Archive for July, 2012

July 31, 2012

First-day of class, find someone who…

“Find someone who…” is a classic activity in the second/foreign language classroom. When students share a first language, it is fine to conduct this activity in the students’ first and shared language. So the focus will be on the students’ background knowledge and interest about the target language and build a language-learning community.

Below is a template for a “find someone who…” activity that can be used in a heritage or non-heritage class with tweaks:

Find someone who   (word doc)    (click it and you will see the link to download the word document)

Find someone who   (pdf)  (click it and you will see the link to download the pdf version of the same document)

July 31, 2012

Inputting Chinese on the Computer

Early in the semester, if you teach a Chinese class, you need to introduce to students various methods for inputting Chinese on the computer. The attachment here is a word-document that is a handout ready for use in the class.

Right-click it to download the document.

Input Chinese on Computer   (word-doc version)

Input Chinese on Computer    (pdf version)


July 31, 2012

First day of class ,useful vocabulary

On every first day of class, in a beginning-level Chinese class, the teacher would want to introduce to students the basic vocabulary that will be useful from the very start of the class. Here is a document that teachers can use.

Basic vocab   (right-click to download it. It will be appreciated if you acknowledge Universtiy of Illinois at Chicago–Chinese Program).

Basic vocab   (pdf version)

July 26, 2012

In China, Do as the Chinese do.Tsingtao Beer Ads. featuring beer and culture

potential classrooom use: discussion prompts; character-recognition; writing prompt

source of images:

July 26, 2012

James Fallows on the Colbert Report

Journalist/China Specialist James Fallows, author of “China Airborne”.

  • Colbert: “Do they have honey roast peanut technology?”
  • Fallows: “I don’t think so.”
  • Colbert: “then we are still ahead.’



July 10, 2012

Ever seen a weird-looking Chinese character, wanting to know how to pronounce it, or what it means?

Like this one?

or these twins?

饕 餮


When I find myself in such a situation, and have an ipod/ipad at hand, I use the “Kanjidic” application. It’s free and very easy to use. It’s developed by Rakudoor, copyright 2010. Search for “Kangjidic” in Itunes store and it will come up. This is an app for Chinese, not Japanese, in spite of the name. See the screenshots below

Usage for students of various levels:

  • Students can practice hand-writing using the ” 手写查询” function. Only by following the correct stroke order will the character prompts show.
  • Demonstrate this use in class and students if motivated to practice, will likely download it and have fun with it.
  • This app should help students who want to develop reading proficiencies and read extra materials.