Friday, May 17, 2019

ALESN Monday Night Mandarin I Brendan's class Email Summary and Notes 5/13/19

Hi Gang,

This past Monday night, we covered:

·         5 Grammar Points for Lesson 4 Dialogue 1 on pages 102-106. That's a lot of grammar for one class. Thanks to everyone for your attention!
·         You guys broke into small groups and did the various Language Practice exercises on pages 107-109, with me walking around and answering any questions.
·         I quickly previewed the vocabulary and dialogue for Lesson 4 Dialogue 2, in which Wang Peng asks Gao Wenzhong if he wants to hang out and do various sports things over the weekend, but Gao Wenzhong only wants to eat and sleep - so lazy! At the end, Wang Peng is fed up and basically says, "Screw you -- I'll go find someone else to hang out with!"

We reviewed the basic word order for a Chinese sentence. I drew my own diagram that I use to teach with every year for both Cantonese and Mandarin basic syntax (grammatical word order) and then we compared that with the way the book teaches the same material. Please review the book's explanation of syntax on page 102, as this is very important to your developing ability to make correct basic sentences in Mandarin Chinese.

Next, we covered/reviewed more about "Affirmative Negative A not A Questions." This time, we saw that if there is any kind of adverbial modifier to the adjective or verb in the question, the question must be expressed as a "[Blah blah blah] ma" question and CANNOT be expressed as a "Verb BU4 verb?" or "Adjective bu4 adjective?" question. Remember that the asterisked / greyed out examples in the grammar sections of your textbook are INCORRECT EXAMPLES and are NOT TO BE REPEATED OR STUDIED! Do not accidentally study this incorrect examples!!! Please review all of the examples in this section on pages 102-104.

Next, we covered the use of NA4 or NA4 ME as a conjunction meaning, "Well..." or "Then..." or "So..." or "In that case..." Please review the text and pay attention to how this is used in everyday conversation, because it is an excellent transition word for you to learn to help make your beginner level Mandarin conversations flow more naturally when you are trying to speak with native speakers.

We discussed QU4 + an action [verb], as in someone is physically GOING [someplace] else to do that action. If you are "going to" do something the way we most often use that phrase in English (i.e. "I WILL do that thing at some point in the future" as opposed to necessarily moving from where you are right now to another physical location to do the action), then Mandarin more often uses YAO4 + verb to mean that you will do that verb in the future, or that you intend to do that verb in the future. HOWEVER, if you need to physically move from where you are right now to another location in order to do the action [as in "I am GOING to play baseball" because we are in a classroom and you need to physically leave the classroom and walk to the baseball field to play the game], then this is the use of QU4 + verb that the book is discussing here on page 106. Please review and make sure you understanding the subtle difference compared to English's use of the concept of "going to do something," which can have either or both meanings.

Finally, we discussed HAO3 MA as a tag to statements, turning them into a question with the exact same meaning as “STATEMENT + ZEN3 ME YANG4?” This basically means, "Is it ok that...?" or "Can [I / we / etc.] do this..." or "Will that work?" -- something to that effect. Please review the examples on page 106 and make sure you can create a variety of [Blah blah blah statement] HAO3 MA? questions in Mandarin.

Please also review the Language Practice activities that you all did in class this past Monday and make sure that there are no questions. If you do have questions, please ask at the beginning of next week's class.

See everyone on Monday, when we will dive right into Lesson 4 Dialogue 2 and then you will all break into small groups and run the dialogue with your partners.



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