As a non-background learner of Chinese myself, I have a deep empathy for other non-background learners who take on the challenge of learning this wonderfully rewarding, but rather challenging language. The main idea behind combining online multiuser 3D virtual worlds and task-based learning, as manifest in the Chinese Island approach, is to provide learners studying Chinese as a Foreign Language (i.e. in settings where Chinese is not the main language spoken) with an opportunity to practice and consolidate their knowledge of Chinese language and culture, and in particular their communication skills, in immersive, life-like everyday scenarios which would normally not be accessible.
This page is dedicated to presenting a range of different ideas about how to encourage more non-background learners to learn Mandarin and is intended to be thought provoking. The views expressed in the links presented here do not necessarily represent my own views, but definitely provide food for ongoing thought and discussion.
In with Pinyin: How to Improve Chinese Language Education in Australia