Out of the Blue Vocab Trap

In this post I offer some data, a little rant, and then three stories all meant to encourage us lǎowài-s 老外 not to give up on listening comprehension. I’m often asked, “Is it harder for you to learn Chinese or for a Chinese person to learn English?” Short answer: I don’t know. It’s tough to say […]

faceless Available for Free Kindle Lending

Just a quick note to let you know that the new Kindle version of my novel faceless is out (paperback version here). Besides various little typo corrections, “real page numbers” (based on the print book), and a new link to this very website, the biggest change is that it is now enrolled in KDP Select which places the book in the Kindle Lending […]

FluentU – My Review

I’m very excited to write about what I consider the coolest new listening and vocab resource on the Internet: FluentU The approach is brilliant in its simplicity: take authentic Chinese videos from YouTube (movie trailers, news stories, music videos, sit coms, etc.) and provide English, Pinyin, and Hanzi subtitles. They’re basically answering the question that […]

Class of 2012

When I first started teaching at a Chinese university I was immediately confused by the way they refer to students. For example, a student might introduce herself as a “2012 jí ” student. I (mistakenly) equated that to the English “Class of 2012.” But actually it doesn’t mean she’s GRADUATING in 2012 it means she’s STARTING […]

Yoyo Chinese – my new job

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve taken a position as “course designer / script writer” at Yoyo Chinese. I’ve only been doing it for a little while so none of the lessons that I’ve written have been posted yet, but I’ll probably refer to some of them in the future. It’s been really great […]

Memorizing that Famous Qingming Poem

I could be wrong, but I THINK I remember from that book How to Win Chinese Friends and Gain the Admiration of All Peoples: Tip 94: Memorize famous poems about Chinese holidays. Every year when Qīngmíng Jié 清明节 rolls around I’ve always thought about (and then promptly forgotten about) memorizing this little poem. Well for whatever reason, […]