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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Learning Tips During Holiday

Have you ever packed your Mandarin Express books into your suitcase but didn’t read them? Have you taken your iPod loaded with audio lessons to the beach but didn’t listen to them? As the holiday season draws closer, many people will have a two week school break. They are determined to stay on the learning track during the break, only to find out that they haven’t done any studying at all.

The problem here is that they set their expectations too high. They think they can block an hour each day devoted to learning Chinese, but often find themselves involved in something else all the time. That’s where they fail. But often enough, after the holiday, they regret it. The worst is that they feel that they have forgotten everything. They felt they should have done at least a little bit of studying, if not a lot.

What can you do? Don’t even try to block one hour for learning. You’re not at school any more. Just dedicate a few minutes instead. It’s easier to spend a few minutes during your morning coffee than to try blocking one hour from everything else. Here is how you can do it.

There is no need to pack your students book and workbook. They are heavy and you won’t read them anyway. Instead, prepare a short 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 containing about 30 – 50 words. During your holiday, use a few minutes during your breakfast to review these key words and try to recall what the lesson is about. You can have a quick mental review of one lesson during a cup of coffee.

Second, write a journal in Chinese or partially Chinese. Even the briefest journal will keep your Chinese active. Spend a few minutes and write some words, phrases about your daily activities or people you meet. This journal will not only help you learn Chinese, but also serve as a wonderful souvenir after your holiday.

Third, listen to your audio lessons while you’re sleeping. Some experts say that your brain continues to function and be more receptive when you’re sound asleep. And this is the best time to learn subconsciously. You may not realize it after you wake up, but your learning is already there.

Now armed with these wonderful learning tips, you’ll never “forget everything” during your holiday any more.