Interview with An Advanced-Level Chinese Learner-Part I

Generally speaking, knowing how to “fish” is usually more important than how many “fish” you get. In explanation, “method” is the key part in doing a lot of things, such as learning languages. It is also useful for you to know what other successful language learners do when they learn a new language or even several new languages. 

Aaron & His Favorite Sport, Bowling

Aaron & His Favorite Sport, Bowling

In today’s post, my friend Aaron Miller, an Asian-born-American, who is known as the “grammar editor” among the Chinese students, will share with us his experience learning Chinese, Cantonese and a little Korean.

As a native Chinese speaker, I was pretty surprised by Aaron’s Chinese level and his language talents at the first time when I met him and heard him speak. Here are the first part of recordings I got during the interview with him.

Q01. Aaron, can you greet our readers with the several languages you can speak?

Q02. Languages are usually considered as the indicators of different cultures. Since you are such an expert in learning foreign languages, I guess the readers must be really curious about what kind of background you come from that makes you so good at languages?

A Screen Shot of Aaron's Hometown, Angeles City, Philippines, on Google Map

A Screen Shot of Aaron's Hometown, Angeles City, Philippines, on Google Map

(Click the Above Image for Detailed Map)

Q03. What is the reason that made you choose Chinese as you major here in the University of Florida? Up till now, how long have you been a Chinese learner?

Q04. As a lot of Chinese learners complain, Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Do you think so as well? Do you have your own method to conquer this problem?

Q05. Who teaches (or taught) you Chinese? Where do they come from? What kind of learning materials have you been using? 

Here are the screenshots for the textbooks Aaron has been using for his Chinese study.

Textbook for Level II

Textbook for Level II

Textbook for Level I

Textbook for Level I

Qo6. At the baby level of your Chinese, how did your teacher(s) do to guide your learning tour? And what method are you using at this level?

“Just have fun with it” is what impressed me the most in Aaron’s talking. Indeed. Interest is the most necessary and effective motivation in doing and succeeding in one thing. One will never do something well if he finds the thing boring. Neither can he do it well if he “hates” the thing. 

So, play with Chinese and try to get the most fun out of it. If you can manage to do that, you will make a good Chinese learner.

Please come back and check out for the second part of my interview with the advanced-level Chinese learner, Aaron Miller!

A Quiet Corner at 5141 SW 91st Way, Gainesville, FL.

A Quiet Corner at 5141 SW 91st Way, Gainesville, FL.

Got more interesting stories of Chinese learners or your own experience learning Chinese to share with us?
Know more useful and efficient ways of Chinese learning?
Your comments and ideas are warmly welcomed from the bottom of my heart!
by Xuan♥.

5 comments on “Interview with An Advanced-Level Chinese Learner-Part I

  1. Pingback: Interview with An Advanced-Level Chinese Learner-Part II | The Path to Chinese Characters

  2. This was a very helpful interview! My son has been learning Simplified Chinese since he was 4 and a half. Now he’s ten and is not as “excited” about learning because it’s getting more difficult. He too has a photographic memory and reads and writes it extremely well but is not comfortable speaking it. I encourage him to keep up the language since he’s been doing it for so long and I know it will benefit him in the long run. He is also African American so this was so helpful and I can’t wait to let him hear the intervew so he knows that he’s not the only one who thinks it’s not and “easy” language to learn. Thank you!

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Toni. I am very glad it helps, so I am replying according to each of your sentences. First, it definitely will beneficial to him in the long run if he keeps up the good work. It is very common that he goes through “bottle-neck period” like what he’s been through for the moment. It happens in every language learning, and even in every new skill learning. Just “force” him to do it, he will feel so much easier and will arrive at a much higher level as long as he survives this period. This also happened to me in my English learning.

      And it’s so good that this interview can tell him that he’s not alone. I am sure there are even more out there in the same position. Btw, he is very welcome to share his feelings after he hears the interview. Good luck with his future Chinese study. I am more than glad to help. 🙂

"Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought." ---By Napoleon Hill

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