Archive for ‘Authentic Input’

October 29, 2016

Add Pinyin on Top of Characters

As teachers, when we use authentic input, we want to put Pinyin on top of characters for students to read the text easily and practice their pronunciation.

As students, when you type up your speech script, you may want to put Pinyin to help you practice.

Putting Pinyin on top of characters is easily done in Microsoft Word. See this tutorial (5min) and all is clearly explained.

August 11, 2016

Olympics, China, Nike commercial, Chinese Culture, Vintage

This ad has potential for 1) warm-up before class starts; 2) activating vocabulary about sports. This is Nike ad for China made in the 1980s.

May 18, 2016

Tool to see words in context

When you are learning new vocabulary, you want to see a lot of sentence examples that show you the form and meaning of the vocabulary and see how people use them.

This website,, is very useful because you can enter a Chinese word and it will give you a list of English-Chinese sentence examples based on natural language corpus.

Give it a try. 🙂 Happy learning~~~~


September 25, 2015

Reading New York Times in Chinese

Reading extensively is the best way to build your literary skills in Chinese. If you like to read the NYTimes, try out its Chinese version:

August 1, 2015

《爸爸去哪儿》”Dad, Where are You Going?” a reality TV show, a good resource to learn Chinese the immersion style

This reality TV show has been very popular lately in mainland China. The idea is that celebrities and their kids go on travel and solve challenges as set by the show. -you may or may not like the idea of reality TV, esp. kids put in spotlight, these episodes are good for practicing your Mandarin and exploring the changing morals, traditions and customs in China.

December 25, 2014

Chinese Learning Videos

China Central Television offers great video-based lesson series on their website. There are shows for different levels, different purposes (everyday vs. travel vs. business), different learners (children vs. young adults vs. adults). The shows are hosted by perfect bilinguals, come with pdf transcripts with pinyin and translation of dialogues and all well-made and well-acted. 

October 7, 2014

Model Mandarin featuring supermodel Liu Wen

Weirdly stylish.


September 18, 2014

Video for All

A high-profile EU-funded project. to be launched in full soon. The idea is to be a comprehensive repository for all video uses in the FL classroom, examples, ideas, questions, theories,…

Something to be curious about.


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September 15, 2014

Names and Culture

Names and cultural connotations of names are typical contents of language learning. For Chinese learning at the advanced level, we also teach about names, and add more cultural discussion and use more authentic input.

Below is an excerpt from a sina web piece that has gone viral “为什么这么多人黑周星驰“, about why Stephen Chow (director and actor of Shaolin Soccer, Chinese Odyssey, King of Comedy, etc.

It goes like this:



June 24, 2014

Mandaread (an iOS app)

mandareadFor Reading fluency building. Many CHIN apps focus on characters and dictionary. This app provides authentic reading pieces with pinyin annotation, glossary (line by line), and build-in glossary prompt.

A free app (available for iOS only.