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How to be successful at learning Chinese

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A toolkit for how to be successful both inside and outside the language classroom!

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How to be successful at learning Chinese

  1. 1. Chinese as a foreign language Tool kit: Your guide to success!
  2. 2. 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 property 4. Complete and submit all homework tasks on time
  3. 3. Planner Classwork book Homework book Dictation book Folder Laptop Stationary
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. 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 are learning.
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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 class code.
  8. 8. 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: http://emilylaoshi.edublogs.org/
  9. 9. 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 frequently.
  10. 10. 7. Remember that calligraphy is an art form. Have a go at writing Chinese characters with a brush and ink.
  11. 11. 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 characters’) ‘Peng’s Complete Treasury of Chinese Radicals’
  12. 12. 10. Be positive and enjoy it!
  13. 13. 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.
  14. 14. Pay careful attention to how the shape of the mouth and the position of the tongue creates different sounds. 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 school?) 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!
  15. 15. Practice listening to Pinyin and tones Practice writing characters. With the paid version you can input your own sets! Instructs you on how to write the characters correctly. Dictionary
  16. 16. 好 好 学 习!

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