Learning Chinese language can be a very nice adventure!
Why should American students take Mandarin Chinese classes?
- To deepen their knowledge of Chinese culture,
- To prepare a language study trip to Beijing,
- To work on vocabulary before working in Shanghai,
- To learn Chinese calligraphy,
- To learn about Chinese cuisine...
Whether it is for cultural, academic, or professional reasons, more and more American students are interested in the 2nd world power and its 1.3 billion Chinese speakers.
Today, there are 400% more students who learn Mandarin Chinese than 10 years ago--and the language learners are getting younger and younger!
Learning Chinese is much easier than most people think.
Even though the English language has nothing to do with Chinese Mandarin, with good Chinese lessons, a student will quickly be able to acquire the language's basics and develop oral skills.
Conjugation rules and grammatical chords do not exist in Chinese!
Chinese writing which will ask for a lot of training and practice, but if you live in the New York region and want to start learning Chinese, here is the guide you need!
The Chinese Community in the Big Apple
The New York metropolitan area is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia.
This population enumerates an estimated 812,410 uniracial individuals as of 2015, including at least 12 Chinatowns in the metropolitan area.
Six Chinatowns (or nine, including the emerging Chinatowns in Corona and Whitestone, Queens, and East Harlem, Manhattan) are located in New York City proper, and one each is located in Nassau County, Long Island; Edison, New Jersey; and Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey.
The Chinese immigrant population in New York City grew from 261,500 foreign-born individuals in 2000 to 350,000 in 2011, representing a more than 33% growth of that demographic. Chinese immigrants represented 12,000 of the country's asylum requests in fiscal year 2013, of which 4,000 applied for asylum to the New York-area asylum office. Due to reports of widespread immigration fraud in the city that were uncovered in 2012, only about 15% of Chinese asylum applications in the New York asylum office were being approved annually as of 2013, compared to 40% of Chinese asylum requests nationwide.
Chinese immigrants in the 19th century worked as laborers, particularly on the transcontinental railroad, such as the Central Pacific Railroad. They also worked as laborers in the mining industry, and suffered racial discrimination at every level of society.
So hostile was the opposition that in 1882 the United States Congress eventually passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited immigration from China for the next ten years. This law was then extended by the Geary Act in 1892.
In 1924 the law barred further entries of Chinese; those already in the United States had been ineligible for citizenship since the previous year. Also by 1924, all Asian immigrants (except people from the Philippines, which had been annexed by the United States in 1898) were utterly excluded by law, denied citizenship and naturalization, and prevented from marrying Caucasians or owning land.
Only since the 1940s when the United States and China became allies during World War II, did the situation for Chinese Americans begin to improve, as restrictions on entry into the country, naturalization and mixed marriage were lessened. In 1943, Chinese immigration to the United States was once again permitted—by way of the Magnuson Act—thereby repealing 61 years of official racial discrimination against the Chinese.
Large-scale Chinese immigration did not occur until 1965 when the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 lifted national origin quotas. After World War II, anti-Asian prejudice began to decrease, and Chinese immigrants, along with other Asians (such as Japanese, Koreans, Indians and Vietnamese), have adapted and advanced. Currently, the Chinese constitute the largest ethnic group of Asian Americans (about 22%).
Learn Chinese in an American School
Learn to Speak Chinese in Middle School and High School
As in all American schools, students will have to choose a foreign language to study.
Here are the most common languages:
If you choose German in order to differentiate yourself from other students, why not go further and take courses in Mandarin or another rare language (Japanese, Russian, etc.)?
Granted, there are still very few places in New York City where students have the opportunity to learn the language of Confucius.
Nevertheless, there are some places that offer Chinese as a second language at the high school level.
Discover where else you can learn Chinese in America...
Mandarin Chinese at University
If you were lucky enough to acquire some Mandarin at the high school and middle school level, and are now more familiar with Chinese vocabulary, phonetics, and have understood some Chinese proverbs, you can go on with your learning in higher education!
Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, there are several NYC universities teaching Chinese:
- A Bachelor's Degree (Languages, Literatures, Foreign Civilizations) such as Chinese Language at New York University
- Chinese Courses at Hunter College,
- Chinese language lessons at all levels at Columbia University.
When it comes to higher education, you will be covered!
To promote the richness of the Chinese culture, the People's Republic of China has established several public institutions in several cities around the world since 2004.
These institutions - called the Confucius Institutes - provide Mandarin classes and offer language diplomas.
