How to self-study Mandarin with a focus on listening and speaking

Self-study Mandarin needs good learning materials, useful resources and strong self-determination. 

At MSL Master, we can provide the first two.

The expected result

MSL Master provides four Mandarin courses that are produced for students to teach themselves speaking Mandarin.

To begin with these courses, no prior knowledge of Mandarin is required. The learning medium is pinyin. Students are not required to learn how to read and write Chinese characters.

On completing these four courses, students will be able to navigate well in a Chinese speaking environment. They will be able to present their ideas, request information, order food in Chinese restaurants, carry on interesting conversations with Chinese people, and so on.

Self-study courses

These four courses are below, shown as the learning sequence:

  1. Mandarin Express Intro Level A
  2. Mandarin Express Intro Level B
  3. Mandarin Express Basic Level A
  4. Mandarin Express Basic Level B

Each course includes a Student’s book, a Work Book, audio lessons, and review videos.

Mandarin Express books are a series of communication based Chinese textbooks. The first two levels, Intro and Basic Levels, have pinyin included to help students learn listening and speaking quickly. 

Audio lessons are produced based on corresponding textbooks. In each audio lesson, English is used to explain the meanings of words, to clarify sentence structures, and to give instructions. As students progress, the use of English is gradually reduced.

To support students’ study, animated short videos are produced for students to practice speaking Mandarin. All videos consist of only images and some background music. Students can describe the videos in Mandarin, add more information, or improvise will full details.

When students have questions, want to check answers or have some feedback, they can sign up for an online tutoring session.

Self-study routine

To achieve the expected learning result, the following self-study routine is recommended:

  1. Start an audio lesson;
  2. Listen, repeat, and talk back;
  3. Listen again when necessary;
  4. Use the Student’s Book as reference after listening to the audio lesson, and complete basic exercises provided in the book;
  5. Complete exercises of that lesson in the Work Book;
  6. Watch the corresponding review video of that lesson and practice telling stories;
  7. Join an online tutoring session if have questions;
  8. Start the next audio lesson.

In this recommended self-study routine, listening is brought into the core of the learning process. Any new information is first encountered by ears. This allows students to be free from the confusions caused by pinyin, and helps students get their pronunciations right from the start.

Textbooks are used later to support and to re-enforce each audio lesson. The exercises in the Work Books, especially the listening exercises, will consolidate students’ learning and improve their understanding greatly.


More information about the four courses

Mandarin Express Intro Level A

Starting from pinyin, Mandarin Express Intro Level A introduces 300 essential words and phrases based on ten fundamental topics, such as self introduction, getting around town, and food.

This book is to re-enforce the key vocabularies and important sentence structures appeared in the Student’s Book. Exercises range from differentiating words to comprehending passages.

Include 10 main lessons and 2 review lessons.

Starting from pinyin, these audio lesson enables students to introduce themselves in Mandarin in a sophisticated and coherent manner and to have meaningful social interactions in life and at work. 

Short animated videos are provided as basic materials for students to practice speaking Mandarin.

Mandarin Express Intro Level B

This book introduces another ten fundamental topics, such as jobs, weather, interests and leisure activities. Around 300 new words and structures are introduced in a conversational style.

This book offers sufficient exercises in various forms. Targeted words, phrases and patterns are repeatedly used in these exercises to ensure students get enough repetition.

Include 10 main lessons and 2 review lessons. 

Building up from the previous lessons, these audio lessons give students the ability to speak Mandarin in a wide social spectrum, and to speak Mandarin with confidence and clarity.

Short animated videos are provided as basic materials for students to practice speaking Mandarin.

Mandarin Express Basic Level A

This book covers very important topics, such as work schedule, music, trips and neighbourhoods. Highly useful words and phrases are taught to further students’ conversational ability.

This book is for students to practice words, phrases and important sentence structures taught in the Student’s Book, as well as to recap the words and structures appeared in the Intro Level.

Include 10 main lessons and 2 review lessons. 

These Mandarin audio lessons introduce important vocabulary and structures around ten superb topics, which will bring students’ conversational ability to a new level.

Short animated video are made for students to practice story telling or making conversations.

Mandarin Express Basic Level B

This book teaches another ten important topics, such as emotions, complains, fitness, and geography, to further develop students’ Mandarin listening and speaking ability.

This book emphasises overall understanding of Chinese. Words, and sentence structures being practiced in this book include both the new ones and the ones in the previous books.

Include 10 main lessons and 2 review lessons. 

These audio lessons teach a small size of new vocabulary and have reduced English explanations. Students will consolidate learning and prepare for future studies.

Short animated video are made for students to practice story telling or making conversations.


How to order learning materials

Mandarin Express textbooks and audio lessons can be ordered here.

Review video clips are free to access.


CONTACT

April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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(852) 9739 8065

ADDRESS

MSL Master
3/F, Dah Sing Life Building
99-105 Des Voeux Road Central
Hong Kong

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