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We are looking for an afterschool class (or a tutor) in all aspects of Mandarin for our 11-year-old daughter (we may be able to put together a small class of 2-3 children). She has been studying Mandarin for several years with a wonderful teacher, but the emphasis of the class (almost all native speakers of Mandarin) is on reading and writing, and her interest is beginning to flag. We would like to find a tutor (or an existing class) with more of a focus on conversational Mandarin (as well as a reading/writing dimension). Saturday will not work; we need something during the week.
While oriented for adults who are acutally living in Chinese-speaking countries, there are plenty of lessons that are appropriate for children. There are lots of lessons for people who are planning to attend the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, too.
You use your computer to listen or download the podcasts. If you pay $5/month, you can also print out the vocabulary and dialogs in hanzi, pinyin, and English. There are more services for added fees - at the highest tier someone will call and chat with you every day! And you can always join the online discussion by posting questions and a teacher or other students will post answers. You can read everyone's commentary and learn a lot that way, too.
They offer other languages, apparently, but I don't know which ones off hand. Hen hao wan
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