Home Chinese Language KAOHONGSHU You don’t must go to China to be taught Chinese language!

KAOHONGSHU You don’t must go to China to be taught Chinese language!

KAOHONGSHU You don’t must go to China to be taught Chinese language!


The unhealthy information: China received’t cease its zero-Covid coverage anytime quickly (or will it?). The excellent news: you don’t must go to China to be taught Chinese language.

Ask anyone what’s one of the best ways to be taught Chinese language they usually’ll in all probability inform it is best to go to the third largest nation on the planet and keep there for an in depth time frame for journey, work or research. “Your Chinese language will enhance so quick!”, a number of folks informed me earlier than I left for a 5-month keep on Chinese language territory. And you understand what? That was true! And I’ve by no means doubted the ability of immersion in terms of taking your expertise in any overseas language to the following degree. As a matter of truth, I all the time believed it a needed step at a sure level: to hurry up the educational course of and make one of the best use of your time. However is immersion in China actually that important to be taught Chinese language? In any case, on-line sources for studying Chinese language are considerable and it has change into a lot simpler to connect with Chinese language talking folks and different learners.

Will Hart – acquired fluent in Mandarin with out visiting China

The case of British med pupil Will Hart supplies actual proof that it’s doable to be taught Mandarin whereas staying at house. Not with out cause is he a sensation within the on-line Chinese language studying neighborhood: he acquired fluent in Mandarin inside 1.5 years and did so with out ever visiting China! On YouTube you’ll find a number of Chinese language interviews the place he not solely converses freely in fluent Chinese language, but in addition sounds native-like. Like I discussed in a earlier put up, the vocabulary he makes use of to explain his Chinese language studying expertise is elaborate and exact to the purpose it’s uncanny. How can a traditional particular person handle that inside 18 months?

How did he do it?

Listening to his story, a number of factors caught my consideration:

  • The pandemic pressured him to remain at house with plenty of time on his arms. Regular pupil life was lowered to zero.
  • Will practiced talking from day one, together with talking to himself (“自言自语”).
  • He had Chinese language mates to talk with, which means the language was a communication software from the beginning. Not less than considered one of this mates appears nearly like a language tutor to him.
  • To make communication work he targeted on pronunciation and getting the tones proper, his Chinese language mates proving rapid suggestions. He spent hardly any time on handwriting characters.
  • Clearly Will possessed the self-discipline & dedication to maintain investing time and vitality in studying Chinese language. I assume having Chinese language mates to talk with helped him to keep up a way of function, protecting it actual.
  • He develops environment friendly reviewing habits utilizing his personal Anki flashcards and spaced repetition.
  • He’s very curious, challenges himself and has the flexibility to maintain language studying fascinating by selecting subjects that fascinate him (跟着兴趣走)

What amazes me probably the most

One may say studying Chinese language to a excessive degree inside 1 or 2 years will not be distinctive. With the assistance of intensive research applications and skilled academics severe learners can obtain nice outcomes. In a put up referred to as How lengthy does it take to get HSK 6? I point out the circumstances of two extraordinarily quick college students who handed HSK 6 in respectively one and two years. I’d say – no matter research time in hours – that’s quick. In that sense, Will will not be utterly alone, though his talking expertise may surpass the others.

Other than by no means setting foot on Chinese language soil, I’m undecided what amazes me probably the most – the truth that he by no means used any coursebook as a tenet or that he didn’t trouble to go to a Chinese language course and selected to 100% self-study as a substitute. As a result of with out coursebooks or academics you’re actually by yourself. The place to start? Methods to discover your method? How not be overwhelmed by all out there on-line sources and their problem? Though I imagine in autonomous studying (and this weblog is generally about self-studying Chinese language), I’m fairly positive that most individuals wouldn’t get very far with out exterior assist (from a trainer) or not less than some form of framework to observe. You’d in all probability be losing time to determine the place to start and discovering the methods and strategies to review successfully, in response to your individual wants and scenario. So if somebody like Will figures out the language and in addition independently acquires the talents and means to review it successfully, that’s actually excellent.

Is that the entire story?

So clearly Will was doing many issues proper, however is that this the entire story? Can others produce the identical outcomes by making use of these studying strategies? Actually I believe two factors haven’t been burdened sufficient. One is every day finding out time. Thus far we talked about 1.5 years, however what number of hours did Will research Chinese language each day? One hour, 4 hours, eight hours? This clearly makes an enormous distinction. I’m not utterly positive, however it appears to me that he was spending plenty of time on Chinese language, finding out each passively as actively. It’s a really totally different scenario from – say – somebody who research a few hours after work each week and hasn’t acquired the time to look at Chinese language TV-shows.

The second level are academics and tutors. Having Chinese language mates or tandem companions which are keen to talk their native language with you generally is a key to success, but – in my opinion – you continue to want a trainer or tutor to point out you the way in which. So my guess can be that not less than considered one of his Chinese language mates performed such a job. I is likely to be mistaken after all. Plenty of useful advise for self-studying Chinese language may be discovered on-line, though you’d must be a polyglot genius to determine the whole lot out with out dropping valuable time. You possibly can forestall that with a tutor to information your method and a Chinese language atmosphere to speak with. It appears to me that Will’s case matches these standards.

What about particular expertise?

Can Will’s Chinese language studying success be defined by an outstanding expertise for languages? Though this man is clearly very gifted and clever, to me that sounds too simple. What does particular expertise for languages even imply? Will even factors out that his expertise studying Spanish at school was roughly a catastrophe, so I don’t suppose all of it comes pure to him. In that case, he’ll in all probability be studying Icelandic subsequent 12 months, and Hebrew the 12 months after, only for sports activities.

But when he does possess a particular expertise, what’s it? May or not it’s “tolerance of ambiguity and discomfort”? Most individuals really feel very uncomfortable talking a overseas language, particularly once they’re nearly full novices, as a result of they really feel they’re making a continuing idiot of themselves. They’re afraid of constructing errors, not understanding, of communication breakdown taking place. They don’t get pleasure from undercutting their mental degree, not with the ability to specific themselves absolutely and freely. Sometimes they hate it once they can’t perceive the whole lot directly and there’s no exact English translation out there. I don’t know, however my guess is that Will is the exact opposite: he should have an uncommon excessive diploma of tolerance of all these items.


Wrapping it up right here: you don’t must go to China to be taught Chinese language, but it’s arduous to breed the particular circumstances that made Will’s studying journey profitable. The dialogue on Reddit reveals that circumstances like his may be each discouraging and inspirational. As all the time we’ve to recollect there’s no miracle technique and we in all probability don’t have the total image. As an alternative of considering “rattling, I should be doing all of it mistaken”, we must be asking which of his approaches may very well be working for us as nicely.