Tag Archives: Chinese Character Canon

Dash Chinese language school in Ortigas

For those of you who want their children to learn Chinese but live in areas like Pasig, Antipolo, Cainta, Marikina and thereabouts, you know that finding a good Chinese school  or Chinese language school in those areas is quite a challenge.

That’s why Dash Cultural and Educational Institute opened a branch at Fun Ranch in Tiendesitas, Ortigas – to cater to those who live in that area.

Dash chinese language school Metro Manila

The programs at Dash Chinese language school are for Chinese and non-Chinese speakers alike. Even if you’re Filipino and want to learn Chinese, the programs at Dash are ideal for you. I took the Chinese Character Canon course with them last year and, as a non-Chinese speaker, I think the results are fair (all things, such as age and aging neurons, taken into consideration).

Though I cannot speak fluently, I can understand basic conversations. With a bit more pushing (as in if I took time to review my textbooks or read Chinese children’s stories on a regular basis), I think I can do better. The key, I realize, is continuous exposure to the language.

Of course we know that the earlier we get the kids started, the better for them. So if you have little kids that you want to be fluent in the Chinese language, Dash is the place to go.

Why? Two things, I think:

The teachers. Dash has licensed teachers from China who specially trained to teach the Chinese Character Canon course. They have mastered the techniques of teaching the course, which is said to be the fastest way to learn Chinese. On top of that, the two founding teachers, Li Lao Shi (teacher Li) and Long Lao Shi (teacher Long), are truly passionate with their profession. They want their students to not only learn Chinese, but also to appreciate the language and culture. In that regard, I think their approach is holistic.

The method. At the end of the basic  6-month course, the student is supposed to have mastered 1,000 characters! Does that beat 6 years of studying Chinese during grade school? I think so. Again I say it depends on the student. According to the teachers at Dash, results are excellent among children between 5 and 12 years.

If you’re interested to learn enroll in a Chinese language school, just call the numbers on the photo above. Look for teacher Li or teacher Long.

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

Chinese Character Canon course – a Review

I finally finished part 1of the Chinese Character Canon course at Dash Cultural and Educational Institute last December. It took me 9 months. This is a review of my learning experience.

About the Chinese Character Canon Course:

The course has three books:

Book 1: Chinese Character Canon (CCC), with 13 main lessons. Each lesson is a poem on one general topic such as geography, ethics, Chinese history, animals, fruits and trees, etc.

Books 2 and 3: supplements to Book 1. They enforce the main lessons and demonstrate usage of characters in short stories, poems, songs, Chinese folktales and historical events.

On top of the books, I also had an hour of conversational Mandarin lessons each week. The course covers both reading and conversation, but not writing (which can be taken up in a separate course).

At the end of this basic course, a student is supposed to have mastered about 1,000 Chinese characters. Lessons can be taught either with simplified or traditional Chinese. I took the simplified Chinese course.

Each week I am supposed to attend 5 hours of class. For the first 5 months, I had classes three times a week. From month 6 to 9, I had classes everyday from Monday to Friday. I paid P6,000 per month ( I am not sure if this is the prevailing rate, as mine was the introductory one).

About the Student:

I am a native Filipino speaker with no Chinese lineage. My only exposure to the Chinese language and culture is through being with a full-blooded Chinese husband who is firmly rooted in his cultural foundations (read: he will never give up his wu xia movies and Chinese telenovelas). While V was attending Chinese tutorials in K1, I was forced to sit with  her and keep close watch (so she’d pay attention and not talk to everyone!).

In other words, I have nearly-zero background of the Chinese language. What motivated me to learn? The keen interest on the language. And, oh yeah, so I will be able to assist my younger kids V and Nate in their lessons and not endure hours of Chinese tutorials after school anymore.

About the Teachers and the Method: Continue reading Chinese Character Canon course – a Review

Nearly-preschool Nate

Nate just turned three two weeks ago.

In a year, he will officially be going to pre-school. I’d like to think he will be ready by then.

He is now toilet-trained – only wears diapers during the night and when we go out (more for our convenience, hehe). He is not a picky eater too, so I guess teachers won’t have any difficulty feeding him… Well, except that he has lots of food allergies.

And, oh, his vocabulary is fantastic! He can name (and mimic) most wild animals – his favorites being tiger (roaar!), lion (growl!), snake (hisss! with matching tongue-wagging), e(le)phant, and dragon (with matching fire-breathing). I know, the last one doesn’t count as ‘wild animal’, but, hey, we’re Chinese! 😛

He can blabber lots of mostly-intelligible phrases too:

“Tabi tayo ha, Mama.” (My heart melts!!! *swoon*)

“Yan chicken a(ller)gy ako?”

“Almost done, guys!” (Always cracks me up, LOL!)

“Watch ako Agent Oh-sow.” (He loooves this new show on Disney Channel, Special Agent Oso!)

“Waay kamiii!” (Translation: Wait for me!)

“Eeeew, yuck!” (when anyone kisses him)

I am contemplating, though, of enrolling him in a pre-nursery school when the second semester opens in November.

I know, I know! These things weren’t existent when I was growing up too! I mean –  I went to a public school for kindergarten, for goodness’ sake. And I turned out just fine… Right? (I guess??? I hope!)

Continue reading Nearly-preschool Nate

Summer Chinese lessons in Manila

Chinese culture is one of the richest in the world. Chinese history is one of the oldest and most interesting, with many tales on epic heroism, family values, enduring love and even shocking controversies. That is why, for me and my husband, it’s important for our kids to learn the Chinese language. Why not enrol your kids in Summer Chinese lessons?

summer chinese lessons ming tzi
Result of VGood’s boredom while practicing her Chinese characters.

It would be such a waste if children with Chinese lineage grew up studying all their young lives in Chinese schools but not retaining a huge percentage of what they “learned”. I know many who studied in Chinese schools from grade school to high school, but could only muster a few Mandarin phrases. Hindi ba sayang?  

One reason that I see for the low retention of learning is that students have low interest to learn. Because the methods of teaching are not interesting and interactive enough, the kids just end up studying for the sake of getting good grades, not to learn the language. (My kids are classic examples.)

So make this summer productive for your kids, while awakening their interest in Chinese culture and language. Consider summer Chinese lessons for them.

Dash Cultural and Educational Institute, the center where I am studying Mandarin, is offering fun summer classes for kids this year.  The teachers are experienced experts in Chinese education, so enrol your kids with confidence.  Most of all, they are committed to teaching the Chinese language using interactive and practical approaches. Your kids won’t be bored!

Continue reading Summer Chinese lessons in Manila