Directional gestures

Directional gestures are something I’ve been doing with Chinese teaching for about six years, but this is the first year I’ve had enough students at the same level to see what the broad effect of them is. (Of course, to be rigorous, it’s impossible...

Picking up words

We are now midway into our fourth month of Chinese classes with my beginners (probably around 42 hours of class time, since we meet 42 minutes a day in theory). I have never presented the word “because” 因为 as an item, but I have used it in speaking to the...

On keeping Pinyin in its place

Pinyin is great. You can type with it. You can look stuff up in the dictionary with it. You can chat with it online. When Pinyin is not great, though, is when it takes the spotlight away from characters, such as on a page students are supposed to be reading. During...