Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Immersion and integration’ category

  1. Why you should read Chinese on your phone

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    Reading Chinese in this digital age is a lot easier than it used to, but it’s actually even easier than many students think. The benefits of reading on your phone are important, including instant access to vocabulary, smaller chunks of text, portability and a sense of getting somewhere when you read. If you haven’t read a Chinese text on your phone yet, you really should give it a try.

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  2. Chinese listening practice with 锵锵三人行


    锵锵三人行 is one of the few Chinese TV programs I actually like. It’s also one of the best ones for language learners too, mostly because of it’s heavy focus on talking, availability of transcripts and variety of both guests and topics. This should be a key component of any immersion effort, but you probably need to be upper intermediate or above to benefit.

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  3. Learning Chinese through audio books


    Listening to audio books in a very good way to improve your listening ability beyond the basics. This article contains advice about how to choose a suitable novel, where to find it and how to listen to it.

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  4. Bite-sized learning isn’t enough to learn Chinese


    Bite-sized learning is great, but it’s not enough if you want to build real competence in Chinese listening and reading. To expose yourself to enough text and audio, you need long-form content that you can keep using even when you’re energy levels aren’t at 100%.

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  5. Review: FluentU Chinese


    FluentU offers you authentic as well as learner-oriented videos for learning Chinese. A neat interface allows you to use an excellent pop-up dictionary and other useful features to watch and learn from videos. In this in-depth review, I highlight both pros and cons, but my overall impression is very favourable.

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  6. Why you should learn Chinese in Chinese


    It’s helpful to use your native language to learn Chinese, but one of the first things you should do is to convert anything you use often in the learning process into Chinese. This includes common classroom expressions or other phrases used when learning. Advanced students will find challenges in Chinese-only learning materials and dictionaries.

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  7. Review: Mandarin Companion graded readers (Level 1)


    Graded readers are an important step on your journey to becoming literate in Chinese. In this article, I review five books in the Mandarin Companion series, level 1, which uses only 300 unique characters. These books are useful for both beginners (extra reading) and intermediate learners (extensive reading).

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  8. The 9 best Twitter feeds for learning Chinese


    Who should you follow on Twitter if you want to learn Chinese? There’s an increasing number of people who tweet excellent language content within the 140 character limit, often with pictures. This article contains a list of the 9 best ones, including a short intro and examples of what they tweet.

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  9. Will a Chinese-only rule improve your learning?


    Are “Chinese only” rules good for learning? Most people agree that immersion is a good thing and that the more you practice, the faster you learn the language, but this isn’t necessarily the same as saying that using Chinese 100% of the time is good for you. This article brings up pros and cons about Chinese-only rules and then draws a conclusion.

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  10. Using Chinese textbooks to improve reading ability


    Textbooks are underrated as a source of reading material for beginners and intermediate students. By using more than one textbook series, you reap the benefits of using textbooks, while avoiding the main drawback, the lack of diversity. This article discusses how and why textbooks are important for most learners of Chinese.

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