As a Chinese language learner, you’ve got a lot of work to do. First, you must learn intonations and pronunciations. Then, you’ve got to study the Chinese characters. Next, your job is to learn how to recognize patterns in speech. Then, you must learn how to read and listen to the Chinese language. All of this to finally speak this challenging yet beautiful language.
If you’re still learning how to listen and want to make your job easier to handle, here are some great ideas on how to smoothly develop an effortless listening practice. Listening is probably the hardest part of learning Chinese, so you’ll need a good practice plan to stay on top of your work.
How to develop a smooth Chinese listening practice: 6 tips
Invest in high-quality earphones.
While this might not be news for some of you, investing in high-quality earphones is a must. You’ll be able to listen more carefully if your earphones are professional. Some of the most popular options are wireless headphones. You could double or even triple the amount of Chinese listening that you’re engaging in if you’re buying the right headphones.
Keep audio on all the time.
While this is quite obvious, most people don’t respect this highly important rule. Have Chinese on whenever possible! If it’s not a podcast running on your smartphone, then it should be the Chinese news on your computer screen. Whatever you choose to listen to, make sure you’re constantly exposed to hearing this language. This point highlights the importance of subconscious repetition in improving language learning.
Engage in all types of listening activities.
As I mentioned above, listening to any type of Chinese speech is crucial. However, make sure you’re not mindlessly listening to something that does not make sense for you. This could have the opposite effect of beneficial learning. Make sure you know what you’re listening to and have a broad idea of what the characters/news reporters/podcast hosts are talking about. When you don’t, look it up!
Stick to Chinese.
Make Chinese your default option all the time! I know you might be tempted to listen to something else other than Chinese, but for the time you’re learning how to listen, please don’t. Instead, stick to this routine to get used to hearing Chinese all the time. Once you accomplish that, your listening skills will develop at a very high rate, and your overall learning process will quicken.
Listen, listen, listen.
Make time to actively and passively listen to Chinese every single day. Do not make excuses, just do it. Make sure you’re taking at least 30 minutes each day to listen to something. If you don’t have a 30-minute gap to do that, divide the 30 minutes into three 10-minute sessions. Do whatever it takes to listen to Chinese daily. Create habits that stick. As you already know, listening to Chinese daily should become a habit. So, no matter what your daily activities are, making time for it every day is required. Make sure you are rewarding yourself every week or month for sticking to your plan. This will encourage you to keep going and will make these habits stick!
If you engage in all of these activities, you will improve your Chinese skills by at least 50% by the end of this year. Make sure you’re considering all the options given, choose the right learning approach for you, and make learning Chinese a daily habit. Good luck!