September 2008: UNITED NATIONS Chinese Language Program Getting Interactive with Diplomats
For Immediate Release:
Prominent Language School Turns to Multimedia to Help Mandarin Learners
New York, NY, September 2008 ¨C Mandarin, a notoriously difficult language to learn, has baffled learners and school administrators looking to educate their Mandarin students and retain enrollment. One language school, ABC Language Exchange (located in New York and San Francisco), chose to employ a novel approach: instead of just a class textbook, they chose an online product that provides multimedia lessons through flash-animated audio-visual content.
School owner, Rachel Meyer, believes "Mandarin is now among our most popular languages to learn; unfortunately, it is also among our most popular languages to drop". This dropout rate, Ms. Meyer asserts, is due to the difficulty of learning a tonal language such as Mandarin, and students "feel at a loss outside the classroom". The solution: 24-7 online multimedia access. "I came across ActiveChinese through a Chinese language association, and I knew instantly this is what our students needed to keep them encouraged and make them want to continue."
ActiveChinese leads students through lessons with an animated guide as other animated characters present dialogues, which in turn is followed by audio-visual support in the form of vocabulary exercises, pronunciation practice (including a recording capability), grammar drills and other features that make sure students are clear regarding the sounds and usage of Mandarin. Mandarin, with its 5 tones and unusual sounds to the western ear, can be a discouraging language to learn when students are solely relying on the traditional textbook. With ActiveChinese, students can listen and re-listen to content until it is second hand.
"Our teachers love to use this material because there is only so much you can cover in class," adds Ms. Meyer "Now teachers can teach content and know their students have all the multi-media support they need outside class to absorb what was taught."
About ActiveChinese: ActiveChinese is a San Francisco-based cutting-edge educational software and online content provider of Mandarin Chinese learning programs for students grades K through 16, as well as for corporations and individuals. ActiveChinese's interactive lesson approach uses multimedia to engage students of all ages, and provides a comprehensive curriculum program which can be taught through online access, CD-ROMs, and mobile downloads.