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How This Expat Found an Efficient Way to Learn Chinese

Apr. 2, 2020

My name is John and I’m a student from Canton, USA. I currently study Chinese at a university in Zhejiang where I arrived a little under a year ago. I took the HSK advanced oral exam and did not pass, so I decided to stay in China a little longer to learn the language better.

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In America, not many people know Chinese. It is only taught in some schools and the teaching is not nearly as good as in China. I took some Chinese lessons at a local Chinese school but didn’t gain much improvement. That’s the reason why I chose to come to China; to truly learn the language. People in the USA who speak Chinese well are usually native to China or speak often with fluent speakers. I would love to be fortunate enough to be in a situation like that as my experience with native speakers and those fluent in Chinese.

There were some things that caused me to be apprehensive about learning Chinese. I knew I had to make new friends in China in order to be successful at learning Chinese and be happy. I also knew that I needed to learn the language better by practicing it. The third thing was that I needed to learn the culture to truly understand the language. Lastly, the threat of the virus caused me great stress and anxiety about passing my advanced oral exam.

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In the end, I’m happy with my decision to come to China. I got a little help on the way besides taking classes at the university! I’ll tell you all about it.

1.Making New Friends

I made some friends while I was here. Some of them are native Chinese speakers, and some others are foreign students like me. One of my friends who helped me a lot is Chloe, who is also from the U.S. She was studying at the same university so we shared that experience together. She helped me study for my exam many times.

I made a group of close-knit friends that were all learning Chinese. Chloe helped us a lot with the language during this period. We were all trying to pass our HSK exams, so we studied as a group.

Each of us was learning different aspects of the language. We helped each other with the parts of the language we knew best. This sort of collaboration made a big difference. We worked together to achieve our goals.

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As I studied more I noticed how important speaking was. Speaking the language became increasingly important for me to learn the entire language.

2. Learning authentic Chinese

Speaking Chinese at first was very difficult.I didn’t understand how the language worked! I kept practicing though when I was in the US and by the time I came to China I had a better understanding.

When I got to China the first thing I heard was native and fluent Chinese. It was such a relief to hear the language spoke authentically. In the meantime, I also learned how to speak Chinese in the most authentic way.

In the textbook, I learned that the Chinese people would greet their friends by asking “ni hao ma”. But when I greeted my Chinese friends with that expression, they laughed and told me that’s not a usual way Chinese people greet each other. Instead, they would use expressions like “zui jin zen me yang”(how is it going), “ni chi le ma”(have you eaten your meal) depending on the context.

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When I met some people and started to speak better I became more comfortable with my speech. It definitely took a lot of practice and persistence to become good at Chinese. Immersion definitely helped me in learning to speak the language better.

3. Learning about Chinese Culture

Chloe taught me a lot about Chinese Culture. We enjoyed some great times together, as she taught me about Chinese culture. We visited many national landmarks and learned more about each other through our experiences.

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I really didn’t know that much about Chinese culture before. Certain places in the country were amazing to see in person and they helped me learn a lot about Chinese history! Like the Great Wall and the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xi’an. I really saw how much China had worked to build a powerful culture.

I was impressed by how well preserved certain places were and how the language helped enrich my understanding. Getting to know the Chinese culture also helped me learn Chinese in return.

All of the above ways had been working great until the COVID-19 outbreak began in China.

When the COVID-19 virus started to infect the country we were worried about each other. We were told to stay in our houses while the country recovered. We knew how important this was for the whole of China while the infection blew over.

I was very worried about the news on TV. I hoped that things would be getting better though. My friends and I continued to remain optimistic about the situation and hope for the best. I saw how it was affecting my home country, the US. I was worried about my family, and if I or they were going to get sick.

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I soon realized I had to find a way to continue studying Chinese while I was in my home. I kept myself occupied by studying and television, continually talking to friends to check on each other. We knew we would get through this!

Fortunately learning the Chinese language was cathartic during this time because I used online language classes.

I did my research before deciding to take online Chinese classes. Because of the referral, I knew it’s reputable but I had to make sure it would be worthwhile. I definitely found that the teachers and the people at eChineseLearning were worth the time and effort it took to take the class.

In fact, taking the class was very easy. I was taking a lot more time studying on my own, with little progress. Talking to more people about eChineseLearning I found that it was a good idea. I’ll tell you more about it:

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1. Referral from Chloe

Chloe referred me to eChineseLearning. I knew I had to continue studying to pass my exam and could not waste precious time. I found out I could learn Chinese better for my exam in the comfort of my own home! This was an important discovery!

I signed up for a free trial by entering some of my information on eChineseLearning.com. I had to see what it was all about. After all, Chloe has raved about the service and said it had helped her immensely.

2. Free Trial

Someone contacted me from the company and explained I would get a free lesson. They said I could take the class at my own time. I was a little worried about this because I wasn’t sure if I would learn that well over the internet. Boy, was I wrong!

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I set up the appointment and was told via Skype that the teacher would reach out to me. The teacher reached out at the time I had set up, and we began our lesson. I was excited about learning Chinese better and that the people at eChineseLearning were so responsive. They got back to me right away whenever I had any questions about my lesson and were very straightforward about the process.

3. The Class

The class was great! I felt connected to the teacher, as she was very welcoming and gracious. I learned a lot in that lesson because I got to ask questions that I had skipped over before.

The one-on-one nature of the lesson helped me learn. I completed the first class and was told I would receive five free weeks of lessons because of the Stay Strong Campaign they are running and Chloe’s referral. I was also told Chloe would receive two months of free classes! It was a win-win!

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4. Taking Classes for a Month

After taking the classes for a month I definitely improved my Chinese. And it’s important that my teachers really know what I need to learn. They taught me a lot about preparing for HSK 5, and the vocabulary as well as the tips for HSK 5.

Another thing that makes me satisfied is eChineseLearning’s quality assurance. If you are not satisfied with a lesson, you can apply for a free make-up lesson, and you’ll really get it as long as your request is truthful. Although I haven’t applied for one yet as I have been happy with all my lessons, the quality assurance they provide really

I was very happy with the ability to learn Chinese during the period I could not leave my home. I could continue to study for my exam without the danger of getting sick! And I am looking forward to passing my HSK 5 sometime this year.

eChineseLearning really helped me learn Chinese better than I would have otherwise! I strongly encourage you to sign up for a free trial with them if you are puzzled by how to learn Chinese faster. By the way, mention my Friends Code F9287 if you sign up with them. This way, you will get an extra 5 FREE weeks and I’ll get 2 FREE months. Again, it’s a win-win!

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