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

The biggest advantage of self-study Mandarin is that it gives great flexibilities to students.  

At MSL Master, we have produced four Mandarin audio courses and corresponding Chinese textbooks for students to do just that. These audio courses are focused on Mandarin listening and speaking.

Basic information about Mandarin audio courses

These four audio courses consist of a total of 48 pre-recorded Mandarin audio lessons. Each audio course has 12 audio lessons, which are 10 main lessons and 2 review lessons. 

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. 

All audio courses are supported by Mandarin Express textbooks.

These four audio courses are:

This audio course is for beginners students. Starting from pinyin, it enables students to introduce themselves in Mandarin in a sophisticated and coherent manner and to have meaningful social interactions in life and at work. 

This is the second Mandarin audio course in the series. Building up from the previous one, this course gives students the ability to speak Mandarin in a wide social spectrum, and to speak Mandarin with confidence and clarity. 

As the third one in the series, this Mandarin audio course introduces important vocabularies around superb topics and provides sufficient listening exercises, which will bring students’ conversational ability to a new level. 

This is the last audio course in the series. It features a small size of new vocabularies and reduced English explanations. With ample exercises, this course will consolidate students’ learning and prepare them for their future studies.

Self-study routine

Listening skill is a difficult one to improve. Using Mandarin audio courses can address this issue at its roots. 

In the following 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.

The recommended self-study routine is:

  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. Start the next audio lesson. 

Practice speaking Mandarin

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. 

Students are encouraged to watch these videos and make each one of them an exciting story:

Another way to practice speaking Mandarin is to sign up for an online group tutoring session. Students can have their questions answered, have some genuine exchanges in Mandarin, and get feedback on their progress.

The expected result

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

These Mandarin audio courses and Mandarin Express textbooks can be ordered here.


April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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(852) 9739 8065


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