The other day I realized why my young students who don’t know much English often don’t listen to me when I tell them in Chinese to line up. My tones are wrong. It’s as simple as that. My words might be correct, forming the sounds with my mouth might be perfect, but a slight change in the tone can change the meaning entirely. I have not been telling my students to line up. I have been telling them to “PARTY!”
“Jasper! Party!” “Amber! Party!” “Joan, how many times do I have to tell you? Stop fooling around and just party!”
Chinese is not an easy language to learn. The vocabulary may often be very simple, the grammar may make more sense than English grammar, but tones are killer. I have an amazing teacher and a patient boyfriend who are both helping me to master this difficult and important part of the Chinese language.
Hopefully once I have a better control of these tones I can have a better control of the classroom management.