Archive for September, 2010

Why You Should Learn Chinese

September 23rd, 2010 No comments

Q&A By Kayla Webley Wednesday, Sep. 15, 2010 

Deborah Fallows and her husband, the Atlantic‘s James Fallows, are no strangers to life in a foreign country. Over the course of their careers they’ve upped sticks and moved to foreign lands, from Africa to Southeast Asia. But even their many years as expatriates could not have prepared them for what they would experience throughout their three years living in a country as overwhelming and chaotic as China. In her book, Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language, Fallows, who holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard University, details the struggles and triumphs she had while learning one of the world’s most difficult languages. She spoke to TIME about what her study of Mandarin taught her about life in China, the country’s dizzying transformation and the value of learning languages.

Read more:,8599,2019179,00.html#ixzz10LAYRc3j

Categories: All Chinese Levels Tags:

IBS1 Newsletter Article: Kung Fu

September 20th, 2010 No comments

Today the IBs1 class has submitted the BT Newsletter Articles on Chinese Kung Fu.

This was a writing task based on reading, a kind of IB Paper 1 assessment format. The main point is to identify relevant ideas and important supporting details from the original text and complete the writing task assigned. However, this assessment is a slightly modified version of IB assessment, it’s something between Paper 1 and Paper 2. The reason is simple, IBS1 still need some language support to write on a more complex topic.

The original text is from DW-World.DE 德国人的功夫情结 . I edited this text and prepared the student version: 德國人的功夫情結  德国人的功夫情结  Vocab.

Now enjoy the students’ production! They are simply super!

马俊林-朴多运   朴英善-艾格贝   陈弘恺-张贝安   薛恩妮-魏尔森

礼慧萍 坂东俊真 赵基正   王天恩 – 珊娜

Details of the instructions can be found on my class website:

Chinese 1: Analytic or Holistic Cognition?

September 16th, 2010 No comments

The picture below is the one used in the famous Michigan Fish Test. 41 American participants at the University of Michigan and 44 Japanese participants at Kyoto University, Japan participated in this Recall Task (Masuda & Nisbett, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2001).

North Americans basically referred to the attributes of the target fish, whereas the Japanese referred to the background and contextual information as well as the target fish attributes.

As for the recognition of the target fishes, the results show: American – little differences between with background and without background
Japanese – better when with background
– field dependent attention Read more…

Mr. Toze understands Chinese: Schema Activation in L2

September 5th, 2010 No comments

Last Wednesday during Block E, Mr. Toze came to my IBS1 Chinese class (to look for learning?) when we were reading a text from DW-World.DE 德国人的功夫情结 (or check my edited version for students: 德國人的功夫情結  德国人的功夫情结  Vocab). This text talked about Shao Lin Kung Fu schools in Germany. It mentioned several German cities and regions. After reviewing names of continents and major European cities, I asked the students to guess the cities mentioned in the text. For the city of “柏林 Bo Lin”, the kids immediately offered “Berlin” since most place names are phonetically translated into Chinese. When it came to “波恩 Bo En”, no one had a clue. I turned to Mr. Toze for help, and the students were very curious about his answer. Mr. Toze asked me to repeat the word again, he then confidently pronounced “Bonn”. “Mr. Toze understands Chinese!” I told the kids.

Read more…