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Mandarin Class for MBA at HKUST

Since about two weeks ago, I have taken a Mandarin class for MBA student on the campus. In the class, I have found an epitome of learning a language.


Our teacher is a good English speaker, but sometimes she fails to understand questions from us. At first, classmates tried to ask a question repeatedly when they got answers on the wrong track, but later they gave up to do so. Instead, they just tend to avoid asking questions. Everyone knows she is nice teacher who prepares for the class very hard and tries to do her best, though. Which indicates what happens if you are not good at English among them.


On the other hand, for classmates, sometimes it is also difficult to understand what our teacher asks us in Mandarin. At these times, they seem to be really confused. I have never seen a situation that (almost) native English speaker goes completely blank when speaking even though it is not English, but it truly happens. I realized that English is not very special and everyone possibly struggles learning a foreign language.


By the way, I also found that because of Kanji, Japanese are the most suitable people in the world to study Mandarin. While almost all classmates have difficulties understanding Kanji, I easily understand meanings of sentences if they are written using Kanji. This is huge advantage for me than expected.


Even though it is just a Mandarin class, it is enough for me to feel worry about my English language skill coming 16 months as an MBA student. However I think I can also enjoy this situation because I have a tons of chances to overcome this.