When learning Chinese, or any language for that matter, immersion is the key – that is, completely immersing yourself into the language, maximising exposure and expediting the learning process.
If you are learning Chinese at home, in an English speaking country, that lack of readily available Chinese media and learning materials can make this difficult to near impossible to achieve. Even if you are learning Chinese abroad, in a Chinese speaking country, it may not be easy to ‘fully’ immerse in Chinese, simply because of the high level of English language penetration. This, together with the willingness of locals to speak English at every opportunity, means you’ll have a task on your hands trying to achieve total immersion.
The aim is to cut yourself off from your mother tongue for a prolonged amount of time, at regular intervals. Depending on where you’re learning and other commitments, a prolonged amount of time could be from a few hours every day, to a few days or even weeks if you are aboard. The important thing is that within this time you only read, listen, speak and write in Chinese.
More specifically speaking, what are some of the things you can do to help maintain an immersive environment? The following are all things that are extra to your standard study routines, things that are targeted at reinforcing Chinese around your study:
This list is by no means extensive and meant as a starting point to get you thinking about things you can do to reinforce Chinese and go someway to creating an immersive Chinese environment.
What tips do you have for helping achieve this? Leave a comment below and let us know: