Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A note to RETURNING STUDENTS in my classes this academic year: PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS!!!

Hi Gang,

I welcome any of you to sign up to take my class again this year. HOWEVER, if your pronunciation and tones are below a certain level as a returning student, I will need to ask you politely to quit the class so that a new student who has never taken this class at ALESN can have your spot from the waitlist. If there is no waitlist or if there are openings in the class later on in the fall, I will still ask you to please quit the class if your pronunciation is not at least at the most basic level of comprehensibility when you attempt to tell me what your name is, how old you are, and where you live -- all of which were covered for several months last year and in previous years.

I look forward to seeing some of you in class again this year, if you feel that your pronunciation is good enough. Please be honest with yourself, because I really am going to be unforgiving with returning students this year and I would hate for anyone to be embarrassed unnecessarily...
As I said last week in an email to my potential returning Mandarin I students:

" If you tried last year and for whatever reason were unable to speak convincing basic [Cantonese or Mandarin] at the end of the academic year, maybe Chinese is not for you. Please consider not signing up for my class this year before you take a spot away from a brand new student with a brand new desire to learn [Cantonese or Mandarin]. Thanks in advance."


Please also understand, if for whatever reason you refused to learn pinyin in the past in favor of reading Chinese characters: Unless your Mandarin pronunciation is flawless, I am going to INSIST that you either read from the pinyin AT ALL TIMES THIS YEAR, PERIOD, or I will ask you very politely to quit my class.

This goes for some of my favorite returning students, and you know exactly who you are.

I cannot have returning students with crappy pronunciation confusing new students this year, or wasting my time by taking me away from the lessons at hand in order to fix your very fundamental pronunciation errors that you should have fixed on your own last year. I mean no disrespect. This is just how it is going to be this year, no discussion, no wiggle room.

Best wishes and many thanks in advance for your kind understanding!

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