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Mrs. Plumberg’s Newsroom

Mandarin Chinese News Boot Camps for Young Learners

Aged 10-18


This boot camp series is for young Mandarin learners who have basic Chinese language skills to understand pinyin and read/write at least 50-100 words either in Traditional or Simplified scripts. We use Chinese news as text book, and brief students in English on the latest news from Greater China.

Program Elements:

  • Orientation (2 hours): program overview, online learning platform (web/iOS/Android) tutorial, phone conversation time slots sign-up, and weekly China news briefing.
  • Week-long Guided Study: students will study Chinese news article(s) based on their individual level and interest, and practice reading, listening and writing using the online tools we provide. Students will complete vocabulary and comprehension tests online, to be reviewed by instructor digitally upon completion.
  • Mandarin Conversations (via phone): students can select up to TWO 30-minute timeslots to practice Mandarin and ask questions with instructor on the phone during the week. Ongoing email support will also be provided.
  • Sunday Workshops (2 hours): instructor to give a weekly China news briefing, followed by student presentations of news articles and peers Q&A. Beginners who really struggle to carry out conversations in Mandarin will be allowed to use English when necessary.
  • Individual Learning Report: Instructor to email individual learning evaluation to students/parents with quantitative results and qualitative feedback.

Three independent terms are offered in spring 2018:

Term Duration Orientation/Workshops

(all held on Sundays, from 2:30-4:30pm at Hanwen School; 1548 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703)

Weekly guided study &

Mandarin conversations

#1 4 weeks January 21, 28; February 4, 11 January 22-February 17
#2 5 weeks March 4, 11, 19, 25; April 1 March 5-April 6
#3 6 weeks April 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20, 27 April 23-June 2


Fee Schedules:

Term Duration Term Fee Discounted rate for signing up all three terms before Jan 21
#1 4 weeks USD 360  

10%/ USD 1,215


#2 5 weeks USD 450
#3 6 weeks USD 540