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HOW TO LEARN BASIC MANDARIN: OUR 6 USEFUL TIPS

Learning Mandarin will take patience, effort and a lot of determination. This is the case for almost anything you’re going to master, especially learning a new language later on in life.

Let’s be honest, you’re not going to be fluent in basic Mandarin in 2 weeks of language learning through an app. And if you’re thinking of going that way, you’re not going to fully comprehend the language, the characters and the tones. It’s just not possible to learn such a comprehensive language in two weeks.

Instead, come to Keats School in Kunming, China and we’ll teach you the language. We offer 8 different study courses and each are customizable for you and your needs. When you decide to come to Keats, you’re going to need a plan for the Mandarin language and don’t worry we have your back.

Here are 6 useful tips when trying to master a new language.

CREATE CONCRETE GOALS


Many people will start with the main goal, “I want to learn the Chinese language,” and think that an app will do the trick. But that’s not very helpful.

You need to create concrete goals to help with your motivation and learning. To be most effective, ask yourself why you want to learn Mandarin and how it will benefit you. Do you want to learn basic Mandarin to add the skill to your resume? What about communicating better with clients at work? Or is all this just for fun? Use these answers to come up with your concrete goals.

Your new set of goals will help you create a personalized learning plan, but we’ll get to that a bit later.

IDENTIFY SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM GOALS

Now that you have your concrete goals, split them up into short-term and long-term goals.

Realistically think about how much time you can give to Mandarin learning and use this as a base to build from.

Your short-term goal may be learning basic Mandarin and understanding simple characters. Or, in six months, you may want to be able to read a Mandarin book or understand a television show.

Your long-term goal may be to study in China, spend a year at Mandarin School, or work for a Chinese company.

Be sure to be specific in setting your goals. While understanding simple characters is a great goal, why not break it down a bit. You can create a goal like “Learn 20 new Chinese characters every month.”

CREATE A SCHEDULE


The best way to learn Mandarin is by professional teachers, not by an app. Keats School offers each student a customizable schedule. You pick the course you want out of our eight options, and we sit down with you once you’re here to create your plan to become fluent.

We learn about your skills, needs, and wants in this course and create a fully customized schedule for you. You can take Mandarin lessons anywhere between 4-6 hours a day.

To really learn Mandarin, you will need to be working on it every day, even outside of the classroom. Studying at Keats allows you to practice your Mandarin during the evenings at Culture Classes or on the weekends when you’re exploring the beautiful city of Kunming.

TAKE PART IN ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF CLASS


Like we said above, it’s important to practice your language skills outside of the classroom. This means taking part in activities.

If you’re studying at Keats, there are a handful of options that you can do. We offer Study + Volunteer class options, which is a great way to practice your Mandarin skills with others. While you’re volunteering, try to talk with locals who don’t know your first language.

This will push you to remember new words, use different phrases and experiment with your ability.

Even if you’re not volunteering but just exploring the local city, try to speak in Mandarin.

Keats School also offers Culture Classes in the evening. These classes are a great way to form friendships with other Keats students and talk Mandarin. If you’re struggling with a word, phrase, or tone, another classmate will probably be able to help you.

TRY READING BASIC MANDARIN

When you learn your first language, you probably read aloud. Reading aloud ensures that you’re practicing the Chinese tones, and you can be critical and practice how you sound to others.

A great way to start is picking up a couple of Chinese language kids’ books. Children’s books have simple Mandarin and will be the easiest to learn with.

WORK WITH A TEACHER TO MASTER THE TONES


We’ve talked about tones already in this blog post and in previous posts, but they’re essential in this language. If you’re hoping to become a Mandarin star, you will have to focus on the tones.

Our teachers at Keats can help with that.

We offer an intensive one-on-one language course where it’s just you and a teacher. During these sessions, our teachers will help you understand and practice the different Mandarin tones.

THE TIME IS NOW

While we can give you a handful of tips on learning the Chinese language over the internet, why not come to our school? And we’ll share with you hundreds more.

Our teachers are professional, use the latest and professional teaching methods and go through ongoing training.

To learn more about our Mandarin study options, visit our courses page. Or to begin the application process, visit our application section of the website.

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OVER 7000+ STUDENTS
HAVE STUDIED AT KEATS

Matteo | Italy
Small Group Chinese Class

I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming at Keats. The teachers are great and my classmates are awesome. It is an unforgettable experience for me. I also got the chance to travel to other places in Yunnan. Those places are amazing and you definitely need to visit these places when you study Chinese in China at Keats.

Kristen | Canada
Small Group Chinese Class

I have really enjoyed the Chinese course in China at Keats and meeting the teachers here and the students. We have a lot of fun in class. It is a really great school to learn with good teaching methods and a really good textbook, examples and games, and everything.

Pakorn | Thailand
Small Group Chinese Class

It is very convenient to come to Kunming from Thailand. I really like my Chinese class and my Chinese improved a lot in a few months. There are many benefits of learning Chinese. The best thing I like about Keats is that it is in Kunming, a city with eternal spring. There is so much to see in Kunming and you will love this city after you come.

Josh | USA
Small Group Chinese Class

I really had a wonderful experience at the school. The teachers are very very friendly. In my class, we practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing. We play games and other fun activities. We have trips around town. The staff at Keats is phenomenal. My teacher is one of the best teachers I have ever had in my educational experience. She comes in with a smile every day.

David | Australia
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

It has been notable because I have met a lot of people who I met first time last year like me to come back to Keats this year. The teaching has been fantastic. The teachers carefully prepare each lesson. I think this one-on-one approach is really a great way to rapidly increase your level of Chinese and increase your confidence and fluency with the language.

Judith | USA
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

Listening and speaking in the classroom every day has improved my communication skills. After three weeks, my new words and sentences became more and more natural and fluent. Now I am used to thinking in Chinese, and I understand better what other people say, to be able to have real conversations with other people.

Dr. Med. Beatrice | Austria
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I decided to learn Chinese in Kunming because I like smaller cities and I like the climate here. We had four hours a day study here and my dear teacher taught me very much and never lost her patience with me. It was a really wonderful experience to be here and I recommend Keats school and the teachers here to everyone who likes to learn Chinese in China.

Rients | Netherlands
Small Group Chinese Class

Kunming is a great place to learn Chinese in China because not many Chinese on the street speak English. Keats has been a great school for me and a lot of other foreigners who studied in China recommended it to me. I think they are all right. The study method here is really structured. They make learning Chinese really easy. There are also a lot of cultural and natural places to visit.

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