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Friday, December 01, 2006

Learning Mandarin is a Commitment

Provide the right materials, the right environment, the right method, learning Mandarin can be fast, but not that fast like you can master this language in one month.

Using the same materials in different ways is a very good way to speed up the process. That is why I made students book, CDs, workbook, audio lessons. But still you need a year to finish Intro Level and Basic Level to develop into a relatively good proficiency.

My definition of advanced learners is near native. They can THINK in Mandarin. Anywhere less than that is not advanced. There is middle point between beginning to near native. At this point, you can communicate in any topics and can understand most of what other native speakers said. You can understand 50-60% of movies without subtitles, or 90% with subtitles, and maybe 30% of news. This point is Intermediate.

If you study consistently using Mandarin Express series, from beginning to intermediate it will take about 1.5 to 2 years. From there to advanced level may take another five to ten years. And after that, you are still learning as the language is a living thing.

So, learning Mandarin is a life long commitment.