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 Arabic Auflage BIRKENBIHL book-tree brain-friendly Cai Yong ch’uan3 chén ch’en2 CHENG-YU chì ch’ih4 chi3 chih3 chin1 China Chinese characters Chinese family names Chinese language Chinese words chü1 chu2 chung1 Confucius decode difficult doù tou4 drawing English erh2 example famous fang1 fei1 fù fu4 German Given the fact halberd Hanzi Hindi homonyms horizontal line horse hsin1 ideograms Indo-European languages jué chüeh2 kan1 kung1 language courses Laotse letters look mamahuhu maó mao2 MAO ZEDONG meaning mì mi4 min3 mù mu4 noun pan pipes phonetic pictograms Pinyin poem radicals sentence shan1 sheng1 shí shih2 shì shih4 shih1 shih3 shou3 shu3 sound speak spelling syllable Tao Te Ching teacher tiger translated tree Turkish language understand verb WADE-GILES wagon want to learn wén wen2 What’s write wú wu2 xuè hsüeh4 yì i4 yù yü4 yuè yüeh4 zhì chih4 zhōng