Congratulations, Brenda, on becoming a tutor at U3AM. We know you as this year’s Tutor of Chinese Mandarin Level 1 – Advanced, but would you be able to tell us a bit more about yourself and your professional background?
I am from Xi’an, capital city of Shaanxi province in China. It was the capital city of thirteen dynasties throughout history and is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Terracotta Warriors.
I have been an English teacher for 33 years. I was an associate professor with a bachelor’s degree from Xi’an Foreign Language University and a master’s degree from Antwerp University, Belgium. I have retired from Xi’an Science Technology University and, before I came to Australia, attained an International Chinese Teaching Certificate.
What motivated you to become a tutor?
I attended U3AM last April and was touched by the dedication of the tutors and benefitted greatly from them. I therefore felt that with my experience, I too could contribute in the same way so decided to offer my services to teach members who are interested in learning about the Chinese language (Mandarin) and its culture.
Could you describe your course to help our members decide whether they are at a suitable level of Mandarin to join?
Students must know ‘basic pinyin’, have studied basic Mandarin for at least two years, and want to improve their vocabulary and conversational skills.
The aim of this course is to achieve student confidence in using Mandarin in daily conversation which would be advantageous for those who wish to travel to Mandarin-speaking countries.
The focus of your course is on Chinese conversation. What do you do in your classes to enable your students to achieve an appropriate level by the end of your course?
I shall be introducing new words and phrases, ensuring their appropriate use in conversation, giving learners the opportunity to practice and hone their skills in class and also with homework.
Will you make the course available next year as well? If so, will there be any changes to the current one?
Yes, this course will be available next year but under a new course title, Chinese Mandarin Conversation (Medium).
New Course Coordinator