Guideline for Studying Mandarin in China
With about 14.1% of the world’s total population speaking Mandarin Chinese, it comes as no surprise that it’s the world’s most spoken languages. And, if you ever find yourself studying abroad in China, you’re more than likely going to need to learn a bit of the language yourself while there. Luckily, there are many ways you can go about learning Mandarin – no matter what your learning style may be.
Preparing for your stay
Between booking your flight and ensuring you have coverage in case of an emergency, there’s a lot to think about when preparing for your stay as a student in China – especially if you don’t speak the native language. After all, Mandarin is going to be a necessity when it comes to getting around, buying groceries, and overall daily interaction. For this reason, enrolling in a class while you’re there or even teaching yourself some Mandarin before you go is essential when preparing for your trip – and should be done well in advance – around the same time as you buy your travel insurance and book your flight.
Options for learning
Enrolling in a Mandarin class is a great way to learn the local language, as it will, it gives you structure in your learning and allow you to be in an environment where you can actively ask questions and gauge your performance. One such place is the Hutong School, located in both Beijing and Shanghai. This school is one of many that offers a personalized curriculum for anyone, beginner or advanced. However, online classes are another choice for language learners, as they can often times be cheaper than a traditional language class, as well as more convenient and flexible. And, if you’re looking for something less structure-based to supplement your classes, there are plenty of apps (such as Tandem and Italki), that allow you to learn with a native speaker in your free time through video chat or text – perfect for any busy student abroad.
Engage with the locals
Studies show that one of the most effective ways to learn a language is by learning through immersion – and there’s no better way to learn Mandarin than from the locals themselves. While studying abroad in China, you’ll have the full immersive experience culturally and linguistically, meaning that even going to a restaurant can be a language lesson. Going out for food, shopping, and anything you’d do on a regular basis is a great way to practice your skills with the locals, learn the correct pronunciation, and immerse yourself into the Mandarin-speaking world – so don’t be afraid to interact when you can.
Learning a second language is a great life skill to have, and if you’re studying abroad in China, then learning Mandarin while you’re there is the perfect opportunity to do so. With many options such as enrolling in a traditional or online class, or even just learning from the locals in everyday life, you’re sure to master the language in no time.