Throughout the world today there are more than 1.3 billion speakers of Chinese languages, such as Cantonese and Mandarin, making them the most commonly spoken languages after English.
In total there are seven languages currently spoken and used across China, the most common of which is Mandarin, with about 1.1 billion speakers in the world.
The rich culture and history of China interests many people to this day and plays a big part in why so many people learn to read and speak Chinese every year.
As always when meeting others from foreign countries, you might find a bit of a language barrier when communicating with locals in China, or the Chinese communities throughout Australia. So you may consider learning some basic Chinese or key phrases if you are planning to travel to China.
If you are interested in learning Chinese - Mandarin, Cantonese, or another dialect - the best way to pick it up quickly and build your confidence is by recruiting a professional Chinese tutor to help you along the way.
With this in mind take a look at this guide for some help on choosing the right Chinese tutor for your needs.
Are you ready to find a Chinese teacher and start your learning journey?
What should you be looking for in a Chinese Tutor?
When you are deciding which professional Chinese tutor you want to spend your time learning the language with there are many things to consider, such as their previous experience and qualifications.
It is important to double check through any private tutors' profile to make sure they have right level of knowledge and skills required to help you reach your full potential in learning Chinese.
First make sure to look over their C.V:
- Is the tutor a either a fluent or native speaker of Chinese? E.g. Are they from a Chinese speaking country or have Chinese parents?
- What qualifications have they achieved? Perhaps a degree in the Chinese language, or a teacher certification.
- How many years of experience do they have teaching Chinese languages?
- Do they have a large number of previous students and have any of them left reviews for you to check?
- Have they lived in a Chinese speaking city at some point?
- Do they teach a basic introduction to Chinese or more advanced classes and topics?
- How is their course of Chinese classes organised? They might only offer summer classes or an intensive course, or maybe they hold classes every night they are available.
- Does the availability and flexibility of the teacher fit in with your own schedule?
- What dialect of Chinese do they teach? Is it Mandarin, Cantonese, Traditional Chinese, Pinyin? Is this the dialect you wish to learn?
Once you have done your initial check to verify that the Chinese teacher will be able to meet your needs and help you on your path to fluency, you should arrange to meet with them face to face to ensure that you get along and can work together.
Learn Mandarin Chinese quickly with these helpful tips.
Montaigne is quoted as saying: “It’s better to have a well-made head than a full one” .
Learning a new language can be difficult, especially if it involves a completely new alphabet and ideogram system. It is important to fully understand each symbol to help remember them properly.
In this regard, working with a private tutor can be very beneficial as you can move at a pace you are comfortable with, whereas when taking a course at an Australian university you might find the lecturer moves at their own speed and expects you to keep up. Enlisting the help of a Chinese tutor can really bolster your revision and knowledge if you find this is the case during your University course.
There are many other qualities you should expect of your professional Chinese tutor.
A great teacher will:
- Listen patiently to students' concerns and query's.
- Customise the students' course of Chinese lessons to suit their level of skill and comprehension.
- Make their lesson and explanations understandable and pedagogical for the students ease.
- Not judge their students when they don't get something on the first try
- Be kind, considerate, and understanding
- Have excellent technique to explain difficult concepts in simple terms.
You may also want to consider how much you should be paying for your Chinese Mandarin lessons.
Where are Chinese lessons available in Australia?
As previously mentioned; learning Chinese can be very challenging, so much so that even many native speakers do not know all of the different Chinese characters.
As with other languages such as Arabic, there are several different languages used throughout China. The most frequently used and spoken is Standard Mandarin, which is the official language of China, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Australia has strong business and diplomatic relationships with many Asian countries, and is home to many immigrants from countries that speak Mandarin. For this reason it can be very beneficial for Australians to learn and comprehend at least some of the Mandarin language.
This gives Australians an advantage when looking to find learn Chinese. Whether you want to take online Chinese lessons, or work face to face with your tutor, you will always have opportunities in your day to day life where you can talk and practice your language skills with different people from Mandarin speaking countries.
There are also many organisations throughout Australia which can assist you in your learning of Mandarin.
You will find that most major cities in Australia will have at least one university with connections the Confucius institute.
