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How to Strengthen Mandarin Chinese Abilities Through Activities
With the growth of China's economy and influence throughout Asia and the whole world, China has become known as the "workshop of the world". Because of this the Chinese language has become one of the worlds most important languages and its study is an ever increasing trend. The United States' Washington Post reports that “Learning Chinese is hot, and this shows that the importance of Chinese in becoming a kind of international language and language of business is growing. Not only in the United States, but in Asia and Europe, learning Chinese is hot.” ASEAN member Thailand is no exception. However, the country has a general lack of Chinese speakers. Thus,in order to supply market demand,educational institutions all over Thailand from rudimetary school to schools of higher learning have begun to actively educate Thais in the Chinese language. Currently, Chinese language instruction in Thailand focuses primarily on listening and speaking. However, in reality, instructors still teach in the traditional style in which "teachers talk, students listen". The classroom lacks fun and students while students lack repetition, drilling, and any real opportunities to open their mouths and practice. There are no apparent results. After four years of classes, a college graduate still cannot effectively understand and speak Chinese. To address the problem stated above and achieve effective communication skills through strengthening students' listening and speaking skills, this study has designed an "activity-based teaching" program. With Thailand's Silpakorn University Petchaburi Campus students as our object of study, there was an "experiment group" and a "comparision group". Through the use of SPSS quantification research, the research results are as follows: (1) Activity-based teaching can indeed increase learners'interest and improve listening and speaking abilities; (2) Activity-based teaching can effectively help students build confidence, and help with real-life communication; (3) Activity-based teaching offers learners real-life situations for conversation and helps them develop smooth conversation; (4) Activity-based learning can strengthen correctness in sentence structure and effectively reduce speakers' misunderstandings; (5) Activity-based learning is also effective for students who are non-Chinese major students; (6) Being caring and supportive of students creates a natural, easy-going atmosphere for learning, and reduces their anxiety levels.
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