eChineseLearning and Mandarin Institute STARTALK Collaborate to Provide Immersive Chinese Learning Experience
October 28, 2021 09:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–eChineseLearning is pleased to announce that it has completed another collaboration successfully with the Mandarin Institute STARTALK Program, a program initiated by the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) in the US and administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. eChineseLearning, as the world’s premier online Chinese language school offering systematic, customized, one-on-one Mandarin lessons to students worldwide, provided the US students of the Mandarin Institute STARTALK summer program with a three-week personalized and interactive online language course led by native Chinese teachers.
eChineseLearning and the Mandarin Institute designed a unique method to support STARTALK’s mission of increasing the number of Americans learning, speaking, and teaching critical foreign languages. During the three-week program, following 5 hours of daily in-person lectures and activities with Mandarin Institute faculty, students went online and each spoke with his/her individual eChineseLearning tutor to recap what he/she learned during the day. Carrying out this part of the program exclusively in Chinese allowed students to reinforce what they had just learned, gain confidence in using their Chinese, and even have the chance to engage in spontaneous, casual conversations, proving that they could use their language abilities outside of the classroom, too. According to Mandarin Institute Executive Director Yalan King, “Our students go into the community, and we bring the community into our program”. In addition, the eChineseLearning tutoring team also provided daily assessments so that Mandarin Institute teachers could track students’ progress.
Moreover, the Mandarin Institute STARTALK students went beyond a normal classroom experience and got deeply engaged with the language study, with units on Chinese cultural, mural creations, and even mini excursions into Chinatown and field trips where possible. The content of the students’ daily discussions with their eChineseLearning tutors depended on what they were learning in the classroom, covering topics from the main entrance to San Francisco’s Chinatown – the Dragon’s Gate – to one of the most popular hotpot brands in China – Haidilao. In this way, eChineseLearning and the Mandarin Institute STARTALK program helped students learn about different cultures while practicing their language skills.
Following the program, students rated their experience an average 5.5 out of 6, with more than 99% feeling excited for having made the most of their time to fully exercise their Chinese in class. The addition of eChineseLearning’s teaching team to the program motivated students to continue learning Mandarin, and Director King was proud to report that “At the end of the program, our students [had] the communicative competence and confidence to engage in authentic dialogues with native speakers in real world situations.” Being able to speak with people in China in a relaxed way allowed many students to develop a strong interest in Chinese history and culture, and in travelling to China themselves in the future.
At present, more than 70 countries have incorporated Mandarin into their national education systems, with Mandarin courses available in more than 4,000 universities, 30,000 primary and secondary schools, and 45,000 Mandarin schools and training centers around the world. Given that the cumulative number of people studying and using Mandarin outside China has reached 200 million and only continues to grow, it’s clear that learning Chinese is more than just a trend. eChineseLearning’s established success of over 15 years as a professional, convenient, and efficient Mandarin learning platform continues to inspire future generations to engage with the world, providing them the tools they need.