Chinese Key

A New Method for Rapid Mandarin learning.

Since the tradition of teaching Chinese characters using 三百千 Three, Hundred and Thousand was thrown into question, attempts were made in the fifties to break away with it. One successful example is the 北關實驗學校 Beiguan Experiment School in 遼寧黑山 Heishan, Liaoning, which has been trying out an intensive approach since the late fifties.

The most traditional way to teach Chinese characters is the use of 三字經 Three Character Scripture (Three), 百家姓 Hundred Family Names (Hundred) and 千字文 A Thousand Characters (Thousand), or in short 三百千 Three,Hundred and Thousand, which had been widely in use all over China for more than a thousand years (張志公, 1999, pp. 3-42). To a large extent, they reflect the experience that teachers in ancient times gained in how to teach the characters effectively to children. As an illustrative example, the first few lines of 千字文 Thousand, which is the oldest among the three, are shown below.