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OUR 8 TIPS FOR LEARNING MANDARIN

Before you land in Kunming, are picked up and driven to Keats, it’s important to have a plan of action when it comes to how to study Chinese.

There are so many different tips for studying Chinese, so we figured we’d add our own personal tips for learning the Mandarin language. While it may seem daunting now, we promise when you are seated in the classroom with your teacher, the language won’t seem so foreign.

Take these tips for learning Chinese into consideration.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE – LAY THEM OUT ON THE TABLE

When you arrive at Keats School, you should understand what your goals are for learning the Mandarin language. Lay them out on the table, create a list of goals you want to reach and ones you think are achievable.

When you meet with your teacher, go over these goals. Your teacher will then create a custom learning plan on how to study Chinese to reach these goals.

HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT TO COVER

This tip for learning Mandarin goes along with tip #1.

Before you start at Keats, have an idea of what you want to cover. If your goal is to learn basic Mandarin, maybe you will want to cover the four tones in Mandarin or the different characters to read the language. If you don’t want to focus on reading instead of speaking, you might want to focus on the most basic questions, sentences, and conversations to know and understand.

Again, when you know what you want to cover, let your teacher know. They will be able to guide you in covering these.

DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR YOUR INTENSIVE ONE-ON-ONE CLASS

At Keats School, we focus on intensive one-on-one classes. We see the most success with these classes, and 40% of students come back for a second time after going through intensive one-on-one.

So, this is a great tip for learning Mandarin. Take intensive one-on-one classes instead of signing up for a university course or a big group learning class!

We wrote blog posts about why it’s the easiest way to learn Mandarin in China and why it’s the best study abroad program in China.

But, when you’re planning to take intensive one-on-one lessons, another thing you should think about is your teachers. Not all intensive one-on-one Chinese classes are the same, especially in terms of teacher education and experience.

Our school is accredited by the Provincial Education Department and the Kunming Education Department. This means that the teaching quality is checked by the education department every year. Many schools in China are not accredited.

We have very high standards at Keats when it comes to our teachers. Teachers go through a strict interview process, and they must have a bachelor’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language or English.

We believe this is necessary because it gives teachers a good sense of the language and how it should be taught to others. But it doesn’t stop there. Every two weeks, we hold a teachers’ conference to make sure that the quality of our instruction continues to be top-notch.

SPEND TIME OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM STUDYING

For every hour you spend in the classroom, you should spend an hour studying independently. This doesn’t mean that you have to have your nose in textbooks for the whole hour, but you should be practicing your language skills.

A couple of tips for studying Chinese is taking it outside of Keats School. When you’re not studying, go out to Kunming and explore the city. Use the language skills that you learned that day to practice.

The locals are extremely nice here and will appreciate you trying to learn the language. Don’t be alarmed if they correct you. Take this as helpful and make a mental note of the correction they gave you.

We love that our students spend time outside the Keats classroom because we know hands-on learning and experiences are great ways to engrain the language into the student.

ASK QUESTIONS

There is no such thing as a stupid question. Remember that. The more questions that you ask, the better that you’re going to understand Mandarin Chinese.

When you don’t understand something in your intensive one-on-one session, don’t move ahead. Take the time and sit down with your teacher and allow them to really explain the topic or point.

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to Mandarin and when you want to learn how to study Chinese and speak it fluently, there’s going to be many questions that pop into your head.

Like we mentioned above, our teachers are experienced and will be able to help you. If they don’t know the exact answer right away, they will find it out.

TAKE NOTES

Everyone learns differently. If you learn better by writing things down, take notes. Fill your whole notebook or Google doc with that day’s lesson. Taking notes allows you to return to the topic after the class is finished.

If you learn better by listening, you could record the classes on an audio recorder. This will allow you to revisit the lessons and hear exactly what your teacher said to you.

These notes and audio recordings are great when you are back in your home country. If you’re trying to sharpen up your skills again before coming back to Keats or using your Mandarin language skills in everyday life, a quick review may be the jump your brain needs to remember.

BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEACHER

Your teacher is there for you and sits with you privately for four to six hours a day. They’re going to be your go-to person when it comes to learning Mandarin. They can give you their personal tips for studying Chinese and will answer any concerns you have.

It’s important that you can get along with your teacher and feel comfortable asking them questions.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCE

There are plenty of apps and software available for learning Chinese. However, you need to be able to tell which one is efficient and will work for you. Keats recommends the Chairman’s Bao for improving your Chinese. The Chairman’s Bao is the most comprehensive online Chinese news-based graded reader to Chinese learners.

APPLY TO KEATS TODAY

Those are our 8 tips for learning Mandarin. We hope that these will be a help to you in your Mandarin language journey.

If you’re ready to apply to Keats today, simply fill out our online application form. If you have any more questions in regards to intensive one-on-one, contact us today. We’d be happy to help answer your questions.

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OVER 7300+ STUDENTS HAVE STUDIED AT KEATS

Josh

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.

嶋田京子

嶋田京子 | Japan

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

Kunming’s scenery is very beautiful. It is the best place to study Chinese in China. My favorite learning method at Keats School is one-on-one because it is suitable for everyone. My teacher is very good, very caring, and lovely. My life when learning Chinese in Kunming is very good and the weather is very good. The air is very good. It is good for the elderly’s body.

Claudia

Claudia | Australia

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I’ve been at Keats school and Kunming now for one month doing the one-on-one Chinese lessons with two different teachers. I really enjoy it. Both of my teachers are very friendly and patient. They really helped me to improve my Chinese, both of my reading and speaking. I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming as well. This city is really beautiful and the weather is nice, the air is clean. It’s one of the best cities in China to study Chinese.

Hilary

Hilary | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I’ve had a really great time here. I’ve studied a lot with my teacher who was fantastic. Keats School tried very hard to match its students with really good teachers that their personality works very well together. I really enjoy studying Chinese at Keats and I will definitely come back.

Jean

Jean | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I can’t tell you how much I liked it. The thing I liked about the teachers and the teaching method is that there is so much flexibility. The other thing I liked about the teaching is the combination of classic textbook learning and going outside. I loved it! I like getting to know other students. Everybody shared the same goal and that’s making their Chinese better. Kunming is a big city, but it is very safe to live here. Another thing I liked about Keats is the idea that people here help you. I can’t recommend it enough. I think it was a valuable experience. Looking forward to coming back!

Ramji

Ramji | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

The best part of the school is the patience the instructors had and the time to focus on the fundamentals like pronunciation. I think it is very easy to skip over those and go to vocabulary. But by learning the pronunciation, I feel like it helped me gain a better understanding of the language.

Mike

Mike | Australia

Small Group Chinese Class

I think Kunming is a great city, the weather is really good. I really like Keats school and found it is very organized. The teachers here are very good. They have a coffee shop and new classrooms, a new lounge area here now, so you can chill out with your friends and practice your spoken Chinese with natives. If you’re considering coming to Keats to study, I would really recommend it. It’s the best place to learn Mandarin and I think it will be a great experience for you.

 

Judith

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.

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