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The Delta Method

Download this whitepaper (PDF) See Publication


          This whitepaper is to introduce to you a breakthrough in learning/teaching Chinese as a second language: the Delta Method.

          A common misconception among English speakers about learning Chinese language is that Chinese is an extremely difficult language to learn, for it is such an unfamiliar language and differs in all aspects of western languages. As a result, this misconception creates anxiety, self-doubt, and intimidation – a sign of high ‘Affective Filter’ – a mental resistance that obstructs learning. In addition, the traditional teaching method takes students straight into a totally unfamiliar territory and builds a separate silo there in brute force. Expectably, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of The State Department has rated Chinese as the most difficult language for English speakers to learn. Some teachers of Latin-based languages have occasionally utilized the ‘similarities’ in their teaching. However, there is still no systematic, well-structured pedagogical solution that would capitalize on reusing learners’ existing knowledge of their native language to fuel and accelerate their learning and catapult them into greater mastery of their target language in a much shorter time.

          Today’s language education industry strives competitively to ‘innovate’ by pushing the limits of technology atop the traditional method.  However, in addition to extensive use of technology, the true innovation can be found by taking an unconventional perspective, where a rich, untapped resource that already exists in learners can be reused in learning a new language:

Reuse learner’s 1st language X (e.g. English) to learn a 2nd language Y (e.g. Chinese)”

          This innovative method compares the two languages and finds the ‘similarity and difference (Delta ∆),’ and presents to learners in a systematic way via the education technique called ‘Scaffolding.’  As a result, the method eliminates ‘Affective Filter’ and enables ‘Schema Activation,’ for it places learners in a familiar and comprehensible environment, and makes acquisition of a new language much easier, faster, and more confidence-inspiring.  Details are illustrated in this whitepaper.

Naturally, this method is applicable universally to any language pair:

‘Any 1st language X to any 2nd language Y’ 
The student learns only the difference ∆, between X and Y, thus the more similar between X and Y, the less effort the learners are to absorb the ∆.




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Copyright © 2014 Jenwei Kuo. All rights reserved.
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