Chinese is becoming more and more popular worldwide, with people from different countries embracing it as a global language. This highlights the importance of learning Chinese. However, non-native speakers face challenges in mastering the language, mainly because they are not exposed to a Chinese-speaking environment. That’s why immersive learning has emerged as a highly effective approach in recent years. Let me share with you the story of Justin, a high school student from Sheffield, United Kingdom who’s passionate in learning Mandarin.
Justin started learning Chinese with me one year ago. He had already immersed himself in various immersive methods before studying with me, which laid the foundation for his Chinese proficiency. I want to share these impactful immersive methods, along with another important immersive method, i.e. learning from a live instructor, in the hope that they can benefit teens who aspire to become proficient in Chinese.
Justin actively sought out people on platforms like HelloTalk who were native Chinese speakers. This allowed him to practice speaking Chinese on a daily basis. Interacting with native speakers facilitates a natural language acquisition process and provides insights into the cultural aspects of the language. In addition to language exchange apps like HelloTalk, you can also explore other avenues like connecting with Chinese language partners on Facebook Groups and communicating through WhatsApp, WeChat, video calls, or voice calls on a regular basis.
Directly interacting with native Chinese speakers is one of the most effective ways to immerse oneself in the language. Justin shared, “I love Chinese cuisine, so I often visit local Chinese restaurants, which gives me the chance to talk to the owners and staff in Chinese. I also make an effort to support local businesses owned by Chinese so I have more opportunities for speaking Chinese. Many of these interactions have turned into meaningful friendships. Through these exchanges, I’ve learned a lot more Chinese and become more familiar with Chinese culture.”
This method is enjoyable and straightforward, making it a great way to immerse oneself in the language. Justin frequently watches Chinese TV shows, movies, and listens to Chinese songs. This helps him improve his pronunciation, intonation, grammar, vocabulary, and at the same time gain insights into Chinese culture and society. He particularly enjoys Chinese sitcoms like “Home with Kids” and “Love Apartment” because they are entertaining and also feature a lot of authentic Chinese vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.
Learning from experienced live instructors is one of the most efficient immersive methods. In our live one-to-one Chinese lessons, Justin and I primarily communicate in Chinese, with no English used until when it is necessary. This immersive environment provides Justin with genuine exposure to the Chinese language, enhancing his speaking and listening skills. As a dedicated Chinese teacher, I personalize the content and methodologies to meet Justin’s learning needs and level, optimizing his Chinese acquisition. After taking Chinese lessons with me for one year, Justin is now ready to take a graduation trip to China independently. I feel immensely proud of his achievements in Chinese learning.
Immersing in a Chinese environment is an effective and engaging approach to mastering the language. If you or your kid aspire to achieve rapid and effective Chinese fluency like Justin, you can try the above methods that you think are appropriate and doable.
Of course, if you are interested in a free trial lesson with me, sign up here and I will always be ready to help.