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Learning Chinese can be a serious challenge, and whether you're a novice or an advanced Chinese learner, a Syracuse Chinese course offered by Varsity Tutors may be just the thing to help you come to grips with the language. Language acquisition is complex and offers a unique set of obstacles. Most particularly, continual practice can be crucial to learning a new language. Sometimes a traditional classroom isn't entirely up to meeting the needs of language learners, but a Chinese course can help you invite more Chinese practice and conversation into your life in a way that accommodates your schedule. Faith Heritage School students can find a course that doesn't interfere with sports or other extracurricular activities, and Syracuse University students who are considering a minor in Chinese will be able to hone their conversational skills and build up their vocabulary. Even if you're a working professional who's looking to learn Chinese to enhance your business opportunities, there can be a course that's perfect for you and that fits into your busy day.

Chinese is a very popular language among second language learners, and it's an excellent choice. Chinese is the most widely-used language in the world, with over a billion native speakers. Many people are interested in learning Chinese for the business opportunities it can open up, and the advantages it can give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in international trade. However, there are plenty of cultural and personal reasons to learn Chinese as well: China has a long, fascinating history that goes back thousands of years, and learning Chinese can help you discover whole new worlds of Eastern art and philosophy. China's culture is more complex and diverse than many in the West are aware of, and this is reflected in the language. There are many dialects of Chinese, with Mandarin being the most commonly spoken worldwide, and the official language of the People's Republic of China. On the other hand, Cantonese Chinese has historically been the most commonly-used dialect in the United States. Other dialects that you might be interested in learning include Xiang, Gan, Wu, and Hakka.

What will I learn in a Syracuse Chinese class?

All of these Chinese dialects and cultures are connected by their use of a single written set of characters, which is one of the first hurdles you'll face as you learn Chinese. Written Chinese is vast, using over 50,000 unique characters. 20,000 of these are used in everyday writing, although only 2,500 make up the bulk of written communication. These symbols are derived from ancient drawings of items they reference, making Chinese the only modern pictographic language. These characters give the reader no real indication of how they are pronounced, so learning to read and write in Chinese is very difficult.

This is only one of the reasons that Chinese is considered one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn, however. You'll also have to learn how to speak in a tonal language. In Chinese, words change their meaning depending on the tone with which they are spoken. For example, Mandarin Chinese uses four tones: flat, rising, falling then rising, and falling. If you haven't trained your ear to listen properly for tones, you may end up misunderstanding words entirely. Another quirk of Chinese that tends to trip up native English speakers is that Chinese words only have one grammatical form: there are no articles, verb inflections, or plurals. In English, the quantities and properties of nouns are indicated by variations on words, such as the addition of an -s to the end of plurals. This is not the case with Chinese, which can be confusing.

You'll also study Chinese vocabulary and basic phrases, pronunciation (vital to excelling at a tonal language), Chinese pronoun rules, grammar, and pinyin, the Chinese writing system for converting traditional written Chinese to English alphabetic characters. There's a lot to learn, and, as with any language, you'll have to commit to dedicated practice if you want to make headway in Chinese. But with the support you'll receive from your instructor in a Syracuse Chinese class, you can feel confident in your ability to tackle this complex language.

How will a Syracuse Chinese course teach me all this?

A Syracuse Chinese course is taught online, in a live, interactive, virtual classroom. You'll be able to see and speak with your instructor and your classmates, and you'll participate in group discussions where you can practice Chinese in conversation and activities. Regular conversation with other Chinese learners can build new knowledge, strengthen Chinese concepts that you already have strong knowledge of, and build your confidence by letting you converse with other Chinese speakers at your level of proficiency. You'll also get plenty of feedback from an expert Chinese teacher. If you're an advanced Chinese learner, your instructor may even choose to teach entirely in Chinese, so you can experience an immersive language environment and aim for true mastery of the language. Plus, although group discussions promote your ability to learn and retain new material, we know having a one-on-one session with a qualified teacher can be a great way to learn, too. This is why your Syracuse Chinese course will allow you to reserve private sessions with your instructor, so you can really dig in on any material you're struggling with.

An online Chinese class can feel just like a traditional face-to-face class but offers some distinct advantages. Chief among these is convenience and accessibility. You won't have to worry about how you're going to squeeze an extra commute into your busy day, and online classes offer a much wider range of class times. Convenience is nice no matter what you're learning, but this may actually have an impact on your learning outcomes when you're learning a new language. So much of your ability to learn Chinese effectively can depend on your access to regular practice and instruction, and as language lessons build on previous knowledge, missing class material can really throw you off. By giving you access to Chinese practice at your fingertips, an online class can empower you to learn.

How can I get enrolled?

If you contact Varsity Tutors today, we can get you signed up for a Syracuse Chinese class easily and quickly. Classes start every month on a rolling basis, so there's always something coming up. We can also give you more information about what material classes cover, and find you a class that fits your needs and your schedule, at any level of proficiency. If you're a Jamesville-Dewitt High School student getting an early start on learning the language we can find night and weekend classes that work for you, or if you're a night shift worker who needs something early in the day, we can find something as well. Let us know your needs today, and you could be taking a step towards Chinese mastery.

Contact us today to connect with a top Syracuse Mandarin Chinese instructor