Comprehensive DVD Language Program Meets Increased Demand for Children to Learn Mandarin Chinese; 'After School Chinese' Levels 1-4 Available March 7, 2006

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China has one of the fastest growing economies and is rapidly becoming an influential player in global business and industry. As a result, educational and linguistics experts are striving to increase the teaching of the Chinese language to children to prepare them to capitalize on this boom in their futures.

Recent scientific research confirms the ideal time for children to learn another language is from birth to early adolescence, so now is a good time for parents to pick up “After School Chinese, Levels 1-4” the new Mandarin Chinese language course from Master Communications, available March 7, 2006.

Originally produced by CCTV in China for English-speaking children, “After School Chinese” will help children become proficient in conversational Mandarin while also learning about Chinese culture.

“English is likely to remain one of the world’s most important languages, but the share of the world’s population that speaks English as a native language is falling,” says David Graddol, a language researcher at The English Company, a British consulting and publishing firm. “As of 1995, English was the second most-common tongue in the world, trailing only Chinese. By 2050, Chinese will continue its predominance.”

Paul Vallas, chief executive officer of the Philadelphia School District, concurs. He has expanded classes in Mandarin Chinese in six high schools and three elementary schools within the district. “Of all the nations in the world, China will have the most profound impact on this nation’s economy, so from an academic standpoint, it’s very sound.” Vallas adds, “Learning to communicate better with China is vital to national security and prosperity.”

The U.S. State Department apparently agrees, recently designating Chinese “a critical language.” Still, recent data show that only 24,000 students in grades 7 to 12 study Chinese, a language spoken by 1.3 billion people worldwide.

Now parents have the opportunity to change that with “After School Chinese.” This four-level curriculum that consists of a series of DVDs and companion audio CDs, covers everything from basic greetings and common phrases to geography, shopping, the weather, transportation and much, much more. With the “After School Chinese” language course, children learn to speak conversational Chinese by watching, listening and repeating how Chinese children speak in authentic settings and real-life situations. Kids will begin speaking the language with their very first lesson!

Each level of the “After School Chinese” curriculum comes with eight DVD lessons, two audio CDs, a student book with complete dialogues and glossary and a parent/teacher guide and is available for $199.95. For more information, visit or call toll free 1-800-765-5885.

Host Donald Holder, an American teacher living in China, introduces viewers to a classroom of young Chinese children, including Xiao Hua and Ding Ding, who help teach pronunciations of the words and phrases kids will be learning.

Each lesson is conducted as such:

  •     First, a dialogue between the students and their teacher (for example, saying their names and something about themselves).
  •     Next, key words and phrases (Hello, My name is) are broken down and introduced with the phonetical spelling called pinyin, the Chinese character, the English translation and the verbal pronunciation by the students.
  •     Third, the phonetical spelling is dropped and just the characters and translation are shown as students again verbally pronounce the word/phrase.
  •     The original dialogue is then shown again to give viewers the chance to recognize the words/phrases they’ve just learned when spoken in natural conversation.
  •     Holder takes viewers through one more practice session of the lesson before moving on.

Each lesson is also broken down into individual DVD chapter selections -- Vocabulary, Dialogue, Sentence Patterns -- for easy access and repetition. A companion CD allows for audio learning.

“After School Chinese” Level 1 covers greetings; countries; goodbye; “where are you going?”; thank you; directions; “how much is it?”; and days of the week. Level 2 covers “may I help?”; “I am Sorry”; Time; “At McDonalds”; borrowing; transportation; the telephone; and picnic. Level 3 covers swimming; shopping; farewell; weather; a birthday party; sports; and clean up. Level 4 covers the Moon Festival; colors; going to the doctor; lucky money; the computer; writing letters; the post office; and musical instruments.

Master Communications distributes the widely popular Families of the World DVD series, of which there are 18 titles. Families of the World has received many, many awards and acclaim for their simple, yet effective programs about different cultures. Besides Families of the World, Master Communications offers foreign language, bilingual and multicultural educational products such as bilingual books, videos, DVDs, crafts, and multilingual and multicultural marketing consulting & services.

About the Chinese language:

Chinese belongs to the family of Sino-Tibetan languages. It is the world’s second largest family of languages (after the Indo-European family) and is made up of 300 languages that are used over a vast geographic area. These languages share a number of common features such as monosyllabism and tonality. Chinese is spoken by a quarter of the world’s population, making it the most widely used language. Mandarin Chinese or Putonghua is the most widely used form of the Chinese language and is also the official standard language in China.

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