Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Chinese reading challenge, December 10th to 31st

readingchallengeReading is one of the most important skills when learning a language, but many students go about it the wrong way. The biggest mistake I see is that some students spend all their reading time on intensive reading, meaning that you read difficult texts and try to understand everything. Advancing in your main textbook is intensive reading.

What I think you ought to do in addition to that and in much larger quantities is to read texts that are at or below your current level. You read in order to read a lot, quantity matters more than quality. It’s okay to skip words, it’s even desirable. You read to understand most of what’s going on, but not everything.

To encourage you to read more, this month’s challenge on Hacking Chinese is about reading ability. Join or be left in the dust! This is the last challenge for 2015. To help me improve the challenges next year, please let me know what you think about them by filling in this survey:

Hacking Chinese Challenge survey

Hacking Chinese reading challenge, December 10th to December 31st

This how you sign up and join the challenge:

  1. Sign up (using your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter)
  2. View current and upcoming challenges on the front page
  3. Join the extensive reading challenge
  4. Set a reasonable goal (20-60 minutes per day depending on your situation, minus a few for holiday arrangements, perhaps)
  5. Find suitable learning materials (see below)
  6. Report your progress on your computer or mobile device
  7. Check the graph to see if you’re on track to reaching your goal
  8. Check the leader board to see how you compare to others
  9. Share progress, tips and resources with fellow students

Please note: The challenge starts on December 10th, so even if you can join now, you won’t be able to report progress until then. I post this article today so you have a few days to prepare and find suitable reading material!

What should you read?

Start by looking here:

  1. The 10 best free reading resource collections for learning Chinese I wrote this article in connection with the previous challenge. It’s a collection of reading materials sorted by level.
  2. Hacking Chinese Resources The resource section of Hacking Chinese contains 85 resources tagged with “reading”. Many of them are resource collections where you can find hundreds or even thousands of texts.

If you have other resources that aren’t shared here already, please leave a comment or contact me in any other way. If you want an invite for Hacking Chinese Resources so you can post your resources directly, just let me know. Just to be on the safe side, here are the basic recommendations I offered last time, sorted by proficiency level:




Challenges in 2016

If you haven’t filled out the Hacking Chinese Challenge survey yet, please do so! 2016 will partly look like this year when it comes to challenges, but I will also see how the challenges can be improved. In order to be able to do that, I need your help.


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