Since last Tuesday I’ve had two hours of private tutoring. I’ve decided, mainly due to my lack of willingness to speak Chinese outside the classroom (I’ve become like my students) that the thing I needed was an environment in which I HAD to speak. The language place is about a 20 minute walk from mine. I can actually see the building complex from my bedroom, it’s that close! But due to the winding of the roads here, it takes me longer to walk there.
My teacher is called Xiao, in which she told me she is also studying in the Uni I go to; teaching Chinese to foreigners. I think at the moment she is doing her work experience, with me as her pupil!
So far I’ve realised;
- I can actually speak more than I thought.
2. My tones need improving. (Especially in a long sentence)
3. I need to practice more.
The main reasons why I decided to join was purely to become more confident at speaking. I was in our complex’s shop getting some beers, and this man started blabbering in Chinese. Instinctively I replied in Chinese ‘I don’t understand’. I’VE become those Chinese people, the ones that automatically assume that whatever Chinese I say to them they wont understand. I’ve unfortunately become that to the Chinese. I should have asked him again. Plus, they speak bloody fast! They never try to speak slower, it’s their pace or no pace. Another man in the shop then repeated what he said, ‘He said your Chinese is good’. GOOD? It’s atrocious! I know you mean well, but I know that’s a big fat lie. In the shop I literally said in Chinese ‘I have this, but I don’t know’. I didn’t even know how to finish off with ‘I don’t know what to do with these’ ( I had beer bottle caps and I could hand them in and get free ones) I have a vague idea of how to say it, but with the Chinese sentence pattern, I don’t know if its correct.
This is why I need to go to private classes.
Give me something like my studies, family or my likes and dislikes, and I’ll spiel off my rehearsed speech about these. Not a bother to me.
Let’s just hope that I see an improvement! Or at least see my confidence in speaking go up.