Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Intermediate’ category

  1. The benefits of a comprehension-based approach for teaching and learning Chinese

    Diane Neubauer continues her series of guest articles about comprehension-based approaches to teaching and learning Chinese. In this the second part, the focus is on principles and motivations for using a comprehension-based method. There’s also an overview of teaching practices that fall into this category.

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  2. An introduction to comprehension-based Chinese teaching and learning

    This guest article by Diane Neubauer introduces comprehensible input and what it can do for us as language learners and teachers. It’s the first part of a series of three articles, focusing on comprehension-based methods for learning and teaching.

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  3. How to fake sounding like a native Chinese speaker

    Have you ever wanted your Mandarin to sound more advanced than it is? In this guest article, David Moser tells us how to fake sounding like a native Chinese speaker. While tongue-in-cheek, some of the advice applies even if you’re after the real thing!

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  4. Spaced repetition is not limited to flashcards

    Spaced repetition is important for learning anything, but especially vocabulary in a foreign language like Chinese. However, there’s much more to spaced repetition than vocabulary flashcard apps! Even if you dislike such apps, make sure you incorporate spaced repetition in some other way.

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  5. 5 things Chinese students should do on the winter vacation

    What should Chinese students do on the winter vacation? Apart from recharging batteries, there are a number of things you should consider if you want optimal long-term results.

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  6. Looking up how to use words in Chinese the right way

    Looking up how to express something in Chinese is not as easy as it looks. Assuming that a word, especially a verb, can be used the same way in Chinese as in your native language usually results in incorrect or awkward sentences. Stop assuming and look things up properly instead!

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  7. Why you should preview before every Chinese lesson

    Previewing before every lesson is extremely important, yet only a minority of students actually do it. By spending more time before the lesson, you learn more without necessarily spending more time, and you will feel better about it too.

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  8. Three factors that decide how much Chinese you learn

    Many things determine how much progress you make. This article is an overview of three factors you should always keep in mind when planning how to reach your goals. You need all three!

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  9. Obligatory and optional tone change rules in Mandarin

    From a student perspective, there are two types of tone changes in Mandarin: obligatory and optional. The first kind you really have to know about, the second is mostly the natural result of speaking more quickly.

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  10. Learn Chinese implicitly through exposure with a seasoning of explicit instruction

    Should you learn Chinese implicitly through exposure and usage, or explicitly through description and instruction? The answer is that adults need both, but that explicit learning is often used too much.

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