So, I finally decided to fork over the cash, and get my own chinese teacher. You see, speaking Chinese is now a common thing in my life. I speak, or write, Chinese every single day now. Sometimes a lot, sometime a little, and my speaking and listening is getting noticeably better for which I’m super psyched (speaking and listening are my weak points).
What is getting noticeably worse is my grammar and vocabulary. I hang my head in shame when I try to recall words I learned last August in my private Kunming classes. And when I try to use grammar patterns, fugghetaboutit. It’s shameful.
I want to go to the chinese classes here at the university (free for english teachers to attend), as it is the way I have learned so far, but this semester my English classes totally clash with the Chinese classes and I’m unable to attend any. So I’ve just been going chinese-less recently. Apart from 5-20 minutes a day practicing writing on my Skritter App, I haven’t done any real studying to speak of.
That’s why, when a friend mentioned she was hiring a tutor, I jumped on the bandwagon and met the teacher too. My teacher, Hu Laoshi, seems very nice. She spent some time teaching Chinese in Cambodia and has recently moved back to Lin’an. With no full-time job yet, her schedule is pretty wide open so I can have class when it’s best for me.
She does an hour and a half, one-on-one for 100 rmb (about 15 bucks) and she will teach me anything I like. I’m just about done with the Hanyu Jiaocheng textbook series, so I want to finish that off before moving onto something else. Class officially begins tomorrow. She seems very nice and speaks slow, clear Mandarin. I’ll meet her twice a week for 3 hours total. It’s not as much as I’d like (I’d prefer 2 hours a day), but with my schedule, and the fact that I actually have to pay her, limits it a bit.
As an added bonus, I cleaned up and re-organized my spare bedroom into a study room so we’ll have a comfortable place to meet. Yay for forced cleaning!
My friend, who also hired the same teacher twice a week, was trying to justify the money. (It will be a little over $100 a month, a not insignificant amount when you earn chinese rmb.) But I told her to not worry. It’s classes, learning, not some expensive piece of clothing you’ll only wear once or a fancy meal. This is something that will help us connect with local people, make traveling easier and help to make daily life not only more understandable, but more enjoyable as well. I feel, like travel, money on a Chinese teacher is money well spent.
So I’m back on the bandwagon and learning chinese again. I know I sound like a total Hermione, but I’m pretty excited to study again!
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