Help Chinese Speakers Learn English With These 10 Strategies

Chinese speakers Learn English Faster When the Teacher Understands Their Linguistic Challenges

Chinese speakers learn English

  1. The first thing an English teacher of Chinese speakers needs to determine is the purpose of the student’s English studies. Is this for academic or conversational/social reasons. A student will need to focus on  different aspects of the language than someone who wants to improve conversational English. If the purpose of the lessons is academic you will have to sort out what types of vocabulary would be appropriate and this depends on the area of study, the age of the student and what the stated goals and outcome are.
  2. Divide your focus almost equally with Speaking, Reading, Listening and Writing exercises.
  3. Heavy emphasis should be placed on phonics and pronunciation for beginning learners. Repetitive listening of the International Phonetic Alphabet is advised.
  4. Do a lot of drills using word pairs such as Whip/Weep.
  5. English has more words than Chinese so spend some time on Synonyms especially for Chinese learners of Academic English. Also spend time on idioms and phrasal verbs.
  6. Allow students to use technology in class such as smartphones with dictionary/search more applications. Especially if you are teaching a group and cannot attend to each student individually for every single point and detail.
  7. Understand the linguistic barrier they face given the diametric difference in just their alphabet alone. Some letters the Chinese ear just can’t even process like “L” and “R”. So you would have to do a lot of word drills with these letters.
  8. The Chinese language does not have tenses like English does so they have trouble conceptualizing the verb tenses. A lot of time and focus has to be spent on tenses with Chinese learners.
  9. The concept of plurals does not exist in Chinese.
  10. Be sensitive of the fact that different accents can have a higher degree of difficulty for Chinese learners than other accents. That is, not all English accents are created equally to the Chinese ear. So you may want to adjust your speed accordingly.



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