Do you live in Boston and would like to communicate with more than 1.3 billion people in the world?
Are you wondering how to learn the Chinese language?
The Red Sox city has many resources available to you if you would like to learn Chinese easily.
Did you know, for example, that there are no grammatical rules or complex conjugation rules in Mandarin Chinese?
It is a very intuitive and succinct language.
Each year more than 35,000 American students decide to start learning Chinese!
For this reason, schools, organizations, and private tutors have decided to teach the language. Here is an overview of all the resources at your fingertips in order to learn Chinese in Boston!
Not in Boston? Find out where you can take Chinese lessons elsewhere in America!
The Chinese Community in Boston
In the beginning of the 20th century, most Chinese moving to New England were single men, while some were single women. Historically most Chinese moving to Massachusetts specifically went to the Boston Chinatown and prior to the 1960s the state overall had little Chinese immigration.
Immigration from China into the Boston area increased after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was passed.
As of 2003, about 66% of the Asians in Quincy were ethnic Chinese, giving the city one of the largest Chinese populations in the state. From 2000 to 2010 Quincy's Chinese population increased by almost 60%. Most of the Asian immigrants coming to Quincy in the 1980s originated from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but by 2003 the majority place of origin was Fujian Province in Mainland China.
As of 2000 65% of the Chinese in Quincy were homeowners. Historically Quincy residents traveled to shops in the Boston Chinatown but by 2003 Asian shopping centers became established in Quincy. By 2003 New York City-based Kam Man Food was establishing a supermarket in Quincy. Hainan Airlines began non-stop service between Beijing and Logan International Airport in Boston in 2014, followed by non-stop service between Shanghai and Boston in 2015. Cathay Pacific Airways began non-stop service between Hong Kong and Boston in 2015.
These non-stop flight services between China and Boston were credited for the ascent of Chinese becoming the top nationality visiting Boston from outside North America, with nearly one in four Chinese visitors coming to Boston for education.
Acton had 2,041 Chinese Americans in 2010, a 151% increase from 2000 and the ninth largest Chinese population in Massachusetts. In 2000, Malden had 4,504 ethnic Chinese people, making up 57% of the city's Asian population. From 2000 to 2010 the Chinese population of Malden increased by about 50%.
The Chinese community is also very developed in the capital, do not hesitate to take Chinese classes in New York City!
Learning Chinese in the High Schools of Boston
The U.S. Department of Education reported that after Spanish, Mandarin was the most popular dual-language education program implemented by individual states in 2013.
More and more American students are starting to learn the most spoken language around the planet and sooner and later!
Chinese Classes in High School and Middle School
Even if there are more and more people asking for Chinese lessons, Boston still has relatively few high schools offering a Chinese education.
If you would like to follow Chinese courses then one of the best schools in Boston (which is unfortunately just for boys) is BC High or the Boston College Jesuit for Boys Grade 7 - 12.
The Confucius Classrooms, named after the well-known ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, serve as non-profit public institutions to help students better understand China by teaching language and culture at schools. Confucius Classrooms adopt flexible teaching patterns and adapts to suits local conditions when teaching Chinese language and promoting culture in foreign primary schools and secondary schools. By the end of 2015, there have been 1000 Confucius Classrooms established in 134 countries and regions.
Indeed, this type of establishment is more and more common in the United States. You can find it elsewhere--like if you'd like to take Chinese classes in Chicago for example!
Learning Chinese Mandarin in University
Studying Chinese in secondary school allows students to become familiar with the basics of the Sinophone language.
Vocabulary, phonetics, oral expression, Chinese characters, Chinese culture...students can perfect their command of the Confucius language during their higher education! Some even elect the language as their major or minor.
Boston University offers several ways of learning the Chinese language:
- A Bachelor's Degree in Chinese Language, Literature, Culture,
- A Minor in Chinese,
- An MA in Chinese Language and Literature
These courses in the Chinese language focus their learning on oral expression and the written foundations of the Chinese language.
Students can then go on to prepare for the CAPES test if they are considering a career in teaching Chinese.
Boston University has a very interesting partnership with several major Chinese universities for learning exchanges.
In order to promote Chinese culture throughout the world, the People's Republic of China has made numerous agreements with American universities to found the Confucius Institutes.
These institutes offer Chinese language courses and give out official language diplomas.
Learning Chinese at university will allow you to progress easily! Feel free to check out this option elsewhere and take Chinese classes in Miami for all you Southerners...
Studying Chinese at a Language School in Boston
There are many schools teaching Chinese in Boston.
