Kunming College of Eastern Language
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How to Speak Chinese Language?

01 Rational Arrangement of Tone Teaching Order

For foreigners no matter their mother languages are tone languages or non-tone languages, the falling-rising tone is difficult for them in Chinese tone learning, but the level tone is relatively easy to master. Hence, for normal foreigners, they should follow the principle that learning from easy to difficult, and the order should be the level tone, the falling tone, the rising tone and finally the falling-rising tone. For Chinese learners whose mother tongue are tone languages, the order can be adjusted according to the characteristics of their mother tongue tones and their mother languages’ differences from Chinese initial consonants.

02 Comparison of Chinese and Foreigner's Mother Language

Teaching Chinese tones by comparing the tones and intonation between Chinese and foreign languages. For learners whose mother language is tone language, we can set the important and difficult teaching points by comparing the differences between the tone system of their mother languages and the Chinese tone. For example, Vietnamese students to speak chinese language should focus on expanding their tone range and strengthening the practice of falling tone exercises. For foreigners whose mother languages are non-tone languages, they should compare the differences between the Chinese tone and the intonation in their mother language, to help them find the pronunciation reference, such as the English sentence “ Let's go! ” The pronunciation of t “ go ” is similar to the falling tone in Chinese, thus for foreigners from the English speaking countries or ones that can speak English, they can learn the falling tone by simulating the pronunciation of “ go” in “ Let's go” first.

03 Picture Method and Gesture Method

In teaching, five-degree tone diagram can be used to give the foreigner a clear visual sense. When demonstrating, you can pronounce while pointing to the diagram, such as pointing to the picture at the same time to pronounce the level tone loudly and correctly. This method is best combined with the gestural method. When pronounced, using the movement changes of the hand to indicate the change of pitch, prompting the foreigner to pronounce the correct tone. For example, when pronouncing the level tone, the motion of raising the arm, putting the five fingers together and panning the palm indicates the 55 tone pitch. When teaching the falling tone, the palm of the hand is waved down by the height of the arm raised during teaching the level tone, indicating the 51 tone pitch. When using this method, we should ensure that the height of our arm should be same every time we demonstrate, and the relative height of different tones should be shown.

04 Music Method and Four Tone Singing Method

The survey found that the foreigners who have learned vocal music are generally better in Chinese tone learning because they have had special pronunciation training and vocal cord control, they are more sensitive to the change of pitch. This enlightens us that we can combine tone learning with music in Chinese tone teaching. Moreover, Chinese has a strong musical character by nature. Therefore, we can choose some representative songs artificially in the teaching, or do some vocal music training for foreigners, and we can also carry out some tongue twister games in the class. It is best to practice monophthong and some simple syllable first when practicing four tone singing, and when the training effect is pretty good, then we can practice through the four tone positive sequence and the four tone negative sequence of syllable. Word of four tone positive sequence, such as: "beautiful mountains and rivers (山河美丽)", "strong (身强体壮)" and so on; word of four reversed sequence, such as: "all with one voice(异口同声)", "believe in truth(信以为真)" and so on. By repeatedly practicing this words with a regular combination of four tones, we can effectively train foreigners’ language sense of four tones. Another advantage of these two methods is that it can avoid the boring and dull tone practice, which makes the learning process more relaxed and interesting, and can better arouse the learning interest of the foreigner.
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How to Speak Chinese Language?