Our Chinese language group classes are very popular with students coming to learn Chinese in China. Although we offer an unparalleled level of support in and out of the classroom some students can find it hard. It is not surprising that moving to a new country and learning a new language can be stressful. Classroom work is only a small part of learning Chinese so we’ve put together a comprehensive list of things you can do straight away to boost your learning.
Starting out learning Chinese everyone must get used to using Pinyin to get to grips with the language. Using Pinyin is pretty much a necessity if you want to learn Chinese quickly. Pinyin can become a problem if you reply on it too much. A great way to learn your characters from the get go is to use spaced repetition software. Anki is the number one spaced repetition app our students use. You can search within the app and find word lists such as HSK word lists or general lists to help you learn. You can also make your own lists of words as you progress through your textbook. Spending as little as 10 minutes per day can really boost your character knowledge, we’ve seen students build up to 5,000 word vocabulary using this method.
Outside of class listening can be a great extra method to help you get familiar with the language. Our school has a wide range of different spoken Chinese mp3s that we can share with you. If you are on the bus, cycling in the mountains, hiking or just relaxing listening to mp3s of spoken Chinese really works. One particular approach known as the Pimsleur method is popular with students and seems to be a good way to augment in class language learning.
Apart from specific learning materials, just listening to people speak around you and watching Chinese TV will also help you learn Chinese. Our students are invited to use our facilities to watch Chinese movies and documentaries.
Reading in Chinese can be a very challenging prospect for new learners. We always inform our students about a book series called Graded Chinese Reader. Graded Chinese reader is a Chinese language book series that sells books of Chinese short stories. The books come with an insert that allows you to read with and without pinyin. We find this is a great way to get extra reading practice outside class.
WeChat can also be a great way to learn reading and typing by chatting with Chinese friends using pinyin input keyboards.
One of the most effective methods any student can take advantage of is finding a language partner. Since we are located near to Yunnan’s largest universities so it is easy to find partners to share languages with. We are also working on a new program to help our students find language partners.