When it comes to high schools, however, there aren't many, and so you may not be able to get started in your high school as planned.
Nevertheless, there are many other ways to learn Chinese outside of high school.
For example, you could turn to Chinese language schools to develop your Chinese skills.
For example, in Boston you can find the following schools:
- The Chinese Institute of Language, 30 Kneeland Street
- The Boston Language School, 648 Beacon Street
- Brookline Chinese School, in Brookline, MA
Whether you opt for small group Chinese lessons, intensive courses, holiday camps, or evening classes, Mandarin is usually taught by native Chinese teachers.
- Be initiated to the Chinese language (pronunciation, tones, etc.)
- Learn the phonetic system pin yin (transform sounds into syllables)
- Familiarize yourself with Chinese writing (characters, Chinese calligraphy)
- Master Chinese linguistics (vocabulary, grammar, translation, etc.)
- Improve our knowledge of traditional Chinese culture (festivals, cooking, painting, civilization, history of China, etc.)
- Upgrade your language skills to Chinese business language (marketing, finance, commerce, administrative)
Depending on your needs and your linguistic level, some language schools will give you a Chinese test in order to assess your level and offer you the best lessons possible in order to quickly acquire new knowledge.
Discover where you can take Chinese classes in San Francisco!
Organizations Teaching Chinese in Boston
Your third solution in order to learn the Chinese language in Boston is to go through associative organizations.
The Chinese community is quite large in Boston and as a result more and more Chinese-American associations are opening their doors in Boston.
What is their objective?
To develop intercultural exchanges between Asian communities in America and China in the fields of culture, art, economy, and the humanities.
The organizations go much further than offering Chinese courses of all levels and at a very good rate (some organizations just ask for a contribution of some kind).
These institutes transmit their culture and passion for China in many different ways which are always centered around language learning:
- Chinese calligraphy and painting courses
- Events (shows, traditional Chinese meals, dances, etc.)
- Helping Chinese students when they arrive in France
- Helping students who are preparing a trip to China
- Organizing linguistic study trips, etc.
If you would like to visit a Chinese-American organization, then make sure that you reach out to:
- Asian-American Civic Association, 87 Tyler Street
- Chinese Institute of Language, 30 Kneeland Street
The Chinese Progressive Association is located in Boston.
The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc. (BCNC; 波士頓華埠社區中心) serves Chinese Americans in the region. Its principal site is in the Boston Chinatown, and in 2011 BCNC executive director Elaine Ng stated that the center would begin to offer services in Quincy. The number of persons using BCNC services residing in Quincy increased by almost 300% in a period beginning in 2004 and ending in 2005.
Check here for an online Chinese tutor.
Private Chinese Tutors in Boston
The ultimate solution for learning how to speak Chinese and understand the Chinese language is to call on a private tutor of the Sinophone language.
Learn Mandarin with Private Language Lessons
You can easily take private Chinese lessons with qualified teachers in Boston thanks to many private tutoring agencies.
Tutors for All, Boston Tutoring Center, Back Bay Tutors, Varsity Tutors...Your choices are endless.
If you would like to know which one, do some research online.
These organizations are definitely worthy and the team of tutors is usually made up of Chinese bilingual graduate students.
However, Chinese lessons are expensive. There is usually a 80 USD registration fee plus a commission charged for each course (about 30 USD/course). However, you can work your listening comprehension, practice phonetic transcription and learn the basics of the Chinese language with these associations.
Learning Chinese with Superprof in Boston
If tutoring agencies do not fit what you are looking for for one reason or another, why not try one of our Superprof Chinese tutors based in Boston?
Here is why they are so great:
- They give homework help for Chinese high school language classes (some of the tutors are themselves students, but in college),
- An introduction to Chinese culture (cooking, traditions, music, painting, calligraphy, Qi Gong) with a native Chinese tutor,
- A preparation for HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) with a Chinese bilingual graduate tutor.
Note: the HSK is the only objective test for Chinese. It is recognized internationally. Like the TOEFL for English, this Chinese test aims to assess its candidates' linguistic level in Chinese.
To reward the best candidates, the Chinese National Commission of HSK has set up a scholarship for students to enter a large university in Shanghai, Beijing, or Shenzhen for several months.
For an average price of 25 USd per class, you will find Chinese classes in Boston:
- Zhi, in Boston
- Yu, in Boston
- Jia, in Boston
Boston friends, what are you waiting for to learn the most spoken language in the world?
And, finally, discover where to take Chinese classes in Los Angeles!