From nothing to a little Chinese
Sometimes it is good to know something about the history of a book so let me tell you a little about this one. Compare it to a tree. One of its roots lies in my major goal (brain-friendly procedures), meaning: How can we learn, teach and/or communicate in a way which is easy to understand and remember? If the procedures fail to be brain-friendly, people feel confused, frustrated, "stupid". They lose incentive or self-esteem. Once we change to a brainfriendly approach people suddenly seem much more intelligent. Normally, when something does not function properly, we try to find out why and so we improve procedures in many areas. When we look at schools we do the opposite: instead of questioning the method we assume the student having difficulties is at fault. In my teacher trainings I have asked thousands of teachers "what must change for our schools to become better?" and 75% of them put the blame squarely on the students (lazy, uninterested, lacking intelligence), the parents (not enough support of school at home) or the politicians who do not give schools enough money. Only 25% of these teachers clearly realize that the act of TEACHING must change. Please remember that we are talking about teachers who came to a seminar about teaching! Teachers, however, who do not entertain the idea of going to such seminars place even more blame on their students, no matter whether the students are children, teenagers or adults. Thus the question of how we teach languages has been one of the starting points for this book.
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alphabet BIRKENBIHL booktree brainfriendly Cai Yong calligraphy ch’ang2 ch’uan3 chén ch’en2 CHENGYU chì ch’ih4 chi3 Chinese characters Chinese family names Chinese language chü1 chu2 chung1 Confucius decode doù tou4 English erh2 f ng fang1 family name fe fei1 fù fu4 g ku3 g n kan1 g ng kung1 German Greek alphabet gu kuei1 halberd Han dynasty Hanzi Hindi homonyms horizontal line horse hu hui3 huáng huang2 ideograms IndoEuropean languages inthe jué chüeh2 Laotse letters mamahuhu maó mao2 meaning mì mi4 min3 mù mu4 noun ofthe pictograms Pinyin qiàn ch’ien4 rawhide rén jen2 human semantic field sentences sh n shan1 sh shih3 sh shu3 sheng1 shí shih2 shì shih4 shih1 sho shou3 SKY+ sounds spelling syllable Taiwan teacher theChinese tiger translated tzu3 understand verb WADEGILES wantto wen2 What’s writing wú wu2 Xishi xuè hsüeh4 yì i4 yù yü4 yuè yüeh4 zh chih3 zhì chih4