Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 14 December 2019. Posted in Front Page

Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

The much anticipated holiday season is finally around the corner. Visiting families and friends, travelling around the world, or staying home receiving all the guests. Holidays can be hectic. What about learning Chinese?

Many hardworking students will for sure pack their Chinese textbooks into their suitcases, believing that holiday is a good time to do some revision, but probably only to bring the textbooks back unopened. And many are determined to stay on the learning track during the break, only to find out that they haven’t done any Chinese study at all. And often enough, after the holiday, they regret it. They feel that they have forgotten everything. They feel they should have done at least a little bit of studying.

You probably won’t forget everything in one holiday. Still, doing a little bit Chinese goes a long way. Here I have got four learning tips for you to do just that, a little bit Chinese during the holiday.

Tip #1: Take a few minutes at a time.

Expecting yourself to block a whole hour each day for learning Chinese is asking too much. You are needed during the holidays, and you are going to get involved in many celebrations and errands all the time. 

Dedicate a few minutes instead. It’s easier to find a few minutes to do some Chinese, during your morning coffee, or right after you get out of the bed.

Tip #2: A short vocabulary list is better than your Chinese textbooks.

No need to pack your Chinese textbooks. Books are heavy and you won’t be able to find time to read them anyway. 

Instead, prepare a short Chinese vocabulary list which you think is important. For example, select a few key words from each lesson, and build a nice one-page vocabulary list. 

Use those few minutes to review these key words and try to recall what the lesson is about. You can have a quick mental review of an entire lesson in a flash.

Tip #3: Write something occasionally.

Send a text message in Chinese, write a Facebook post in Chinese, or keep a journal in Chinese, or simply throw in some Chinese words to your normal writings. Write about the activities you have done, people you have met, the good food you have eaten, or how many bottles of beer you have drank.

All these writings will keep your Chinese fresh, and increase your knowledge retention. 

Tip #4: Listen to your audios.

Let your Chinese audios put you to sleep when possible. Some experts say that your brain continues to function and be more receptive when you’re asleep. And this is the best time to learn subconsciously. You may not realise it after you wake up, but your learning is already there.

Hope you find these tips helpful. And wish you enjoy the festivities and also stay in touch with your Chinese!

About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and the author of two series of Chinese textbooks, Mandarin Express series and Chinese Reading and Writing series, which are highly relevant and very effective for non-Chinese speakers to learn Mandarin Chinese.


April Zhang
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