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IB Mandarin SL

I am currently a sophomore and will be taking IB Mandarin SL next year. I actually only started Mandarin (the course was called Mandarin I) last year in my freshman year but since I displayed a higher-level of speaking and writing proficiency at the end of the year in comparison to the other students in my grade, they bumped me up to Mandarin III this year. I currently know how to write about 800 characters give or take, and can recognize about 1000. The book that we studied in Mandarin I and III follows the Yuan Dong publishing corp. from Taiwan. We also take supplementary grammar and vocabularies from the widely used Chinese Made Easy series as well for IB prep. So for those who are going to take IB Mandarin SL/ HL, how is your school preparing you? How well is your speaking in terms of fluency and aptitude to speak a conversation without having any grammatical errors etc,. ? And for those who are currently taking IB Mandarin, what do you guys think of it? What do you guys normally do in class and how exactly do you prepare for the exams? If you guys could provide me with any information regarding the class then that would be much appreciated-- Thanks!

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Well, I Mandarin A so I wouldn't know. But I have friend who took a psuedo IB prep Ab Initio course at our school for 3 years and so the school won't let him continue to take Ab Initio but they still require all of us to take Mandarin. So right know he's taking Mandarin B SL and having an awful time. There is no way in heck he can be ready for the exams and the teacher just told him to guess for all the questions and I think he's hoping to just pass so he can eventually get a diploma.

I'm not sure how many characters he knows or whatever, but just letting you know.

Might want to be on the safe side and take an ab initio.

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I will be testing in Mandarin SL next Friday. I feel totally unprepared, haha. Our previous teacher just kept throwing new words at us every class, and never reviewed past material. We got a new teacher this year who is completely the opposite -- she just lets us study on our own. I guess your experience in Mandarin SL class will really just depend on the teacher. Since there's no concrete IB syllabus on the subject, it's very open-ended.

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i'm thinking about taking french ab sl which i have absolutly no experience in or chinese b sl which i spoke since i was born so i think it should be pretty easy for me. but the thing is, chinese is offered off campus so that means i have to take 5 hours off my weekend time to go to this chinese school. which one should i choose, if i take 5 hours off each week , would i be way too busy in my senior year with all the workload coming down? Should i just stick with french and hope for the best? which one? i need your opinions now !!!

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peiyao - my suggestion would be, if you don't mind studying Chinese (i.e. you quite like it), then take it off campus is better than starting French ab because there is going to be a lot of work involved as well, plus, if you need a higher level substitute, Chinese B would be perfect.

However five hours is quite a bit so think carefully... if you have lots of co-curricular stuff

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I just took Mandarin B HL. It was quite easy for me and my classmates since we're living in Hong Kong. But the problem with Mandarin B (SL/HL) is that the exam papers suck. We found a lot of mistakes in the past exam papers and the answers sometimes were arguable. Although the papers are improving in recent years, the paper I just took still had a lot mistakes like using wrong characters with same pronunciation, poor sentence structure, poor style of question and poor instruction, such as telling you to refer the answer to paragraph 2 while the answers were in paragraph 3. It was really funny because some of us circled out the mistakes on the paper made by examiner after we've done the paper. One of my friend, who likes studying Chinese, was so furious about the mistakes and he almost used the remaining time to write a complaint letter,lol. But seriously, a native Chinese primary schooler can definitely write a better structured sentence than the IB examiner. Also, Mandarin B is easy, but because of this reason, it's really hard to get Level 7 because the curve is too high (most people taking Mandarin B are actually native speaker, especially HL.) So...ya, if you wanna aim for level 7, SL would be easier.

Edited by slft

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well i think that some of you guys misunderstood me, I am not worried about chinese at all. Matter of fact if my school would've let me i'd take it as a1. I am worried about french ab which I have no experience in, i really don't want to risk my mark so i'm thinking about taking chinese b sl off campus ( it's the only chinese course they offer-.-), but the problem is that it's 5 hours each weekend. Since some of you had probably finished your diploma, is it possible to take 5 hours off each weekend and still have enough time to do your homeworks in your senior years?

Edited by peiyao

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Sure 5 hours can do, but it would be better if you can find some a course split into the weekdays because weekend is probably your best time of doing your CAS or IAs.