Why not test your level in Mandarin Chinese during your university studies?
You can pass a Chinese test open to all named the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi). It is the only real internationally recognized test for Chinese language levels.
Designed by the Ministry of Education of China, it is inspired by the famous TOEFL to test the language skills of those wishing to learn Chinese.
To reward the best candidates, the HSK National Commission has set up a scholarship have someone enter a Chinese university between one and ten months.
What better way than to study on site in China at one of the biggest universities in Shanghai, Beijing, or Shenzhen in order to learn Mandarin?
Here's one of our solutions, but there's also studying Chinese in Chicago...
Studying Chinese in a Language School
There are various ways to learn Chinese outside of high school or university.
You can easily find language schools in NYC that teach Chinese.
Whether you are looking to take intensive courses, evening classes, small group classes--Mandarin lessons are taught according to the students' level by native Chinese teachers.
- Beginner level: introduction to the Chinese language, learning the phonetic system pin yin (transforming sounds into syllables), familiarization with Chinese characters while practicing the spoken language.
- Intermediate level: improving pronunciation (tones), vocabulary, grammar exercizes, familiarization with traditional Chinese culture (festivals, cooking, painting, calligraphy, civilization, etc.)
- Advanced level: improvement and mastery of the language, courses on ancient and modern literature to instruct students in Chinese civilization.
If you want to learn a language that has been around for more than 6,000 years, there are NYC Chinese language schools available to you:
- Indacube Chinese Language School, 85 Broad Street
- Fast Learning Chinese, 147 W. 35th Street
- New York Chinese Language School, 594 Broadway Street
Take lessons in language school elsewhere in the United States, in the South for example, by taking Chinese classes in Miami.
Associations that Will Help You Learn Chinese in New York City
In the capital, you'll find a large number of associations offering Chinese classes and many cultural activities (painting, Qi Gong, Taijiquan) centered around the learning of the Sinitic language.
Open to both children and adults, these associations are run by native Chinese speakers and graduate students.
They offer courses that will help you get on your way to Chinese learning.
Get a creditable online Chinese tutor here.
Business Chinese, reading Chinese newspapers, Chinese conversation, written Chinese expression, martial arts training, planning Chinese linguistic study trips...these associations wish to transmit their passion for the mysterious country that is China.
In New York, here are some associations that may be able to help you start learning Chinese:
- International Chinese School, 100 Helster Street
- Chinatown Manpower Project, 70 Mulberry Street
- The China Institute, 100 Washington Street
Discover where you can take Chinese lessons in Boston...
Private Chinese Tutors in New York City
Even if the Chinese language is a logical, succinct, and intuitive foreign language, if you'd like to learn the basics of Chinese linguistics or develop some knowledge around it, there is no better solution than a private Chinese tutor!
There's no secret here: mastering a language means a whole lot of practice!
So it's important to be accompanied by a Chinese tutor who will send you a personalized educational program.
Two solutions are available to you...(which you can also find in other cities, if you are looking to take Chinese classes in Los Angeles for example).
- Take Chinese language courses with private organizations
Varsity Tutors, Fluentude...There are many tutors offering their services in the New York area!
They offer many different subjects and Chinese is no exception to the rule.
With a lot of experience in the private tutoring sector and qualified tutors, these tutors will help you easily progress in Chinese.
Here's the only problem...the rate of the courses! After a registration fee of around 80 USD, the language institute will take a commission on the classes.
This will increase the rate of the lesson to about 30 USD per hour.
- Private Tutoring Lessons with Superprof
Are you looking for a native Chinese teacher to help you work on your pronunciation and oral comprehension?
Are you looking for a Chinese bilingual graduate teacher to help you prepare the HSK test?
Or are you looking for a Chinese university student to help you with your Chinese translation homework for your high school classes?
There are around 300 private Chinese tutors in NYC who await you on the Superprof site in order to teach you the basics of Chinese remotely or in person.
Learn Chinese online with Superprof!
For an average price of 20 USD per class, there are numerous superprofs ready to teach you the Chinese language:
- Amber, Brooklyn
- Jian, Manhattan
- Tom, Queens
- Xin, the Bronx, etc...
You can find what you want depending on your needs!
Every year, more and more American people learn Mandarin. Whether it has been their personal choice or they have been pushed by their parents, they know that Chinese could make them stand out in the future.
Also discover how to take Chinese classes in San Francisco...