ECC Session 10 Preview

This week will be our last session of the first term, and your mission is to clear four obstacles, collect all the clues to find the ultimate treasure! Make sure to be well "equipped" with the following skills to win! Real life skill 1: Shopping  Key Sentences Meaning ______在(zài)哪(nǎ)里(li)? Where is _____________? ______多(duō)少(shǎo)钱(qián)? How much is ___________? *Survival... Continue Reading →

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ECC Session 9 Report

This week's theme was China trivia and Dragon Boat Festival. During their classroom time, the students have learned the following facts about China. After their learning time, the students were divided into four groups and went to four different stations to complete their tasks: Station 1: Take two word cards and make a complete sentence in... Continue Reading →

ECC Session 8 – Report

We had fun spinning the globe, talking to a travel agent, booking an air ticket and learning about country names and flags! Here is the report. First, we learnt and practiced the key sentences of the day in classroom. Look who's raising their hands to answer the teacher's questions? Love to hear them shout out:... Continue Reading →

ECC Session 8 – Preview(updated)

This week's theme is travelling around the world! The students will learn about the following 3 real life skills: How to talk to a travel agent about travel plan. How to book an air ticket. What to say during sightseeing. The key sentences are as follows: How to talk to a travel agent about travel plan.... Continue Reading →

Dining out?

My Daily Chinese Fix

Some of my students feel the Chinese language is easy to understand when you consider the different characters or words as building blocks, however they feel the language is sometimes too abrupt or even rude. For example, let’s talk about the useful phrases when we dine in a restaurant.

Key Sentences Meaning
W:几(jǐ)位(wèi)?

G:7位(wèi)。

Waitress: How many people?

Guest: Seven.

给(gěi)我(wǒ)菜(cài)单(dān) Give me the menu.
点(diǎn)菜(cài) Order.
上(shàng)菜(cài) Serve the dishes.
买(mǎi)单(dān)。 Pay the bill.

*位(wèi) is a polite way of counting people. 

Here are the ways of saying your special request:

在(zài)这(zhè)里(lǐ)吃(chī)。

打(dǎ)包(bāo)。

Having here.

Take away.

不(bú)要(yào)辣(là)椒(jiāo)。 No chilli.
不(bú)要(yào)冰(bīng)。 No ice.

If you think this is too direct or rude, add in the word “ke yi” which means “can” and say the requests as questions:

可(kě)以(yǐ)给(gěi)我(wǒ)一(yī)杯(bēi)冰(bīng)水(shuǐ)吗(ma)? Can I have a cup of ice water?
可(kě)以(yǐ)打(dǎ)包(bāo)这(zhè)个(ge)吗(ma)? Can I take away this?

One way to understand this way…

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ECC Session 7

Welcome back to our Experiential Chinese Camp everyone! This week's theme is at the doctor's. By the end of this session, you should be able to describe some common symptoms, know how to talk to the doctor about your feelings and understand the instructions given by a pharmacist. Describing your symptom. Key Sentences Meaning 我(wǒ)头(tóu)痛(tòng)。... Continue Reading →

How’s the weather today?

My Daily Chinese Fix

Weather is always a good topic when comes to small talk. The basic structure of describing the weather is quite simple, see the following key sentences:

Key Sentences Meaning
1.今(jīn)天(tiān)天(tiān)气(qì)怎(zěn)么(me)样(yàng)? How’s the weather today?
2. 今(jīn)天(tiān)是(shì)晴(qíng)天(tiān) It’s sunny today.
3. 今(jīn)天(tiān)下(xià)雨(yǔ)。 It’s rainy today.
4. 今(jīn)天(tiān)刮(guā)风(fēng)。 It’s windy today.
5. 今(jīn)天(tiān)有(yǒu)雾(wù)。 It’s foggy today.
6. 今(jīn)天(tiān)有(yǒu)雾(wù)霾(mái)。 It’s a smog day today. (useful in China)

When comes to describing the change in weather, the particle “le”  can be a bit confusing.

Key Sentences Meaning
1. 要(yào)下(xià)雨(yǔ)了(le) It’s going to rain.
2. 下(xià)雨(yǔ)了(le) It’s raining.
3. 雨(yǔ)很(hěn)大(dà)。/ 雨(yǔ)很(hěn)小(xiǎo)。 Heavy rain. / Light rain.
4. 雨(yǔ)停(tíng)了(le) The rain stopped.

Normally, the particle “le” signals the completion of an action, as in sentence 4; or an action that has been happening up until now, as in sentence 2.

The “le” in sentence 1 can be a bit difficult to…

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A smooth taxi ride

My Daily Chinese Fix

During my lessons, I’d always spend some time to teach the different choices of words and ascents in different Mandarin speaking regions: China(Beijing) vs. Singapore.

One simple example is the taxi ride.

Here’re the key sentences used in Singapore during a taxi ride:

Key Sentences Meaning
Uncle*, 去(qù) Orchard Road** Uncle, go to Orchard Road.
可(kě)以(yǐ)走(zǒu) ECP 吗(ma)? Can we go from ECP?
可(kě)以(yǐ)还(huán)card吗(ma)? Can I pay by card?
谢(xiè)谢(xiè)你(nǐ) Thank you!

* Uncle is a friendly way of calling the male driver.

** For a bilingual country like Singapore, all the location names are written in English and local people usually mix English with Chinese in their daily conversations.

Whereas in Beijing:

Key Sentences Meaning
您(nín)好(hǎo), 去(qù)王(wáng)府(fǔ)井(jǐng)。 Hello, go to Wangfujing.
可(kě)以(yǐ)走(zǒu)三(sān)环(huán)吗(ma)? Can we go from 3rd Ring Road?
可(kě)以(yǐ)刷(shuā)卡(kǎ)吗(ma)? Can I pay by card?
谢(xiè)谢(xiè)您(nín)

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ECC Session 5

During this week's ECC, our students were trained to complete two real life skills, one is to take a taxi ride in Chinese and the other is to make a phone reservation purely in Chinese. The key sentences for taking a taxi ride in Singapore are as follows: Key Sentences Meaning (Uncle*), 去(qù)_______。 (uncle), go... Continue Reading →

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My Daily Chinese Fix

Living the Chinese language.

Experiential Chinese Camp

Learning through experience

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