This institute offers Chinese language and culture courses to anyone who is interested, as well as community out-reach programs, with the aim of sharing China's diverse culture and history with the Australian people.
Mandarin is also commonly a language elective at schools from primary level to high school, giving students the chance to learn this widely used language from a young age.
If you were hoping to bolster the knowledge you have learnt at school or university, or you just want to start learning Mandarin privately in your free time, then you should take a look at the private tutors that Superprof offers throughout Australia. This would allow you to take your Chinese lessons online or at your tutors studio, on a schedule that suits you.
University students will often offer their services as Mandarin teachers
If you have been struggling to find the right Chinese teacher for your needs and skill level, or do not have the free time to commit to enrolling in a language school, then you might consider seeking out a Chinese university student who is offering their services as a private Chinese tutor.
Many university students decide to tutor people as a way of earning some extra money, and gaining valuable experience in the field they wish to enter professionally.
As they are still studying themselves, students may not be able to confidently teach you the advanced stages of learning Chinese, but if you are a complete beginner yourself this may not immediately matter.
These students may advertise at your local university in Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth, but many will offer their services through tutoring sites such as Superprof. You might be able to find an excellent native speaker to teach you Chinese for good value!
Australia is known for it's high volume of international students choosing to study at it's prestigious universities.
In 2019, over 160,000 Chinese students enrolled into higher education in Australia.
This adds up to a large number of students who will potentially wish to teach their language to others who want to learn it.
Some of the benefits of choosing to learn with a Chinese student include:
- Being able to have real conversations in Mandarin with a native speaker from China, Taiwan, or another Chinese speaking country.
- Taking your Chinese lessons at a reduced price
- Potentially perform a language exchange, and help a Chinese student to learn fluent English
- Creating contacts in China and get more insight into Chinese culture.
- Working at your own pace to perfect your conversational skills, without time pressure or deadlines to worry about
- Learning how to speak Mandarin in real terms, picking up local slang and the informal way conversations are made
- Making good progress on your comprehension of Chinese characters, and expanding your Chinese vocabulary
These are some ways that you might be able to find a Chinese student willing to help you:
- Visit your states' local universities and keep an eye out for advertisements
- Find a noticeboard and leave your name and contact number
- Search the Superprof website to see if any Chinese students are offering their services as a tutor
- Ask your friends and family if they have any Chinese friends who might like to help teach you
- Search on Social Media like Facebook or Instagram for foreign language groups
- Contact Chinese associations who might be able to supply you with a teachers details
What different kinds of Chinese tutors are there?
When you are looking to find a Chinese language tutor, your best bet is to look for someone who is fluent, or close to it, in the dialect of Chinese that you wish to learn. This will allow you to make efficient progress and reach your full potential throughout your Chinese lessons.
On the Superprof website you will be able to compare the profiles of the different Chinese tutors available to you. This allows you to easily see the experience and knowledge each tutor can offer you, making your decision process simple.
If you browse through the profiles of private Chinese language tutors on Superprof you will notice some of the following different types of tutors and Chinese lesson plans:
- Fluent/Native Chinese speakers
- Teachers who have completed a diploma or bachelor degree at a Chinese university - such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou
- Registered and qualified Mandarin teachers who currently hold positions at a language specialist or regular school
- Tutors who offer short courses as either a refresher or beginners course
- Private individual lessons at home or your tutors studio
- Online Chinese lessons with your tutor via webcam or zoom
- Tutors who have completed tertiary education in Mandarin or Cantonese
- International Students from China who are currently studying at an Australian university or institute
- Australian English speakers who have lived or spent considerable time in China, leaving them with a high skill level of speaking Mandarin when they return to Australia
- Tutors who are bilingual and also teach other academic subjects
- Teachers who offer intensive courses to help you memorise vocabulary and get a grip on Mandarin or Cantonese quickly.
No matter where in Australia you are based, you are bound to find professional Superprof Chinese tutors in you locality.
Have a quick browse through the website and compare some tutor's profiles to ensure you are recruiting the perfect Chinese tutor for what you need.
Read some more information on taking Chinese lessons with a tutor and get started on your exciting journey to learning a new language!
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