BREAKTHRU CHINESE ®
I founded Breakthru Chinese ® after living and working in mainland China for more than 10 years. I am an avid fan of all things Chinese, including traditional Chinese music and practicing Tai Ji Quan in Beijing’s Ri Tan Park. The photo at the top of this page is 紫禁城 (the “Forbidden City”), which has many adjacent hutongs (alleyways) with quiet tea shops that are perfect for studying Chinese.
Chinese is a incredibly beautiful language – it is one of the few major languages that is not only a form of communication, but also an art form. I’ve dabbled with limited success in Chinese calligraphy.
Chinese also has a reputation as one of the most most difficult languages. In fairness, it should be noted that many Chinese feel the same way about English!
Breakthru Chinese ® was created from my own experiences (and challenges) studying Chinese and trying to find teachers who could not only speak “standard” Chinese, but could explain the language in a way that “made sense”…easier said than done! Many of the tools that I’ve developed for this web site (and most are still a work in progress) were created out of a need to create a roadmap that would pull everything together from a Westerner’s perspective.
It should be noted that the Chinese education system is still maturing – the Beijing Language and Culture University system that produces most of the professional Chinese teachers is still a bit biased towards “traditional” methods, which tend to be rote memorization.
I’d like to thank Ms. Xi Li Li, a PhD in Chinese and someone who shared my passion for learning for the time I studied in Beijing. Xi Laoshi was truly an inspiration and an absolute wealth of knowledge about Chinese grammar, characters and the history of the language.
Many of the concepts related to neuroplasticity and its application to enhancing visual pattern recognition skills are a result of my personal interest in the neuroscience of learning. This field is still relatively new, so the research on the Chinese language and its relationship to visual cortex development is mainly derived from work that has been in progress in Hong Kong.
I believe China will play an ever important role in world politics, the global economy and culture. It is guided by Confucian values overlaid with the natural mercantile abilities of the Chinese people. For that reason, I have maintained a consulting firm in China and plan to return on a permanent basis.
It is my joy and pleasure to help my students understand Chinese and hopefully develop a passion for Chinese culture, so that they may also explore the business and cultural opportunities that await anyone will to invest in this amazing language.