“对症下药, duì zhèng xià yào": Treat the Right Disease with the Right Medicine

As I was preparing the Keynote presentation for our class tonight, I was inspired by another ancient Chinese story, which was later summarized into a 成语: “对症下药, duì zhèng xià yào".

  • Story: “华佗, huà tuó” (145 BC-208 BC) has been believed to be the most influential doctor in Chinese history. He was a master in internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatric and acupuncture. One day, two officials with the same outward symptoms went to see 华佗. But 华佗 prescribed different medicines to them. One got some laxation, and the other got some herbs to induce perspiration. These two people were very confused. But 华佗 responded, "You two share the same outward symptoms, but one is caused by dyspepsia from improper diet, and the other is caused by exogenous cold. Therefore, there are different medicines to treat these two different illnesses."

  • Set phrase: Since then, people would use these four Chinese characters to summarize this story, which is “对症下药, duì zhèng xià yào".

“对症下药, duì zhèng xià yào" is to a doctor what analyzing sentence structure is to a second language learner. Tonight's teaching is going to be a battle of mind. Most of my students had not studied Chinese language systematically at all when we started this class on June 6, 2019. Unless they can quiet down their hearts and follow my instructions closely, it is likely that we cannot reach the goals where the curriculum is leading us to. But language learning is not a simple result of "1+1=2". There are so many unexpected changes and irregularities that can become a stumble for them. If my students can survive from the numerously new and complex knowledge about all those Chinese attributives, their Chinese comprehension would surpass most of other Chinese language learners, even some bi-lingual educators. Consider tonight as a big bottleneck to overcome, and maybe this challenge can be turned into a powerful opportunity! In case you have not witnessed how our medical student Monica Ngo is conquering her Chinese studies, here is her short video: https://vimeo.com/349777651.

Tonight at the North Campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church, BCI Class 1 students are going to attend the third open class from 7-9 pm CT. BCI Class 1 students use our online Chinese curriculum, Self-study Chinese Curriculum, to systematically decode Chinese language based on the theorems I created, so that they eventually learn how to translate and interpret their own English sentences into Chinese. Every other day, students finish all the assigned reading sessions and drills, and then they can access the in-depth teaching videos to correct their own answers. Finally, they make up three of their own English sentences, and then translate them into Chinese. They submit their Chinese assignments to a Wechat group, with both the written forms and recorded Chinese speakings. Within one business day, I will give them customized feedback and suggestions on how to improve their Chinese studies. On top of these virtual interactions, we meet once a month for six in-person teachings. For each class teaching, we focus on different themes based on Self-study Chinese Curriculum Modules.Tonight, we are going to talk about six different forms of attributives.