Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Immersion’

  1. How to survive and thrive in a difficult Chinese course

    How do you survive a Chinese course that’s too hard for you, regardless if you ended up there on purpose or because of circumstances? What are the key strategies to ensure you stay afloat and learn as much as possible?

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  2. Is taking a Chinese course that’s too hard good for your learning?

    Chinese has a reputation for being hard to learn and it can be even harder if you take a course that is above your level. But why would you do that? What are the potential pros and cons of deliberately seeking out a learning environment where just keeping your head above water will be hard?

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  3. 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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  4. Learning Chinese words: When quantity beats quality

    Any teacher, student or researcher will agree that vocabulary is important, but how should you go about it? What’s the goal? This article argues that a common problem for learners of Chinese is that they spend too much time learning too few words, and that they would be better of aiming for quantity over quality in many cases.

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  5. Chinese is fascinating and exciting, not weird and stupid

    Languages are neither negative or positive in themselves; it’s all in the eye of the beholder. But does it matter what you think about Chinese language and culture? Is it harder to learn Mandarin if you think the language is weird and stupid? This article looks closer at this question, and argues that deliberately adopting a positive approach will lead to better and more enjoyable learning.

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  6. 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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  7. Can you learn Chinese faster by making it harder?

    Throwing yourself into very challenging situations can be great for language learning, but so can focusing on large volumes of easier content too. So when should you use which approach? This article discusses if you can learn faster by making it harder.

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  8. Comprehension-based listening vs deep end immersion

    What works best for improving listening ability, graded content targeted at your specific level or deep-end immersion? The answer is that both approaches are necessary, but which you use depends a lot on practical considerations, as well as how much time and energy you have to invest.

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  9. Learn Chinese faster by leaving your comfort zone

    If you want to learn Chinese faster, you have to make sure you leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself as much and as often as you can. There are many things of doing this, including immersing yourself in language above your current level or putting yourself in situations that demand a higher level of performance. Leave your comfort zone!

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  10. Chinese listening practice with 锵锵三人行

    锵锵三人行 is one of the few Chinese TV programs I actually like. It’s also one of the best ones for language learners too, mostly because of it’s heavy focus on talking, availability of transcripts and variety of both guests and topics. This should be a key component of any immersion effort, but you probably need to be upper intermediate or above to benefit.

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