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Teacher Feature: Yu Zhou on the Logic of Learning Chinese

你好! Calling all Chinese learners — do you ever feel stuck in a language rut? Or struggle to understand the logic behind learning Chinese vocabulary, grammar, and characters?

We know it can be intimidating to start learning a new language, especially a challenging one like Chinese. So to help demystify the process, we sat down with Yu Zhou, a much-beloved Mandarin Chinese instructor at ICLS. Yu has taught many levels of online Chinese classes at ICLS, from beginner to Advanced Contemporary Topics. Read on to learn from the best of the best!

What’s your teaching philosophy? Why did you start teaching Mandarin?

With a college background in math and work experience in a language school, I approach teaching Mandarin from two angles: an analytical angle to help students understand the language deeply, and a practical one to help them reach fluency with speaking.

From your experience, what are your best tips for students learning Chinese?

Understand how your vocabulary words are put together — don’t just memorize. While learning Chinese, grasp the logic behind how Chinese people interpret the world through the lens of language. And at the same time, spend as much time and effort as you can on listening and speaking.

Yu Zhou on the Logic of Learning Chinese

When you teach our Advanced Contemporary Topics level, what are your favorite subjects to discuss with advanced students?

I love talking with students about the concurrent life of their Chinese peers. We can discuss their work, education, marriage, and other aspects of their lives, thus putting language in applicable real life topics.

What is your favorite thing about teaching Chinese?

The moment when a student is able to understand my questions in Chinese and answer on their own.

Do you have questions of your own? Register for our upcoming online group language classes today to start learning Chinese or build your existing skills at ICLS! See you soon!

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