Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning in class’ category

  1. How to improve fluency in Chinese by playing word games

    What if I told you that there is a game that helps you speak Chinese more fluently, is great for improving communicative ability and works well regardless of your current level? What if I said that the game is also fun and free to play?

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  2. Should you enrol in a Chinese course or are you better off learning on your own?

    Some people think enrolling in a course is the best way to learn Chinese, but others say that courses are useless, and swear by the effectiveness of self-studying. So should you enrol in a Chinese course or are you better off learning on your own?

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  3. Why your Chinese isn’t as good as you think it ought to be

    Sooner or later, most students realise that their Chinese isn’t as good as they think it ought to be. Why is that and what can you do about it?

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  4. Chinese language logging, part 1: Why and how to track your progress

    How much time are you investing into learning Chinese? Or is it maybe better to talk about it using a unit other than time, such as how many books you’ve read? Are you reading more than you’re writing? Or is listening, speaking, reading and writing maybe the wrong labels to use?

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  5. What’s the difference between Chinese pronunciation and Pinyin? Does it matter?

    It’s not uncommon for both students and teachers to treat Chinese pronunciation and Pinyin as the same thing, but they are not, and thinking that they are can lead to certain problems.

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  6. My best advice on how to learn Chinese characters

    This is an overview of how to learn Chinese characters, including understanding how they work, how to learn to read and write them, as well as how to remember the characters you have learnt. Tools and resources related to characters are also covered!

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  7. 20 tips and tricks to improve your Chinese writing ability

    Writing is one of the four basic language skills, and one that learners of Chinese struggle with a lot. Good writing is based on lots of reading, but beyond that, there are plenty of other things you can do to improve your writing ability in Chinese beyond the characters themselves. Here are twenty tips and tricks!

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  8. Should you learn the names of the strokes in Chinese characters?

    Some teachers insist on teaching the names of the strokes that make up Chinese characters, but is learning them worthwhile or just a waste of time?

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  9. How to not teach Chinese characters to beginners: A 12-step approach

    This is a guide for how to not teach Chinese characters, based on more than a decade of observing terrible teaching and worst practices. Which of these have you seen?

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  10. Why not going to China now could actually be good for your Chinese

    Do you have to go abroad to learn Chinese? Will you learn Chinese simply by living abroad? And if you go, does it matter when you go if you can only stay for a short time? This article argues that it does matter when you go, and that you’re better off not going immediately as a pure beginner.

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