Chinese Character Canon – a Review of the Basic Course (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

After nine months of studying the Chinese Character Canon (CCC), where do I find myself?

Right now I think I have the literacy level of a Grade 2 student (though definitely NOT one who would be on top of her Chinese class, hehehe). I know this because I have a second-grader and her lessons are almost the same as the lessons I learned. I can read a few and make sense out of most of the contents of her school text book.

Whenever hub is watching his wu xia (kung fu movies) and Taiwanese telenovelas, I can read about 4 or 5 characters per line of subtitle. I could attempt to read all but the movie will have to be paused… for quite a few minutes. hehehe.

Here are my recommendations for those who are interested to learn Mandarin through the Chinese Character Canon:

1. If you are like me with no or little background of the Chinese language, do not expect to be conversant or literate immediately, or even within 2 or 3 months. It took about 6 months when I finally began reading the supplement books for me. Patience, patience.

I hear from my teachers, though, that the experience with younger kids is better. I suppose when the mind is clear and focused, like young minds are, learning is a lot faster and easier. Adults have a lot of distractions – tasks, responsibilities that were momentarily put aside for the hour – it’s sometimes hard to concentrate.

2. It is better to have classes one hour everyday from Monday to Friday, rather than longer stretches of time several times a week. Memory retention seemed better when I started attending classes everyday.

3. Just like any newly-acquired skill, the Mandarin language has to be practiced daily. I find listening to Chinese songs and watching movies with my husband very helpful. The thing is –  if exposure/usage/practice are discontinued, the skill will eventually be archived by the brain and gather cobwebs there.

4. Just talk! Don’t be afraid to sound barok or be wrong. At first it was really hard to differentiate between the sounds of (in Pinyin) c, q, z, ch, zh. But with practice, I finally got the hang of ’em. My kids, at first, would cringe at my trying-hard attempts, but I guess I finally earned their respect. hehehe.

For inquiries, you may get in touch with Mrs. Sofia Chua at Dash:

Address: # 35 Dona Hemady Avenue (between 4th and 5th Streets), New Manila, Quezon City

Telephone Numbers: (632)5667179, 5012842

Mobile Number: 09228266888



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