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Mandarin Language and Chinese Culture Studies

The nice thing about homeschooling is that you can create almost any electives for your child under the sun!  You aren't limited to electives that a teacher is interested in, and you aren't limited to electives that you feel comfortable teaching.

The bad part about homeschooling, is that when you recognize you can teach any elective under the sun, you have to somehow find the materials for your child to use!  Donna was talking to me about her child's interests.

Do you have any recommendations for a Mandarin Language course? My daughter would also like to study the Chinese culture. Do you have any courses you could recommend? Amazon has so many to choose from. Any guidelines to look for? ~ Donna

Mandarin Chinese?  Sounds like so much fun!  That's a very in-demand language, by the way, particularly by military and missionary organizations.

For Mandarin, there aren't that many foreign language programs to choose from.  So I'd suggest looking at Rosetta Stone, Tell Me More, and PowerGlide foreign language courses, because I think they have that option.  It's OK to blend a variety of options, and count hours spent on the task.  A minimum of 15 minutes per day will provide enough momentum to learn the language.  About 45 minutes per day would be a good amount for a high school credit.  That 45 minutes per day (or 4-5 hours per week) would be a blend of culture and language activities.

For a culture section of your course, I have always thought this looks good: From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History.

These are all "Great Courses" college level courses, taught from varying worldviews, but I do think they are usually good college preparation, with discussion at home.  Teachers usually use a great vocabulary when they speak, and it's a good opportunity for live note-taking skills.

I talk about Great Courses and how to use them here: The Great Courses for High School Credit.
This describes the note-taking class: Great High School Writing Course!
For more ideas on foreign language, this article may help: How to Have Fun with Foreign Language

Remember that a Mandarin class might include the culture (DVD or visiting museums and cultural centers) plus the language (reading, writing, speaking, listening.... )  Because there is so much, and so many pieces of a foreign language course, remember you can't do it all.  Just do your best, be consistent, and strive for 15-60 minutes every single day, one way or another.


Whether you have questions about delight directed learning, honors courses, CLEP, or the ACT, I am here to help.  My Parent Training A la Carte courses will help you become fully prepared for your next step in homeschooling.

 
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Comments 2

Guest - Jill Robinson on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:58

One resource that should not be passed up is local colleges and universities. Also, given the number of foreign students at most colleges and universities, you can often find a native speaker to work with your child in your chosen language. You can even find resources for truly "oddball" languages. My son wanted to study Old English -- as in Beowulf. Needless to say, although there are some books on the subject, trying to learn this on your own is difficult, to say the least. I looked online, and found that my local university had not one but two professors, both women, both Oxbridge trained, who specialized in Old English. I wrote to one, and asked if she had a graduate student who might be interested in teaching a teenager Old English. He's been working with my son ever since .... I've found that especially with "odd" subjects people who specialize in them love the opportunity to work with younger students who share, or who think they might share, their passion.

One resource that should not be passed up is local colleges and universities. Also, given the number of foreign students at most colleges and universities, you can often find a native speaker to work with your child in your chosen language. You can even find resources for truly "oddball" languages. My son wanted to study Old English -- as in Beowulf. Needless to say, although there are some books on the subject, trying to learn this on your own is difficult, to say the least. I looked online, and found that my local university had not one but two professors, both women, both Oxbridge trained, who specialized in Old English. I wrote to one, and asked if she had a graduate student who might be interested in teaching a teenager Old English. He's been working with my son ever since .... I've found that especially with "odd" subjects people who specialize in them love the opportunity to work with younger students who share, or who think they might share, their passion.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 17:03

Good idea, Jill!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Good idea, Jill! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
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Monday, 21 September 2020

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