Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning outside class’ category

  1. Five text games for Chinese learners

    This article is about five text games for Chinese learners. It both introduces the games and asks for feedback about how they can become even more engaging and fun. Each game contains on average roughly 10,000 characters, which makes them on par with a typical graded reader.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Into the Haze: A new text adventure game for Chinese learners

    Into the Haze is an interactive text adventure game for Chines learners. Your brother is missing and you need to enter a city covered in a poisonous haze to find him. The story is presented through text and audio, and depending on your choices, the game will develop differently. If you make bad choices, perhaps because you didn’t fully understand the options, you might fail and will have to try again. Good luck!

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  6. 8 great ways to scaffold your Chinese learning

    Scaffolding is a way of helping you cope with things that is actually too hard. As a student of Chinese, this is something you really need, because the listening and reading material on offer is often way too difficult!

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  7. 10 ways of using games to learn and teach Chinese

    Playing games to learn Chinese

    Playing games is a powerful way of learning languages. Apart from being fun, they also provide an active way to communicate in Chinese, within limits set by the game. This article gives a broad overview of ten different ways you can use games to learn or teach a foreign language.

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  8. 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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  9. 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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  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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