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okay then I'll do that ! thanks and sadly it's the only class the offer-.-

also i heard that the cas is not too hard depends on the ib coordinator, poeple put all kinds of stuff as cas

btw how come our school said it's only 150hrs throughout the two years, where the website said it's 300 hrs.

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Chinese Made Easy = very easy. My class did CME 4 (there are only 5 levels) in Year 7 (first year of secondary school), and even now I would probably struggle with BHL.

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Chinese Made Easy = very easy. My class did CME 4 (there are only 5 levels) in Year 7 (first year of secondary school), and even now I would probably struggle with BHL.

BHL Mandarin i heard is really hard because it's for people who are basically fluent in the language. My question is, what book do they use for BSL Mandarin? I'm a sophomore, and we just finished studying CME 3. Will that be suffice for IB Mandarin? Our school is fairly new in IB so I'm just a little worried on how prepared we language students are for the program.

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I'm afraid CME 3 is not sufficient for B SL. My teacher has told me that the IB has made attempts in recent years to make the passages in the exam papers more difficult, especially for HL, so I think CME 3 is rather too little in terms of vocabulary and such.

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I got stuck in a class of native speakers this year (scheduling and time tables were done by an inexperienced buffoon), and I'm dying. I'm supposed to be in First Year SL, but everyone there is at least a year and a half ahead in the curriculum (in actuality, even more so). The teacher just tells me to 'work hard'. I want to slap her. Working hard does not help me bridge a 10+ year gap in ability (I've only been in Mandarin for two years before this; the rest of the people are exchange students from Taiwan and Mainland China and Hong Kong... guess which group the teacher caters the course for?).

The people are no help. I don't understand 90% of what they're saying (they speak really quickly in Mandarin). I couldn't really help on a project because, relatively speaking, my Mandarin sucks. They finished the project and then didn't even bother to email it to me for me to look at before we were supposed to present. I couldn't make out anything I was supposed to present. It was so embarrassing.

I do all right in written stuff because I've spoken and take Cantonese courses, but the speaking part is screwing me over. Any help? Any cassettes or materialthat you'd recommend for me to improve my speech?

Edited by BroodyAle

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I got stuck in a class of native speakers this year (scheduling and time tables were done by an inexperienced buffoon), and I'm dying. I'm supposed to be in First Year SL, but everyone there is at least a year and a half ahead in the curriculum (in actuality, even more so). The teacher just tells me to 'work hard'. I want to slap her. Working hard does not help me bridge a 10+ year gap in ability (I've only been in Mandarin for two years before this; the rest of the people are exchange students from Taiwan and Mainland China and Hong Kong... guess which group the teacher caters the course for?).

The people are no help. I don't understand 90% of what they're saying (they speak really quickly in Mandarin). I couldn't really help on a project because, relatively speaking, my Mandarin sucks. They finished the project and then didn't even bother to email it to me for me to look at before we were supposed to present. I couldn't make out anything I was supposed to present. It was so embarrassing.

I do all right in written stuff because I've spoken and take Cantonese courses, but the speaking part is screwing me over. Any help? Any cassettes or materialthat you'd recommend for me to improve my speech?

Same! I'm in Mandarin SL IB1 and prior to that I've only had two years experience with the language. What I'm doing right now is learning from a supplementary book by myself (I live in Vietnam, so there are a ton of Mandarin books available). In respect to the new vocabulary, I don't really take care to memorize everything. Rather, I'm training myself to recognize the characters. That way, for the Mandarin exam next year, the essay reading shouldn't be much of a problem. Of course, this is only reading and writing though .. I still have to improve my speaking.

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I am doing IB Mandarin HL B I as a junior this year. Our school doesn't offer Ab Initio Mandarin so everyone else taking Mandarin had to do it in SL. My speaking is pretty fluent and authentic (since I'm Malaysian Chinese) but that doesn't mean I don't make any grammar mistakes. For now, my experience of IB Mandarin is pretty relaxing and OK at the same time (although I hate HL literature) while some of my classmates are somehow too stressed out to groan at it. However, I still don't think that all Chinese people has a 100% gurrantee of doing extremely well on it, you still need to work on your knowledge of Mandarin. Usually my classmates and I chill for 10-20 minutes before the teacher teaches anything. My teacher helps us prepare for the exams by doing sample IB Mandarin questions, giving us HSK vocab to do on quizlet and of course writing essays which I never liked in the first place.

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