Chinese (particularly, Mandarin) has been described as one of the hardest new or alternate languages to learn, especially for English speakers. Its writing system is entirely different from that we’re all used to, and this makes it even more difficult for us to easily familiarize ourselves—at least reasonably—with its characters and formations.
This, nevertheless, doesn’t mean Chinese cannot be learned. In fact, with the right strategy, learning Chinese is possible without any struggle at all.
In this wonderful article are 8 awesome ways to improve your Chinese learning.
Now moving on to…
…the 8 Great Ways You Can Scaffold Your Chinese Learning
As I mentioned earlier, Chinese is not exactly as simple as ABC language. To make it easier and quicker for you to learn the language, breaking your learning process into smaller bits might be a better option. In addition, you might also have to make use of some Chinese-based innovative tech tools to help you along the way.
So how can you scaffold your Chinese learning?
Speaking & Listening
Unlike English, Chinese is a tonal language. Tone, in this sense, refers to the variation realized in speech. Chinese has a lot of characters with similar forms but entirely different meanings, which are especially influenced by the tone they carry. Learning these tones will better help you, as a second-learner, to easily familiarize yourself with the language and even make you an expert in the end.
Listen/Watch Audio & Video Lessons
By listening and watching Chinese learning-based lessons, you can easily learn all the necessary rules you need to attain communicative competence in the language. This way, you’ll not only be able to learn the language but to use it to interact with others when the need arises.
Slow Down Speed on Video
You can also try reducing the video speed while watching your lessons. This allows you to catch on easily to all the things you could easily miss out on while watching the videos at a normal speed. One great app you could use for this is Audacity. YouTube also allows for this feature, too.
Make Chinese Friends
If you don’t already have Chinese friends, making one now should be one of your utmost priorities, before or while still learning the language. Having Chinese friends will help you communicate better in Chinese and, also, be able to correct any errors you make while you talk to them.
Reading & Writing
Make Use of Apps Designed for Chinese Learning
Nowadays, almost everyone now has free access to different mobile dictionaries and translators we can use to learn new words as well as some Chinese formation and rules.
Mobile apps are readily available and also convenient for learning, as well.
Practicing reading Chinese
As hard as it may seem, practicing Chinese reading can also be a great way to accelerate your Chinese learning process.
Typically, reading is one of the necessary language skills we need to develop our language assimilation, retention, and production. Reading helps us develop our writing skills, and it’s also the same with Chinese. The more you try practicing Chinese reading, the better you become at forming new and well-strung sentences in the language.
Learn Common Signs
You may not know this before, but familiarizing yourself with the sign or non-verbal languages associated with a language (and, of course, a culture) can help you to better grasp and understand the language. Learning the common signs in Chinese can actually make it relatively easier for you to communicate with and understand what’s being said by others.
Try Writing The Language
Writing is one of the difficult things to do, yes. However, with consistent writing, you can become a master writer in no time. Relating every Chinese language you learnt can expose you to new things you don’t know before and help you gather new knowledge along the line, too.
The most crucial thing is to learn methodically and slowly, step by step. At the initial stage, the most important is to write hieroglyphs and build vocabulary, learn words. After that, don’t forget to practice your pronunciation and find friends that will be involved in learning with you. Of course, be digital and use apps for better language immersion.