Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning in class’ category

  1. Student Q&A, April 2024: Learning chengyu, listening to yourself and using role-playing games to learn Chinese

    Is recording and listening to your own Chinese useful for improving your speaking ability? How can you use chengyu to expand your repertoire? And how can role-playing games be utilised to improve your spoken Chinese?

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  2. Real communication: What it is, why you want it and how to get it

    A language is a structured system used for communication, so the idea to focus on communication when learning Chinese sounds obvious, but it’s surprisingly new and rarer than you think!

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  3. How to learn Chinese in the long term with intrinsic motivation

    While strong motivation doesn’t necessarily accelerate your learning or improve your memory, without it you won’t spend enough time learning Chinese. So how can you stay motivated for months, years and even decades?

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  4. Student Q&A, March 2024: Reading aloud, finding word boundaries, and working actively with reading materials

    How can you improve your ability to read aloud in Chinese? How can you learn to see where a word starts and ends in a text? And how can you make sure you get the most out of your reading practice?

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  5. Student Q&A, January 2024: Chinese music, too much Mandarin in the classroom, and listening in noisy environments

    Is listening to music a good way to learn Chinese? How can you learn to understand Mandarin spoken in noisy environments? And what if your teacher speaks only Chinese, but you don’t understand what she says?

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  6. Student Q&A, December 2023: How many words to learn, if it’s good to learn radicals, and whether to learn simplified or traditional characters

    How many words is reasonable to learn in a day? Will focusing on radicals make learning characters easier? And should you learn simplified or traditional characters, or maybe both?

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  7. Why flashcards are great for learning Chinese

    The humble flashcard: A key component in a successful strategy, or a distraction from what truly matters? Few things have sparked as much debate as the use of flashcards for learning a foreign language.

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  8. Student Q&A, October 2023: Expanding vocabulary quickly, learning by watching videos and nailing dictation tests

    How do you build a broad vocabulary in Chinese quickly? How do you best use video-sharing platforms to boost your learning? And how should you study to nail all your 听写 or dictation?

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  9. Should you throw away your Chinese textbook?

    Many students rely on textbooks to learn Chinese, but is this a good idea? Some people say that to unleash your full potential, you should throw your textbook away.

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  10. Seeing through the illusion of advanced Chinese learning

    Courses and textbooks encourage narrow but advanced proficiency in Chinese, but if you want to be able to communicate well, you need to see through the illusion.

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