Chinese as a foreign
Tool kit: Your guide to success!
1. Listen in silence when somebody else in the
room speaks to the class
2. Arrive to lessons on time, with all equipment
and be ready to learn.
3. Follow instructions and respect each other and
4. Complete and submit all homework tasks on time
1. Practise your Chinese characters regularly a
few at a time. It can be quite a relaxing break
from other school work. Don’t try to learn too
many in one go.
While some students chant
strokes or learn radicals,
others find it helpful to look
for pictures in the characters;
linking an imaginary picture
with the real meaning can
help in jogging the memory.
Look for patterns or repeated
components in groups you
There will be some you find
easy. These don’t need to
be practised every day, but
you still need to revisit them
quite often. There will be
some- there always are-
that you find particularly
hard. Make sure you give
them extra attention.
At UWCSEA you will be expected to be
inputting new vocab into iLearn.
You will also be expected to complete all
tasks on Quizlet. This will be monitored every
week by the teacher. You will be provided a
5. Look at online Chinese learning programmes
(there are many on the Internet) and computer
games in order to improve your character
recognition, which will make it easier to write.
There are many links to useful sites on Ai laoshi’s teaching blog:
6. Stick post-it notes all around your bedroom
(and bathroom!) with Chinese characters on, so
that you can see the ones you are learning
7. Remember that calligraphy is an art form.
Have a go at writing Chinese characters with a
brush and ink.
The following reference books can be found at Kinokuniya bookshop:
‘Chineasy’ (website & book)
‘Fun with Chinese characters’ x 3 books
‘What’s in a Chinese Character’ (this is a more condensed version of ‘Fun with Chinese
‘Peng’s Complete Treasury of Chinese Radicals’
Practise writing characters using a mini-whiteboard at home. If you haven’t got one I strongly
recommend you buy one!
If you think you have remembered the character try and write it again with your eyes closed. I
know that I have truly remembered a character when I can do it with my eyes closed!
Don’t re-write the same 10 characters 20 times in one day and think that you have
remembered them. Write them each a few times but test yourself again the next day and you’ll
see that you have already forgotten some of them! Keep repeating this each day.
Don’t just practice the characters that you are currently studying in a unit. At the end of the
year you will have a test on all the characters so I suggest you regularly practice recognising
characters that you have studied in past units. This is easy to do on Quizlet!
Try and find common links between characters that you have studied. You will soon begin to
realise that many components are recycled again and again in many characters. Once you
notice these components you won’t have to memorise each individual character you will only
need to remember the components.
Pay careful attention to how the shape of the mouth and the position of the tongue creates
Practise speaking Chinese in front of a mirror (this will prepare you for your speaking exams!)
Always complete the pinyin and tone activities on Quizlet. By forcing yourself to memorise the
tone you will automatically say the correct tone when you speak.
Listen to the vocab recordings when you go to sleep. Your subconscious will be soaking up the
Chinese sounds! In fact, listen to the recordings as often as you can (on the bus to an from
Listen to recordings of sentences in Chinese. First of all listen to the whole sentence first and
then repeat it. Gradually work up to being able to say the whole sentence at the same time as
the recording. This will enable you to get a true sense of the natural pauses between words or
phrases and natural stress on certain parts of sentence. If you can say it at exactly the same
speed, with correct pronunciation and tones then you will sound exactly like a Chinese person!
With the paid
can input your
on how to write