The 2019 National Chinese Language Conference is going on today. But as you can see from my last post, I just finished my finals and am on summer break now. Learning is the LAST thing on my mind.
At the end of every summer break, going back to school can be such a drag, especially if my brain has been on vacation-mode all summer. Even holding a pencil can seem foreign!
While learning Chinese, or any new language for that matter, is enriching and very rewarding, it is also HARD. If I go even a week without practicing my reading, writing, or speaking skills, I will forget a lot of what I learned. To commemorate the 2019 National Chinese Conference (and hopefully motivate you to continue learning Chinese over the summer), here are some tips on how to keep up your Chinese studies:
1 Duolingo, LinguaLift, etc.
We’ve all seen those hilarious Duolingo memes. There are plenty of really useful and fun apps that encourage language learning. From casual beginners to serious language learners, there is an app out there for you. Best of all, most of these apps are free! I recommend Duolingo for beginners and LinguaLift for more advanced learners.
2 Intensive Language Program
Now, this was my introduction to Chinese last summer. My school (Indiana University) offered a summer language program that was designed to teach a year’s worth of Chinese in just eight weeks. On top of that, there was a language pledge, where we promised to speak as much Chinese as possible, even outside of class. It was the most intense learning experience in my whole academic career. I came in barely knowing any Chinese but left at an advanced intermediate level! On top of that, I made some of my best friends from this program.
I highly recommend looking into an intensive summer language program at a school near you!
3 Online Language Tutor
There are online services such as iTalki that offer 30-60 minute conversation and tutoring sessions through Skype. This is a great way to get practice speaking Chinese, especially since speaking and learning tones are some of the most challenging aspects of learning Chinese.
4 TVs, Movies, Music
One of the best ways to improve your listening skills is by just watching Chinese movies and TV shows. If you are a beginner, there are some really great Chinese-dubbed cartoons and animes that are easy to follow. We have PLENTY of recommendations on Chinosity for you to check out, like Chinese Movies on Netflix and Chinese Music Playlist!