Compared with other languages, Chinese has tones, with vowels predominating and no consonant cluster. Such characteristics have a great influence on foreign chinese learners.
The fluctuation of Chinese tones is very difficult for foreigners, especially for those with no tones in their native language. In the early learning stages, it is often hard to perceive and produce the right tone. Therefore, tone is the key and difficult point for foreigners to learn Chinese phonetics. At the beginning, teachers must emphasize and correct their pronunciation.
Learning Chinese pronunciation is more than just pinyin spelling
Pronunciation is very important in language learning
, and so is Chinese pronunciation. Thinking it is easy for foreigners to learn pinyin, many Chinese teachers just teach initials, finals and tones, and then practice pinyin spelling with them. But when native Chinese people hear what foreigners speak out, they would find the Chinese that foreigners speak out is actually different from the standard Chinese. That is to say, we should advocate the language flow teaching on the basis of previous emphasis on word sounds. When practicing pronunciation, we should pay attention to dynamic phonetic training, and train language sense through reading aloud, conversation and other trainings. Phonetic teaching is not enough only with pinyin teaching. Initials, finals, intonation, soft tone, inflection, r-ending retroflexion, stress, pause, sentence intonation are all indispensable for speaking Chinese.
Chinese pronunciation teaching varies from person to person
It is usually not very easy to combine theory with practice. In actual teaching, especially for adults, it is difficult for them to change their pronunciation. If the teacher over-corrects their pronunciation, it is likely to dampen their enthusiasm and confidence in learning Chinese. Many people learn Chinese just out of interest and for more convenient life in China. Every student has different goals, so the teacher can focus different teaching points according to student’s own situation. The teacher must be strict with students who have a rigid demand for learning Chinese, or they will encounter lots of difficulties in their work.