How to Teach English to a Chinese Student

With some preparation you can help a Chinese student learn English.

In the United States there are many children and adults who have difficulty speaking the English language. This presents a problem in a classroom setting where the teacher is trying to convey information that a student may not understand because he does not fully understand English. Learning the language can be especially hard for Chinese students because the languages are so different. By preparing yourself and using a few basic methods with the student, you can help him begin to learn English.

Gather materials to aid in your quest to teach English to your Chinese student. There are several books on the subject that you can find at a library or bookstore. One source is the "Contrastive Guide to Teach English to Chinese Students," which goes over several different methods that you can use in the classroom to help your student.

Do not attempt to teach your student by reading or writing first. Chinese uses a different writing system in which symbols represent an entire word as opposed to each specific letter in a word. This means that younger Chinese speakers will have a tough time learning the alphabet, spelling and reading.

Make note of the difference in how English is spoken and how Chinese is spoken. In Chinese, using a different tone with the same word can change the meaning of the word, while in English, we use tone to emphasize words. Stress to the student this difference to avoid confusion.

Be patient while the student develops the ability to speak English. At first, the student will have difficulties with certain consonants such as "R" and "L" and differentiating between vowel sounds. Try repeating how each word should sound and have the student practice the sounds he is having trouble with.

Teach the student how articles (words such as 'a,' 'and' and 'the') fit into a sentence. Chinese does not use articles, so the concept may be hard for a young student to grasp at first.

Create flash cards, if necessary, for the student to practice with. These cards should have a picture with its English word and corresponding Chinese symbol. This can help expand his vocabulary.

Chris Waller began writing in 2004. Chris has written for the "Fulton Sun" and eHow, focusing on technology and sports. Chris has won multiple awards for his writing including a second place award in the Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Chris earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and English from Truman State University.