Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brendan with a final thank you and end of the year wrap-up for my Cantonese I and Mandarin I Monday night 2018-2019 students...

Hi Gangs,

Many thanks again to everyone who attended my classes at anytime this past academic year, and in particular to my students who stuck it out to the very end of classes 2 Mondays ago! I sincerely appreciated everyone's interest in and passion for learning Chinese. I hope that you all got something positive out of my classes and that maybe you were inspired to continue with further ALESN classes next fall or perhaps with self-directed study on your own. I know that some students from both classes were talking about setting up a regular time to meet at the Houston St. Whole Foods. Please let me know if that happens and I will try to attend here and there this summer as my schedule permits.

During our final classes 2 Mondays ago, I briefly reviewed the lesson materials and vocabularies that we had covered the week before and then we spent the rest of each class discussing various ways to continue your learning -- on your own or at ALESN. I mentioned various DVDs from among my list of personal favorites that I have used over the years to improve my own conversational Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. We discussed the various course offerings at ALESN as well as my suggestion to the Mandarin I class to try to cover the remaining vocabulary and dialogue material in your textbook between now and September (on your own or in small groups if you do meet up at Whole Foods, etc.) so that you will be ready for ALESN's Mandarin II class, which uses the next book in the same series. This has always been an issue for our program, that we never finish Book 1 and yet Mandarin II starts with Book 2, which assumes that you have learned all of the materials from Book 1. Yes, it would be ideal if ALESN were to offer Mandarin 1.5, covering lessons 6-10 in Book 1, but that never happens.

Maybe if enough of you directly contact Tony Parisi or Tsz Fong, both of whom are cc'ed on this email, and you request such a class, it is possible that someone might want to step up and teach Mandarin 1.5 on Thursday or Saturday starting in the fall?

As I mentioned to my classes, I will be taking a break from teaching in the fall in order to devote my time and attention to my singing. I have deeply appreciated the opportunity to learn and grow through teaching for ALESN over the past 6 years or so, and I will definitely miss everything about it. Even though I am putting aside my own Chinese studies and teaching for the time being, I will still offer private tutoring at a discounted rate for any recent or former students who might have enjoyed my teaching style and would like to continue with their learning one-on-one. Please reach out to me if you are interested. 

I am also open to possibly teaching a weekly group lesson if a certain # of students would commit to attending regularly and each student were to pay something modest per class. We could hold the classes at Whole Foods or some other convenient space in Manhattan, or even outside in a park if the weather will be nice on a given evening. I would certainly be willing to teach a Mandarin 1.5 class in this manner if someone wants to organize it and get a group together at a mutually convenient day and time each week. If this interests you guys, let me know. We could go a bit longer, say 1.5 or 2 hours each time and try to finish Book 1 in this manner.

Because I will not be teaching on Mondays in the fall, there is a possibility that our Monday night ALESN classes are in jeopardy of not happening in September. So -- if any of you knows anyone qualified to teach Cantonese I or Mandarin I on Monday nights starting in the fall and who would be willing to make that commitment from 6 to 7:15 and 7:15 to 8:30 pm every Monday during the 2019-2020 academic year, please contact Tony or Tsz and refer this person as a potential new teacher. I would hate to see Monday night classes go away once I am no longer teaching next year.

Many thanks again to everyone for an excellent and productive Cantonese and Mandarin learning experience. Give yourselvesa round of applause! I hope that each of you will continue on in your own way -- either through private study, self-study or via ALESN classes in the fall. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns, or to ask about books, DVDs, web resources, Youtube videos -- whatever you might want to know about regarding continuing your Chinese learning odyssey.

Best wishes to Everyone!

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