There has been a fair bit of media attention in recent months about the relatively low completion rates of Chinese language by non background students. We thought we might present a couple of examples offering the alternative perspective. Here are the thoughts of two students who studied Chinese in 2016.
I Love to Learn Chinese Language
– Eloise Ford
My name is Eloise and I am a language fan. I have studied French, Italian and Chinese this year. I started learning Chinese last year. Since the very beginning, I was so enchanted by the language that, sometimes, I feel like I am simply addicted to the sound of Chinese. The Chinese language is pleasant to hear, its grammar is simple too. The most interesting thing is the Chinese script. Chinese characters, are not only the symbol of the language record, but also a kind of art; it is fascinating and artistic. I study the Chinese language every day, and I do not feel tired at all; to do what you love is happiness!
Nowadays there are many high school students unwilling to learn Chinese. They say Chinese is too difficult, especially the tones and characters. Someone asked me how I could learn six years of Chinese courses in less than two years. My thinking is that although the pronunciation of Chinese is difficult, the pronunciation of the other languages is not easy either; in terms of Chinese characters, you might have difficulties at the beginning. However as long as you can remember the two hundred plus characters from the Years 7 and 8 (courses), then you will get used to character writing, and will then not find it difficult. I have remembered more than one thousand characters now. I’m preparing to complete Year 12 (Chinese) study at the end of this year.
This is my fifth year studying at the Victorian School of Languages. I like the distance education mode very much, because I live in a rural area and it is not easy (for me) to go to school. It is convenient to have lessons on the phone; besides (that), the contents of the courses are plentiful, all the explanations are clear, which makes comprehension much easier and all the teachers are very friendly, warm-hearted and helpful.
I study Chinese at the Victorian School of Languages
– Anand Bharadwaj
Hi everyone! My name is Anand. I am a student at Trinity Grammar School, Melbourne. I am in Year 10. The subjects I am studying this year are Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, French and English. Besides these, I also study Latin and Chinese at the Victorian School of Languages, Distance Education.
I like their Chinese teaching materials very much, because they not only help me to remember new words, read texts, practise listening comprehension and reading comprehension, they also introduce me to a variety of interesting content, this includes watching documentaries about Chinese culture and history, etc. In addition, I call my teacher to practise oral exercises every week. When I have something I do not understand, my teacher always helps me patiently. Once my teacher told me: “There is a Chinese idiom which says ‘Many little drops make an ocean’ (From little things big things grow). Learning Chinese is the process of ‘From little things big things grow’; if you want to succeed, you not only need to strive hard continuously, you must also have confidence in yourself.” These words not only inspire me to study Chinese seriously, it also encourages me to be a Chinese language fan.
In brief, studying Chinese at the VSL has been an enriching experience for me.