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Chinese, Mandarin Teacher & Tutor: John Hall

Private lessons, classes in San Antonio, TX, United States or online via telephone, email, text chat, voice chat, video conferencing.

Buy custom lessons from John Hall.

 Profile of John Hall Date: December 7, 2012 
The Basics
Name: John Hall
Feedback rating: No student feedback
Self-study lessons: No online lessons
Language(s) to teach:
Chinese, Mandarin

(N) = Also native language of teacher.
City: San Antonio
State, province or region: TX
Country: United States
  • Teaching
  • Tutoring
  • Lessons delivery:
  • Live in person
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Text chat
  • Voice chat
  • Video conferencing
    Program Summary
    Class sizes available:
  • Private Lessons
  • 2-3 students
  • 4-8 students
  • Student proficiency levels:
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Facets available:
  • Grammar
  • Conversation
  • Study Abroad
  • Business
  • Test Preparation

    Teaching Approach

    I teach using the language, rather than use English to teach about the language, also known as “total immersion,” in which I am trained and have utilized extensively in language instruction. I rely on use of pictographic and multi-media references to promote maximum understanding , repetition, and frequent re-introducti on of previous materials in new contexts. In this fashion, you will retain the materials, and have a strong basis for further progression in new materials.
    I understand that learning a language can be a daunting task, and I do what I can to alleviate anxiety -- changing the pace, keeping it lively, taking occasional short breaks, etc. I assure you I'll be patient with your mistakes, and that the more errors you make, the better it is! There is every reason that learning Chinese language can be fun, and I'll do my best to make sure you enjoy the process.
    I make sure that you are doing at least half of the speaking, and we will frequently “shift roles” during language drills.
    Drills are an integral part of learning grammatical points, pronunciation of consonants, vowels and tones. I do not focus separately on grammar, unless acquisition of grammatical skills (for example, in order to take a placement test) is a part of the student’s defined goals.

    Program Description

    Program design is unique to each student. I specifically design the course to include what is essential to the student objective – e.g., taking a placement test, securing or performing a job abroad, acquiring basic conversation skills, learning characters/re ading/writing, etc.
    Since Chinese culture, working and living environments are so different from America, a language course would not be complete or effective if it ignored cultural aspects of the student’s intended focus. Therefore I incorporate appropriate cultural references into the materials.
    I f your focus is verbal skills, we will almost exclusively rely on Chinese as the medium of instruction. To the extent that we avoid use of English, you will progress rapidly.
    Cho ice of text and study materials is dependent on the student’s background and present level of verbal and written achievement. I select materials that will build on existing skills, and optimize rapid acquisition of target skills. These materials are adjusted as necessary to accommodate shift in focus during instruction. I have numerous texts and computer programs addressing each aspect of Chinese language learning, and we will identify the best combination of reference materials to promote your language skills.
    To acquire basic conversation skills, I try to introduce a basic vocabulary of 1,000 of most commonly used words, similar to “basic English.” Normally it will take several hundreds of hours to integrate these vocabulary items into fluent, natural conversationa l skills.
    I passed the Chinese Government Test of Chinese, Advanced. Few advanced students can pass this level, as it approaches near-native fluency and takes years to achieve.
    Alt hough I am not a native speaker by definition, I profoundly understand your problems, as English speakers, in learning pronunciation , tones, writing characters, etc. My accent is near-native, comparable to the most standard speech of native speakers residing in NE China. For this reason, I find I can better explain pronunciation , grammar issues than native speakers who do not have this background.
    I also work with native speakers who can expand your exposure and enrich your learning experience, to the extent you wish to broaden your language horizon.

    Teaching Experience

    I learned Chinese while stationed in Taiwan. After my discharge from the Air Force, I returned to Taiwan and attended National Taiwan University in Taipei. I was totally immersed in Chinese language during this period of time, while attending classes conducted in Chinese, taking notes in Chinese characters, etc.
    I took a major in Chinese language at the University of Hawaii, with 24 upper division courses, and my focus in graduate school was Asian Linguistics. I have recently traveled to China to upgrade my Mandarin skills, and following a stint at Henan University, I took and passed the Advanced Chinese Language Proficiency Test, abbreviated as HSK (Hanyu Shuiping.) Few advanced learners can pass this test, as it requires near-native fluency.
    I was stationed with the U. S. Government in Southeast Asia, and frequently acted as a simultaneous translator in the course of my job.
    In recent years, I have traveled extensively in China, and have tutored and taught Chinese language in cooperation with a native speaker/teach er of Chinese, in addition to individual tutoring of Chinese language students.
    I participated in teaching Chinese language, culture and business protocol in a formal course at a major corporation in San Antonio.

    Teacher Training

    Chinese major at University of Hawaii
    Total immersion training at a major language school.
    HSK test, advanced level. (Chinese language proficiency test.)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I recommend a minimum of two one-hour lessons per week, spaced 3 - 4 days apart. The only limitation in total number of lesson hours is students' available time to study, their budget and other priorities.
    I require payment after each lesson.
    Canc ellation policy: I need 24 hours advance notification in event of cancellation, otherwise I expect payment for the missed lesson, unless there is a bona fide emergency that prompted the absence. Repeated cancellations are discouraged, as they interfere with retention and progress.
    My extensive experience in teaching non-Chinese speakers from an English speaker's perspective gives me more than average insight into learners' problems and ways to surmount them.
    If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know.

    Cost of Lessons

    $30 for 50-minute lesson for one student. For two students, $45 for one hour lessons.
    For three or more students, $60.


    Profile Creation: June 27, 2009
    Profile Last Edit: December 7, 2012
    Last Login: September 11, 2013

    Contact Information

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