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How CILA Makes Learning Chinese Easy

Introducing the Q&A Rapid Response Method

by Peter Chan

According to this method, the teacher asks a question, then the student gives an answer. Without changing word order or sentence structure a question becomes an answer with the change of just a word or two. By carefully listening to the teacher's question, the student can respond rapidly. After several repetitions, he can build on short-term memory to establish long-term memory.

This method is done by using the following three forms:

I. "Ma" - question pattern:

e.g. Ni shi mei-guo ren ma? (You are an American, huh?)

Wo she mei-guo ren. (I am an American.)

[The response is based on 1) changing the subject at the beginning, and

                                         2) removing the question word at the end.]

II. "Shi-bu-shi" positive-negative question pattern:

e.g. Ni shi-bu-shi mei-guo ren? (You are/are-not an American?)

Wo bu-shi mei-guo ren. (I am not an America.)

[The response is based on choosing a positive or negative structure in reply.]

III. Substitution of question word pattern:

[Question words include: shenme (what), shei (who), nali (where), ji (how many), na (which) etc.]

Ex. 1:Ta shi na guo ren? (He is what country's person?) (lit.)

Ta shi mei guo ren. (He is an american.)

Ex. 2:Ni zhu zai nali? (You live where?) (lit.)

Wo zhu zai mei guo. (I live in America.)

Ex. 3:Ni ji sui? (You how many years old?) (lit.)

Wo jiu sui. (I nine years old.) (lit.)

Through this Q&A Rapid Response Method, you can practice using new words in various sentence patterns. Getting started is easy; before you know it, you will have a command of everyday vocabulary and usage.