Instant Interactive Text Based Activities | Learning Mandarin | Scoop.it
vdawntreader's insight:

You can at least make an interactive 'jigsaw' activity using a text in Chinese characters, even if the software isn't sure what to make of characters when it comes to anagrams and gap-fill exercises!

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Bird Flu Outbreak in China! | Learn Chinese Now

In this episode of China in the News, Ben examines the Mandarin Chinese vocabulary associated with Bird Flu, after new cases of the disease sprang up in East...
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10 minutes and you know about China

vdawntreader's insight:

A couple of dodgy facts and a tad out of date but still a useful resource.

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