Is it possible to learn Mandarin when your days are packed with work and study? Many people often lament being too busy, leaving little time for things they wish to accomplish. Whenever I hear such statements, I think about one of my students, Dr. David, and how he managed to learn Mandarin despite his extremely busy schedule.
Dr. David is a dedicated physician in the United States, working in a demanding medical profession with numerous Chinese-speaking patients. Recognizing the significance of effective communication in his practice, he faced the challenge of integrating Chinese language learning into his busy life, which also included caring for his two children.
Initially, Dr. David used language learning apps during short breaks and commutes, focusing on vocabulary drills. However, he soon discovered that merely recognizing Chinese words didn’t translate into practical spoken communication, a skill crucial for his profession. Progressing beyond memorizing simple words proved challenging.
In his quest for a more interactive language learning experience, Dr. David explored various language exchange platforms. However, the journey was not without its hurdles. The demanding nature of his profession led to unpredictable work schedules, creating challenges in maintaining a consistent language exchange routine. Additionally, he encountered communication issues on these platforms, further complicating the learning process.
Undeterred, Dr. David then turned to online teachers in the hope of finding a personalized and structured learning environment. Despite his efforts, he faced new obstacles. Scheduling conflicts became a recurring issue, making it difficult to align lesson times with his dynamic timetable. Furthermore, the content provided by some teachers didn’t quite match his specific learning needs, adding another layer of complexity to his language learning journey.
Then he found our school. What appealed to him most was our 24/7 availability. Dr. David expressed his specific goal in the free trial class with me: he wanted to learn basic Chinese to communicate with Chinese-speaking patients. After assessing his Chinese proficiency, I created a detailed learning plan for him. He enrolled with a flexible package, allowing him to take more lessons when he had time each week and fewer classes when he was busy. This enabled him to save time previously spent searching for other Chinese learning methods, and we tailored our lessons to his specific situation.
Starting with the basics, we taught him Pinyin to facilitate character recognition. We covered fundamental grammar structures, focusing on practical scenarios he encountered with patients. Despite his initial limited knowledge, Dr. David progressed gradually. We incorporated cultural insights, enhancing his understanding of Chinese customs for more effective communication. From initially inquiring if patients were in pain, he now confidently discusses medications and engages in casual conversations. His interest in Chinese even led us to practice writing Chinese characters, and he has now learned over five hundred characters.
In truth, we’re all busy. The key is to find the right method to make the most of our time. Finding the right method is crucial for learning Chinese. If you, like Dr. David, are busy and want to efficiently improve your Mandarin, feel free to contact me for a free trial lesson. I can tailor a personalized study plan based on your specific situation.