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Chinese reading app review – maayot

Do you think learning Chinese is too difficult? You don’t have enough time to study? Maybe you don’t find enough interesting learning materials online?

These issues are very common for Chinese learners at any levels. If you are still searching for your best way to learn Chinese for, you are in the right place. Today, we are introducing to you a new Chinese learning website, maayot.

maayot is a platform dedicated to enhance your Chinese reading capabilities. It is quite unique in its teaching materials: they essentially consist of short stories, divided into three difficulty levels. However, there is more to it than you think.  Here is why:

Every story is short, concise and will take you no more than a couple of minutes

maayot’s strength lies in the beautiful simplicity of its short stories that introduce new words to the learner. You don’t have to spend much time on it, you can quickly read it whenever you need, there isn’t too much effort you need to spend. You can literally just go through it when taking a subway or having a coffee break at work. All these things help you establish a learning routine.

New words are introduced in a broader context

maayot’s introduction of new words is approachable and intelligent. Since all new words are placed in a broader context of a short story, it helps you learn them as popular phrases rather than single words, what in turn makes them easier to remember and more natural to use in the future. Moreover, each new word is also presented with more example sentences.

Every story is available on audio

When learning new languages, we need an audio recording. We can’t learn Chinese efficiently by only reading textbooks, listening is equally important. maayot proves very useful with its native speakers’ recordings of each story. The voice is pretty pleasant and natural. Therefore, when reading a story on maayot, you also grasp the pronunciation of in a basic listening lesson.

Smart character scheduling to better remember characters

If you see a new word you haven’t learnt in a story just yet, it will re-appear over the next few days in different stories. This way, you’ll see the same word in different stories and contexts, ensuring you can better remember it.

Its graded materials help you with your HSK exam

maayot’s lessons are divided in HSK levels and they focus on HSK vocabulary. If you are preparing for your exam, it can be extremely helpful. Not only does it introduce new HSK vocabulary but also teaches you how to use it and makes it easier to remember by presenting it in a broader context.

You can check how much you understood with a simple quiz and writing exercise

Endless repetition of words has little effect on learning Chinese. What is more important is learning how to use them. This is why each story on maayot comes not only with an audio recording, but also a short quiz. Taking a quiz will help you make sure that you understood the text, including the new vocabulary it introduced. It also makes this new vocabulary much easier to remember. At the final step, you also take a short writing exercise related to the text and then you finish all your homework for the day.

It helps you learn Chinese efficiently thanks to an intelligent system of regular lessons

When learning a language, being systematic is a key. Systematic learning allows you to absorb information more easily and with less effort. The human brain does not like to be burdened with a mass of information in a short time but it copes better with systematic absorption of smaller batches of material. This is what maayot knows very well. Its entire Chinese learning design is based on short-timed systemic learning. As a free user, you can access one story every 7 days.

It is available as an app

You can download the entire thing on your mobile and just scroll down your Chinese stories in the subway.

As you can see, maayot can prove to be a great help with your Chinese learning. However, it is worth remembering that no Chinese learning website is perfect for everybody.

It specializes in Chinese reading

If you are searching for an all-encompassing Chinese course, you may be disappointed: maayot does not do that. It builds upon what you already know and helps you expand. It is more a learning supplement rather than an independent course. Its main focus is Chinese reading and it does it very well. But if you need to practice speaking, search for something else. However, there is a very good side to this: maayot is specialized. It does not pretend it can teach you everything, but focuses on delivering specified results.

Daily speaking and writing corrections from teachers

With maayot you don’t get to only read a daily story, you also get to practice your understanding with speaking and writing corrections. Every day, you are given a short passage to read out, you’ll then get your tones corrected by a teacher. You also get to write a short passage and get unique corrections by a teacher for you.

For maayot, less is more

maayot focuses on small quantity and regularity. You won’t find there a lot of material at once, but that material will be gradually introduced to you when the time comes. It makes it less discouraging, but won’t help much if you, for instance, need to master all HSK vocabulary very quickly. This is why it is better for long-termed learning.

Should you learn Chinese on maayot?

There are several things to consider in order to answer this question. Remember that the choice of a Chinese learning platform depends on you and your needs. Therefore, you should definitely check maayot out if:

  • You are a busy person that gets distracted with long texts
  • You generally feel you need an improvement of your reading skills
  • You always wanted to read in Chinese, but haven’t really found anything good enough for yourself
  • You have problems with establishing a discipline in Chinese learning
  • You want something less overreactive in comparison to apps like Duolingo

If you thought “That’s me!” when skimming through the statements above, you should definitely consider starting with maayot now.

However, when should you not use maayot? As we have said, there is no perfect Chinese learning website because everyone has different objectives and needs. How do you know that maayot is NOT for you?

    • You search for something to practice speaking or conversation
    • You know that short stories are just not for you and you prefer reading something else
    • You want to receive a lot of materials at once and prefer to structure your learning by your own

In either case, we think maayot works great hand-in-hand with the Keats Chinese Language Programs.

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Joep | Netherlands
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Since last semester, we started studying Chinese at Keats. It was the best choice we can ever make. It is a really good school. The classes are a lot of fun, you learn a lot, but very interactive, so you talk a lot which means it is not just books and writing. Kunming is a really pleasant city to live in, especially if you compare it to other cities in the east. If you like to travel, if you like to study Chinese in a fun way, Keats has the best Chinese language program for you.

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SJOERD | Netherlands
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