Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning in class’ category

  1. Can you learn Chinese faster by making it harder?

    When learning Chinese, should you focus on extensive learning, where you cover a lot of fairly easy material, or should you throw yourself in at the deep end and make things as difficult as you can and hope you adapt? Can you learn faster by making it more difficult? I have advocated both approaches, which […]

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  2. 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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  3. A student’s guide to comprehension-based learning

    In this third and final article, the focus is on how students can make their own learning comprehension-based, with or without a teacher. It draws from the principles and ideas of the previous articles and allows you to apply these to your own learning.

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. What your Chinese course will not teach you

    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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  10. 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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