How to Study Chinese (or anything). How you study matters. If you are learning Chinese or another language, plan on spending a lot of time practicing. Why not studying as efficiently as possible? If you are taking on learning Mandarin, you probably already have some good study skills. A few improvements in how you study may make your journey a little faster.
The Science of Study
A graphic called The Science of Study explains how you learn new material. Your brain is made up of cells called neurons, which are connected by synapses. When you learn a new Chinese word, you store this information in different location in your brain. As you master the new vocabulary word, the different synapses that store this information begin to fire together. This process is how you really learn the new material.
Your Learning Style
There are at least three learning styles which include: Kinesthetic, Visual and Audial. Most people learn material in more than one way. You will learn Chinese (or anything) faster if you understand and adapt your study habits to your learning style(s).
Kinesthetic Learning -Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. Tips include writing out material, actively participate in the attack, create your own study materials, try to develop your own way to understand the material.
Visual Learning – Visual learners learn by seeing something. Tips include reading and developing flashcards. You will also benefit by taking detailed notes that you can review. Recopy your material so that you see it again. Prepare a visual presentation.
Audial Learning – Audial learners learn by hearing something. Tips include taping classes, listening to audiobooks, talking over the material with another student. You can also develop a lecture.
Take this test on about.com to determine your personal learning style.
How You Study Chinese Matters
How you take on learning Chinese will have an impact on how quickly you can speak the language. Study for short periods rather than longer sessions. Quiz yourself regularly. Figure out your own learning style and follow the tips listed above. Our final tip for you is to find someone else to teach. We are working on a plan to help you connect and schedule with other students. We’ll announce more details soon.