3 Ways To Improve Your Chinese
Learning a language is about communication! Sometimes, there is a breakdown in communication.
Warning: Miscommunications ahead
In the world of learning a second language, you will likely have encountered all sorts of claims:
“Learn a new language in 5 minutes!”
“10 Language Hacks to become fluent by tomorrow!”
However, as most of us have figured out, real life doesn’t work that way. In real life, there are two primary schools of thought on learning a second language:
The traditional way teaches language in ways that are similar to math or science (subject + verb + object = complete sentence). This method uses grammar formulas from day one of class and teaches new words through translation (eg. cup = bei zi).
However currently, most polyglots and language experts worldwide are recognizing an important reality that alters the way we teach languages. The way you learn a second language should be the same way you learned your mother tongue.
At Brilliance Learning Center, we use this natural acquisition approach to help our students achieve their language goals faster and more effectively. So, after helping 100s of foreigners learn Mandarin, we have put together 3 keys to learning a second language more effectively:
Large Amounts of Comprehensible Input
- Comprehensible input is language input that can be understood by listeners, despite them not understanding all the words and structures in it. This input is one level above that of the learner’s current abilities.
- In other words, if you are new to Mandarin, you can watch Chinese TV all day long, but it’s not going to make much of a difference in your language acquisition. On the other hand, if you have a group of local friends that are willing to ‘dumb down’ their language to more of a 2-3-year-old level, you will pick up enormous amounts of words, grammar and sounds/tones of the language naturally. As a newborn, your first year of life was almost all listening (to baby talk) and responding, with very little talking. But daily, on-going comprehensible input set you up to be basically fluent/conversational by 3 years old.
- Practical Application: Get a tutor, conversation partner, or find content online that is very simple and spend as much time as possible soaking up the language.
CONSISTENCY is more important than quantity
- 15-20 minutes/day, every day is GREATER THAN 2-4 hours/1 day per week.
- Practical Application: Find a system that works for you and you enjoy, AND STICK WITH IT!
The daily commute: short daily study sessions are better than one long cram
Make an ENORMOUS number of MISTAKES
- “It takes more than 10,000 mistakes to learn a language” – anonymous
- Accuracy Trap: The goal of learning a language is fluency, not accuracy. If you focus too much on accuracy (heavy emphasis on perfect grammar/tones/pronunciation/etc.), you will learn significantly slower. Instead, we encourage our students to focus on fluency by trying to use the language all the time.
- Practical Application: Don’t depend on translators or friends with better language skills than you. Risk trying to communicate yourself first before calling on your friend to bail you out.
Implement these keys and watch your language skills grow!
Brilliance Learning Center offers a full menu of opportunities to take your language to the next level:
1. Mandarin Corner. Every Thursday night, from 7:45 to 9:00pm
2. Full-Time Students: 1 on 1 classes
3. Part-time Students: 1 on 1 or Small group (2-4) classes
4. Kid’s Mandarin Classes
5. Short-term Language Intensives
6. HSK Prep
7. Conversation Partners (Standard Mandarin Speakers who you can talk to for 1 hour of practice)
9. Character Class/Chinese Calligraphy
10. Fun events around the city and Sichuan
11. Language Learning & Chinese culture WeChat group with helpful & fun weekly content
*all class can be held at our offices or at the location of your choosing
一环南路四段19号 武侯区 成都A区 1-2-209
#19 1st Ring Road, South Section 4, Wuhou District, Chengdu A Qu, Building 1, Unit 2, #201
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or email us at email@example.com for more info
Tags: Chengdu Chinese language Learning