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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