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Mandarin/ Chinese Language Course and Program That Works
Chinese language has never ever been such a popular language for people to learn. Not only for school kids, but also for adults, the ample business opportunity has attracted many people in trying to equip themselves with Chinese language skill.
The best way to master a foreign language is no doubt indulging yourselves into an environment surrounded by that particular foreign language and culture. Yet, most of the time this ideal situation is quite difficult to achieve. Now, if you cannot just drop your job or school and fly to Beijing for a Mandarin language class, below are 5 steps to create your own Chinese language environment:
Step 1. Get a Set of Mandarin Language Course
Do not worry if you can attend a Mandarin language class in Beijing, as you can plan your own study program by using learning aids.
These Mandarin Language Courses come in several formats nowadays. You can easily find courses in interactive software format, DVDs, CDs and box set with books and CD-Roms. Pick the format that suits your lifestyle the best.
Mandarin Learning Softwares
Many successful language program providers also provide comprehensive Chinese language learning softwares. One of the highly recommended series is the Chinese Language Learning software from Rosetta Stone and Berlitz.
Step 2. Load Your Portable Devices with Chinese Learning Applications and E-books
There are many applications and e-books available for downloading to portable devices like Kindle, Iphone, Ipad and other portable devices. These are best on-the-way learning materials to accompany your journeys going to work, travelling or just to fill up some daily waiting time.
Interactive games like phonetic recognizing, word matching or vocabulary identifying games, can reinforce your memory of the language and give tremendous value in your language learning.
Step 3. Listen to Chinese Children Songs
To get you familiar with the sounds - i.e. vowels, consonants and intonation of a language, best thing to do is to listen to songs in that language. To make things simple, children's songs are the best choice to start with. It's ok if you do not understand the content of the songs. The main purpose is to get your pronunciation close to native speakers through songs. Any phonetically transcripted songs, preferably also with translation, would be very helpful for your Chinese learning.
Step 4. Flash Cards at Home
Depends on your purposes of learning Chinese - whether it's for speaking only, or also for reading Chinese characters - you can get flash cards in bookshops or online, or even produce them yourselves.
For learning to read Chinese characters, you can get ready-made flash cards with Chinese characters, phonetic symbols and illustrations on it. These are suitable for both kids and adults who want to learn Chinese characters. You can get them online easily.
If you are targeted in learning speaking only, you can also use the same sets of flash cards, or make your own cards by printing out pairs of Chinese phonics with translation in your mother language. You can stick your flash cards on furniture at home to create a 'Chinese environment'.
Step 5. Talk to Yourself in Chinese for 10 Minutes Everyday
It sounds bit silly suggesting you to talk to yourself, but this method really helps in getting yourself familiar with a foreign language. One of the challenges in learning Chinese or any other foreign languages is the speaking part. When you are not physically located in China, and couldn't find any native Chinese to talk to you, you yourself is the perfect ‘companion’ to speak to. Talk to yourself everyday for 10 minutes, try to make conversation, forming questions, answer your own questions and so forth.
During the process, you would actually realize what your own weak points are, and thus pinpointing to areas that requires further improvement, which can be sentence structure, pronunciation or verb usage, etc.
Another advantage is that you can record your voice and play back afterwards. You can compare your own intonation with the audio files from your Mandarin learning course you have, for instance. You should take it slowly and jot down anything that you think it should be improved.
In time, you’ll notice the difference in your conversation skills.
Share Your Mandarin Learning Experience!
Have you tried learning Mandarin? Are you learning right now? Or do you have any tips to share with others?
Make use of Hubpages to share your story and opinions!
Apply the 5 Steps Gradually Together
Build your own Chinese learning environment around you with the above tips. In 3 to 6 months, you would see the difference in your Mandarin proficiency.