Survival, Basic and Advanced Mandarin

by Liu Yang Blogger

Aside from being a basic communication utility, or perhaps because it is, language might reasonably be considered a fundamental tool for survival.

This is rather a basic foundation of many short language courses offered in various parts of the globe today. Of course, language learning is a long-term process. Development of competency in any language involves various levels and stages which usually extend to the very growth of an individual. But at the same time, there is now a growing number of language instruction that follows the same curricula model of coaching and mentoring instructions offered in informal learning institutions. These professional and personal growth courses are extended training sessions that are still way below the prescribed period needed in order to learn any language proficiently. But instead of aiming for very advanced language competency levels, these language courses seem to be aiming for just the right level of proficiency needed for day to day basic interaction.

Take for instance the case of Mandarin enrichment courses that are now widely offered in Singapore. These Chinese enrichment courses are offered in regular classroom delivery, in special tuition centres in Singapore and even as home-based tutorial mode, which is in fact, the most in-demand classes in the country.  

The most common Mandarin enrichment in Singapore is the in-home tutoring for kids. As expected, these language enrichment sessions are one-on-one student-teacher sessions in Mandarin that are conducted on flexible schedules. Tutoring and other special tasks are completed by a learner and explained with the guidance instructors who are qualified language teachers. Most Mandarin and Chinese courses offer ‘basic’ to ‘advance’ level but a closer look at the curriculum would show these courses are not the typical language development curricula that targets development from rudimentary vocabulary to syntax and sentences. Instead, Mandarin and Chinese enrichment in Singapore focus on teaching sentences which are important in day to day transactions and emergency situations. Also referred to as ‘survival’ Mandarin or Chinese, these semantic and syntactic constructions are functional language needed in market transaction, in conversing in public places, commuter interactions, asking for directions, prices, destinations and help or assistance that are typically done by any person in another culture or land with a different language. Understandably, foreigners and migrants who need to immediately adjust to the language of the country and just continue developing competency during their stay are those who need to learn these survival languages and are therefore the primary target client of many Mandarin and Chinese enrichment classes in Singapore.

Such survival language courses usually include lessons designed for those with no prior knowledge of the Chinese language and where they learn Mandarin Chinese for situational use such as greetings, saying goodbye, catching a taxi and asking for directions. These classes emphasize the four speech tones of the Chinese language. And then there are Mandarin class for kids in Singapore which are three 1.5 hour crash course where learners are introduced to the basics of the Chinese Mandarin language and then have the option of taking a more extensive beginners course and eventually an intermediate and then advanced course to continue language development. There are also more substantial courses that include interactive course of study in Chinese Mandarin which include discussions in culture to allow language learner to understand the cultural dimensions and dynamics from which and wherein these languages are used.  More advanced language learners, there are enrichment courses that include the fascinating study of similarly fascinating Chinese characters as a prelude to teaching and learning how to read and write in Chinese.

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About Liu Yang Innovator   Blogger

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Joined APSense since, August 22nd, 2017, From Joo Seng, Singapore.

Created on Jan 25th 2018 20:06. Viewed 664 times.


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