Effective Chinese Teaching

Written by Maggie, Wong Suk Man


The people of Hong Kong have been criticized as not having a good command of both Chinese and English. Being deficient in English ability is not surprising to local people because English is a second language. The language environment for English speakers in Hong Kong is far from ideal. Chinese is, however, our main tool of communication in daily life so it is rather sad that Chinese standard of the people remains low on the whole. There must be something done to lift the standard rather than criticizing.

Reciting masterpieces of Chinese classic literature provides the foundation of good intonation and expressions of feeling that are essential for correct speech. Training for making speeches and daily conversation should be taught to students as early as the secondary stage. Young students should always be encouraged by their parents and teachers to express themselves clearly in complete sentences with full expressions.

Practicing writing through keeping a diary is a remarkably good way to express one's feelings and generate ideas without the pressure to be corrected. Once we get used to expressing our ideas freely and forming good habits by thinking and writing effectively, writing essays won't be a torture for students anymore but will instead be an enjoyable way of releasing our soul.

Excellent Chinese language teachers are essential for guiding students in the right directions. Setting high standard for students when marking is important since it helps them to develop their language skills by demonstrating mistakes that must be corrected, teaching them the ways of effective writing.   

Another way to improve the Chinese standard is through the learning of Mandarin Chinese, or Putonghua. The failure of Hong Kong people to express themselves clearly and formally in written Chinese is due to a deficiency in the command of modern Chinese verbal expressions fully carried by Putonghua. There are a lot of expressions in Cantonese that are inappropriate when written in Chinese. People with Cantonese as their mother tongue usually have difficulties in writing essays with decorum or eloquence due to the different phrases or expressions they use which are not considered proper Chinese. Learning Putonghua properly can get rid of these problems.

It is believed that languages are interrelated. They are effective tools to sharpen our brains was well. Once we are able to improve our Chinese, we can apply these ideas to improve our English as well. Teaching and learning principles apply to all subjects, not just one or two.

Teaching without heart can never reach very far so it is important for teachers to motivate students to love and cherish the learning of Chinese and English by being open-minded and well-educated in order to set a good example. The standards of both Chinese and English can only be raised with a whole-hearted, cooperative approach made by all Hong Kongers.




selected and translated by Maggie Wong



18th Oct, 2006

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.     - Burton Hills



19th Oct, 2006

Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.   - Elbert Hubbard



20th Oct, 2006

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.     - Raymond Hull



21st Oct, 2006

Beauty is no quality in things themselves. It merely exists in the mind which contemplates them.   - David Hume



22nd Oct, 2006

Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best ends by the best means. - Francis Hutcheson



23rd Oct, 2006

Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.                          - Robert Ingersoll



24th Oct, 2006

A sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.

                                                          - Washington Irving ['The Sketch Book', 1820]