Founder of Dontai Reading Association Ms. Lin Hsiu-er with Mananga Director Dr Taruvinga


As education headlines the country’s economic growth, Mananga Centre has launched the teaching of Mandarin, which became a reality with the arrival of Ms. Lin Hsiu-er in the country. A celebrated educationalist, Lin-Hsiu-er is a holder of a Master’s degree in Literature from the National Taitung University in Taiwan. She has researched
extensively on language learning, reading and multi-culture for over 25 years. Ms. Hsiu-er is the originator
of Dontai Reading, and the founder of Dontai Reading Association. She has built up a lot of teaching experience
in the use of ‘Dontai Reading’ as a tactic to teach foreign students Mandarin and Chinese. ‘Dontai Reading’ focuses on the teaching faculty, the reading of texts in the classroom for the non-native learners, the interaction of thoughts, languages, behaviors, and social relationships in the total process of language learning. Her methods
have proved that language learning not only lives up to the practicability of language, it endows the foreign learners with Mandarin and Chinese as an open, creative, cultural, imaginative, and ponderable multi-facets exercise of language learning process. “We are getting the best in the teaching of Mandarin!” commented Dr. Taruvinga, the Director of Mananga Centre. He said this is an opportunity never to be missed, especially with those who realize the business potential of understanding Mandarin and the Chinese culture. He added that over the past two decades, the benefits of learning Mandarin have grown immensely and, as an institution, they had entered into a
critical period where the demand for bilingual English/Mandarin speakers was extremely high. “However, the supply of those speakers remains relatively low. The world seems to be moving from a ‘unipolar America-led situation’ to
a bi-or even multipolar one, where China assumes a lot more importance. Speaking Mandarin would therefore be a good hedge in that sense.” The course seeks to offer Mandarin classes to everyone who is willing to learn. “Also with this platform, you have a better chance of leaning Chinese culture, which is so rich in history as it is one of the oldest, and has many similarities to that of Eswatini.Our goal is not only to deliver the best lessons, but also to create the best environment for our students to excel. We aim to provide the right kind of learning so our students can speak fluently, with confidence in the shortest time. We are open to all types of interested students, from
high school students to corporate personnel,” he explained. Dr Taruvinga further said learning a second language or a third or a fourth language is beneficial in that it can enhance ones cognitive, social, and health state. “And it gives one an extra edge. Also, among the many benefits of language learning, learning Mandarin can also increase
creativity.” “There is also an approximately 300 students who leave the country every year to go and study in Taiwan. Our lessons can serve them well because usually they have no knowledge of mandarin. This would work in their favor when they arrive in Taiwan because it can be quite stressful to learn the language under the pressure of lots of content and not enough time to learn it in,” added Taruvinga. He said as a nation, Eswatini recently
celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations with Taiwan and the country has signed an agreement on economic cooperation with Taiwan. This agreement covers a wide range of areas, including tariff cuts on 153 products from eSwatini. “Right now seems a better time as any to begin with this teaching platform simply because there will be more people coming into the country as investors,” he said. On unpacking the teaching of the course, Dr Taruvinga
said two-hour teaching sessions will be organized on alternate days during the week. Teaching materials would include vocabulary, a writing and conversation class, where students will practice their speaking skills so that
they can speak confidently fluently. He concluded by saying that this is a perfect opportunity to pioneer
something new to Eswatini and also show others that it is possible and is a fun way of interchanging culture
and language.

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