Planning to learn Chinese? Good for you. It’s not only an interesting language, but also a very useful one. When adults learn Chinese, or any second language for that matter, they typically study in non-traditional ways. That is, they do not go back to high school or university and engage in traditional classroom study. Instead, they study on their own with books, use language learning software programs, take online courses, or, sometimes, hire a private tutor. With all of the abovementioned scenarios, there is one thing in common, the lack of a certified teacher using proven teaching methods. This means that, as the learner, you bear 100% of the responsibility for your learning success. To help you achieve this learning success, I am going to explain to you what is called outcome-based education, and I am going to show you how to use it to learn Chinese quickly and easily.
What is Outcome-based Education?
In traditional education systems, the focus is on inputs, specifically, what information the teacher is going to present to his or her students. In contrast, with outcome-based learning models, the focus is on the desired outcomes of a particular lesson or course. Using outcome-based models, students must demonstrate that they have learned the required skills or content through application. That’s a simple but powerful statement. The difference is this. With traditional education, you take a test showing that you, for example, can do long division by completing several long division problems. With outcome based education, you “show your knowledge through application,” meaning that in order to get a passing grade, you must, for example, figure out the average precipitation rates for the last 20 years, which, of course, means that you must know how to use long division.
How You Can Use Outcome-based Education to Learn Chinese Quickly
Outcome-based learning is powerful, and you can use it to learn Chinese quickly and easily. To show you how, I am going to present you two learning goals, one that is typical of most language learners and one that is outcome based.
Typical goal: “In one week I am going to memorize 100 new “restaurant” vocabulary words.”
Outcome-based goal: At the end of this week I will be able to enter a restaurant and use Chinese to ask specific questions about menu items, order the meal I desire, request the bill, and successfully complete a monetary transaction.
Do you see the powerful difference between the two goals? In the first one, your goal is to simply memorize vocabulary words. In the second one, your goal is to be able to accomplish a meaningful, real-life goal. Of course, to accomplish this goal you will have to memorize a hundred new vocabulary words, plus more, but memorizing those words is not your goal. Your goal is gain the ability to successfully communicate in a real-life situation.
Establishing Your Desired Outcomes
When establishing outcomes, always focus, as mentioned above, not on inputs, such as what vocabulary words you are going to study, but on outcomes, or, what real-life situations you are going to be able to communicate in using the Chinese Language. There are thousands of situations in which humans communicate. Here are some basic situations that you can use to get started.
• Meeting new people
• Getting directions
• Discussing family
• Expressing likes and dislikes
• Expressing Opinions
Adults learning second languages typically learn on their own and carry the full responsibility of their learning success. To ensure your success when taking on the Chinese language, use outcome-based learning models. If you do, you will learn quickly and easily and end up thrilled with your ability to communicate in Mandarin Chinese.
Good luck with this and all of your future learning endeavors.