Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Intermediate’ category

  1. Should you learn Chinese vocabulary from lists?

    Many students rely heavily on lists to learn new characters and words in Chinese. This can be good, but there are also a number of problems you should be aware of. This article looks at some pros and cons with using vocabulary lists to learn Chinese.

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  2. Chinese reading speed revisited

    It’s not easy to Improve reading speed in Chinese, but it is necessary for many proficiency exams. This article takes a new look at the problem facing students, and goes back to the basics, suggesting that most advice for reading faster is mostly useless for Chinese learners.

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  3. Training and testing your ability to hear Mandarin sounds

    Learning to hear the sounds in a new language is a very important step, both to understand it and to pronounce it yourself. This article gives you methods and tools for training and testing your ability to hear the sounds of Mandarin.

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  4. Get to know your own Chinese voice

    Recording yourself provides a convenient, enlightening and cheap way to improve your spoken Chinese, and what better to record than a diary? This article explores why you should record more and offers some suggestions for what to record.

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  5. Advanced listening and reading with Skeptoid Chinese

    Skeptoid is a podcast about popular myths, using science and research to examine them critically. The Chinese version is excellent practice for advanced learners, with both text and audio!

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  6. Task based Chinese learning and teaching

    Task based language learning and teaching is built around working with tasks in the target language with a clear focus on meaning (communication). Focus on form should come after the task has been completed.

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  7. Let’s play 迷霧中 (Into the Haze)

    Let’s play 迷霧中 (Into the Haze)! In this post, I share a video where I play a small part of the game, summarising and commenting on what’s going on in English (the game is of course in Mandarin).

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  8. How long do you have to study Chinese to make it useful?

    Learning Chinese and other languages is always useful. The real question should be what it’s useful for and what you need to get there. Still, you will never wake up one day and just know that you’re done, there’s always more!

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  9. Learning (or not learning) Chinese slang

    Learning slang in Chinese can be fun, but it’s worth remembering that in most situations, it’s actually much less useful than more standard ways of expression. Slang is used in a limited context and changes quickly.

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  10. Playing Codenames to learn Chinese

    Codenames is one of my favourite games, and it also happens to be an excellent game for language learning! In this article, I suggest ways of playing it in Chines, along with a tool that generates grids of code words for direct use in the classroom or elsewhere!

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