One hour-long class per week, five sections for each class, each totaling 12 minutes:
- Revision of material from previous class and analysis of written passages submitted as out-of-class work.
- Reading of a Standard Chinese passage (e.g. newspaper article or novel excerpt) using Cantonese readings, with corrections from the teacher as appropriate.
- Discussion about said passage in spoken Cantonese.
- EITHER a short (600-800 words) written Cantonese passage on a particular theme (either narrative or dialogue, or a mix of the two) OR a discussion-based item on the TV or radio (6-8 minutes). Teacher should highlight new words and provide additional Cantonese usage examples.
- Systematic progression through Cantonese grammar (highlighting differences between Standard Chinese), based on learners’ needs. Should utilize pattern-based learning, highlighting differences between similar sentence structures. Vocabulary used should only include words used in spoken Cantonese.
Write a passage in both Standard Chinese and Cantonese related to either section 2 or section 4, to be handed in the following week and corrected for the lesson thereafter. Corrections should not be limited only to character errors or faulty grammar, but should also include word misuse (even for minor errors of nuance).
- Entire class should be recorded for student’s review.
- Recourse to English only at student’s request.
…What’s This About?
So, I know that self-study is all the rage, but, actually, it can only get you so far. My reading, for example, is now at about the level of a 11 or 12 year old, but I’m increasingly running into things that dictionaries don’t directly answer. (For example: if there’s a choice of readings, which one to use?)
Plus, my spoken Cantonese, while not bad, does tend to include collocation errors or the occasional tone mistake, and it would be nice to have someone highly motivated to correct such errors (because, in this case, they’re being paid).
So a couple of couple of questions here: does anyone else have a private tutor for the language they’re studying, and if so, how do you spend the time?