Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning in class’ category

  1. Which Chinese language course should you take?

    Which Chinese language course should you take?

    This article will guide you through the most important factors to consider when choosing your Chinese language course, including location, price and extent.

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  2. What your Chinese course will not teach you

    Image source: sxc.hu/profile/cobrasoft

    Taking a Chinese course will give you a framework for learning the language, but it’s far from enough. This article is about what you need to do apart from going to class.

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  3. The illusion of advanced learning and what to do about it


    How much Chinese will you know when you have finished a certain textbook? Less than you think! In this article, I discuss the danger of relying too much on one textbook series and the importance of broadening your knowledge rather than making it advanced in just a few, small areas.

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  4. 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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  5. Will a Chinese-only rule improve your learning?

    No English allowed?

    Is a Chinese-only rule good for learning? Most people agree that immersion is a good thing, but that’s not the same as saying that using no English is good

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  6. Launching Hacking Chinese Resources

    “Resources” is a new section of Hacking Chinese that strives to provide you with resources for learning Chinese suitable to you. Everything is neatly tagged by difficulty level, topic/skill and type of resource, enabling you to find whatever you need, whenever you need it.

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  7. Why good feedback matters and how to get it

    Teachers give feedback in many different ways, some terribly bad, others very good. The bad ones let you struggle for hours just to correct your essay, not necessarily learning much on the way. The good ones not only allow you to correct your essay, you also feel that you’re learning a lot and won’t make the same mistakes again. This article sets down some guidelines for how to give good feedback, useful for both students and teachers.

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  8. Asking the experts: How to learn Chinese grammar

    Chinese grammar

    How should we learn Chinese grammar? This article collects the best answers from more than 15 experts and experienced learners.

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  9. Learning how to fish: Or, why it’s essential to know how to learn

    How to learn Chinese: Why going to class is not enough

    Learning how to learn Chinese is an essential skill for any student, regardless if you study on your own or in a course. This article explains why going to class is not enough.

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  10. Focusing on tone pairs to improve your Mandarin pronunciation

    When learning to pronounce tones in Chinese, it makes sense to focus on words rather than single syllables. Most words in Chinese are disyllabic and since practising these will also include to tone changes (sandhi), focusing on tone pairs is a very good idea. This article gives you all HSK and TOCFL words, sorted by tone! This is great both for students who need words to practise difficult combinations, but it’s also useful for teachers who need more words to practise these combinations.

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