Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Attitude and mentality’ category

  1. The nine principles of learning (and the mistakes from failing to follow them)

    In 2014, Scott Young spent 100 days learning Chinese, after which he was able to speak freely on a wide range of topics, as well as pass HSK 4. Since then, he’s continued exploring effective learning and has now published a book called Ultralearning. He hasn’t abandoned Chinese, though, and in this article, he discusses nine important principles for effective learning and how they relate to studying Chinese.

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  2. 101 questions and answers about how to learn Chinese

    This is the biggest collections of questions and answer about how to learn Chinese anywhere. The questions are sorted into categories, and each question is answered briefly before links to further information is provided. If you have a question about how to learn Chinese, you’re very likely to find the answer here! If your question hasn’t been answered, please consider leaving a comment!

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  3. Training your Chinese teacher, part 1: Introduction

    Finding a good Chinese teacher is not easy, but there are many things you can do to get more out of the time you spend with your teacher. In this article, I discuss being taught Chinese in general, including things you should do as a student, as well as things you might want to train your Chinese teacher to do, if they aren’t already doing them. This article is the first in a series focusing on how to train your Chinese teacher.

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  4. Learning Chinese as an introverted student

    Introverts are not necessarily worse language learners than extroverts, but not taking or creating opportunities to speak Mandarin will slow you down. In this article, I share some methods I’ve used to compensate for this as an introvert learner.

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  5. Learning to unicycle, learning anatomy and learning Chinese

    Is learning Chinese more like learning to unicycle or like learning anatomy? It strongly depends on what we’re talking about more precisely. Some aspects of language learning are skills akin to unicycling, others are more about knowing and understanding.

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  6. Is it necessary to learn the stroke order of Chinese characters?

    Stroke order and direction can feel like something difficult and unnecessary for beginner Chinese students, but it is important that you get the order right from the start. Most teachers and textbooks will tell you that; this article explains why!

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  7. 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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  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. 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. 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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