Chinese 101: Key Mistakes You Should Avoid When Learning

In recent years, scientists, psychologists and educational philosophers have put a lot of time into studying effective educational and learning strategies. Learning a new language through a Chinese course in Singapore can be challenging. However, according to many theories, there are certain methods students and teachers can use to improve retention.

If you are looking to learn Chinese or Mandarin, there are many theories out there about how adults can successfully master the world’s ‘most difficult’ language. Some might say that you should move to a Mandarin-speaking country while others say that adults will never be able to master it as they are too old to learn a new language.

In this article, we will be looking at 3 misconceptions that can hinder your language learning progress and how you can avoid them.

1. “You Are Too Old To Learn A New Language”

When we are younger, our brain is more flexible and receptive to learning new things. As such, learning our native language is often very effortless. Children can even learn without having a teacher to explicitly guide them!

As we grow older, learning languages takes a different form. Our brains need to process the new language logically, which makes it feel more effortful. However, adults have the advantage of their native language to help them. Because we already know how languages work in general, we can use it to make sense of the rules of a new language.

No matter how old you are, you can still learn Chinese and master it when you put in the necessary time and effort!

2. “I Should Stop Thinking In My Native Language”

It is a common occurrence that teachers tell their students to stop thinking in their native language and start thinking in their target language. The problem is: how do you train your mind to think in another language when you’ve been so used to thinking and dreaming in your native language?

Recent theories have proven that comparing your own language to Mandarin isn’t such a bad idea. By using comparisons, you can understand concepts and grammar rules much quicker. For instance, even if your native language doesn’t have genders in its sentence construction, you can still benefit from comparing the different genders of another language to yours.

3. “Practice Speaking Only With A Native Speaker”

Native speakers will typically have different slang words, dialects, and habits in their speech. More often than not, they may have trouble understanding what you are trying to say. Speaking to classmates or non-natives isn’t a learning mistake, but rather part of the learning process.

Whilst talking with a native speaker is beneficial, you should take it much slower in the beginning when speaking to someone on the same language level as yourself.

You will be able to achieve fluency and master a new skill when you put in effort, concentration and practice while attending a Mandarin course in Singapore. It is important to note that there is no perfect way of learning. As long as you can find an effective way that suits your learning style, you’ll be able to master Chinese sooner rather than later!

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