This is an Ad for the Company

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Deliberate Training

When learning Mandarin, there are so many things to cover, grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, writing, characters, comprehension, culture background, etc.

For many people, one thing is on top of the list and that is communication with Chinese people. Communication involves two ways. One is to listen and one is to speak. And there is no short cut to build your listening and speaking skills. Only deliberate training on listening and speaking can help.

You can not and will not speak fluently if you study grammar books and do grammar exercises all day. You can not understand when people talk to you even if you have memorized all the vocabularies one by one. It's not like grammar and vocabulary are not important. They are very important. But only studying them will not help you listen effortlessly and speak fluently. It's like that you exercise your arms a lot with the hope of getting strong legs. You have to, must, train your legs.

You need to train your ears to the sound and train your mouth to the words deliberately!


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Audio Flash Cards

Many people like to make flash cards when learning a new language. They are quite useful and handy. The only problem is that most flash cards are made for the eyes only. So what often happens is that people don't understand when they hear the words.

An improvement is that you can make your flash cards into audio ones. A lot of phones can do the recordings right now. So if you happen to have one of those, that can be quite convenient. If you don't have one, you can use your computer to do the recording. Windows has this feature. You can ask your teacher to record those words, or you can record them yourself. One advantage of doing it yourself is that you can hear yourself talking. If you are not happy about your pronunciations, you can make a conscious effort to improve. And nothing can be more important than a conscious effort.

You can record 20 to 30 words or phrases at a time, and save the audio file into your phone or mp3 player.

The next step is to listen to your home made audio flash cards whenever you got two minutes free!