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How Mandarin makes my day
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I am Jean, a student from South Korea studying at BISS Nanxiang. I have six subjects this term, and almost everyday I have Mandarin lessons. I have already learnt Mandarin for two years and I will take the Mandarin IGCSE test in 2010.

At the beginning, I couldn't speak Chinese at all. I felt Chinese was very difficult to learn. My teacher spoke Mandarin in class and I couldn't understand. I worried that I couldn't keep up but my teacher, Ms Jin, said that listening could help cultivate our listening comprehension. When I couldn't understand sometimes, Jin would give us some clues to help us understand. Gradually, from basic phrases and dialogues, I began to understand what my teacher was saying.

Chinese characters for many students are a little hard to write and to remember, but writing for me is not a problem. I felt my great achievement in Mandarin lessons is to speak out bravely. During class, we practised speaking a lot. We went over dialogue, we made sentences, we answered reading comprehension questions and we did a survey. At first, I could only say words and speak in simple sentences. Even though I still can't speak fluently and I am a little shy when I speak, because I practiced and had encouragement from my teacher and classmates, I can speak in front of other students. I always listen to my teacher's articulation and pronunciation. In my homeroom class, there are some native Chinese speakers and when I meet some words that I don't know, I ask them without hesitation. Now, I can easily introduce my school, friends and my life in Shanghai. I have many ideas in my mind and I want to share them with my teacher and other students. I am proud that I can express myself properly. Being able to speak Chinese is very convenient in my daily life in China and I can also make more Chinese friends. I love this feeling! Now, I think I can speak Chinese better than before, but in the future I know I will be a great Chinese speaker!

(Shanghai Daily June 17, 2009)

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