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New Post 31.12.2008 11:31
  shuai
1199 posts
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Ways to Learn Chinese - Comparison 
Modified By shuai  on 09.12.2009 11:52:19)
Ways to Learn Chinese - Comparison
 

Like most languages, learning how to speak Chinese Mandarin can be accomplished many ways. Whether it's group courses, immersive cultural experiences, computer-based lessons or online coursework, it's really up to the student to find a method that is most comfortable for him or her.

Learning how to speak Chinese Mandarin is not difficult, but it does take time. Like any foreign language, you have to be willing to put time and effort into the process if you want to become fluent.

Following is a comparison of the more popular ways of learning how to speak Chinese Mandarin, along with the pros and cons for each. This should help you make an informed choice regarding your own education.

Group courses

Many students enjoy learning in a group environment. In many communities, local colleges or private institutions offer basic or intermediate Chinese courses. These classes can be a great way to learn the language. However, you have to move at the pace of the average student in the class, so if you're a fast learner or get stuck on a particular lesson, it's easy to become frustrated. Plus, many students don't feel comfortable pronouncing words before a bunch of strangers and pronunciation is very important when learning how to speak Chinese Mandarin.

Immersive study

Of course, learning the language in China is the best way to learn the language. Living in the country immerses you in the language as well as the culture. It is by far the best way to learn how to speak Chinese Mandarin. That said, studying abroad can be out of the reach of many in terms of budget and time away from home. Plus, immersive study can be a sink or swim proposition. If you don't adapt well, the stresses of living in a country where everything is foreign to you, including the language, can take its toll.

Textbooks

For most languages, a textbook works well. Languages like French, Spanish and German have a lot of commonalities with the English language. After all, most English words have their roots in these languages as well as Latin. Chinese is much more difficult to learn from a textbook because you can't discern the proper pronunciation. Also, sentence structures can be difficult to learn from a book, because there's no way to get feedback. Audio textbooks can be of some help, but again, there's no give and take with an instructor.

Computer-aided learning

This is one of the most familiar ways to learn any language. The CD or DVD courses allow you to learn how to speak Chinese Mandarin in an interactive fashion. Some courses even use your computer's microphone so you can match the pronunciation of each character. The main drawback of these courses is that you don't have a live instructor that you can get feedback from or ask questions if you're really stuck. These features come in very handy when you're trying to learn how to speak Chinese Mandarin.

Online courses

Online courses, such as ChineseTime (http://www.chinesetime.cn), allow you to learn to how to speak Chinese Mandarin directly from a native speaker, who serves as your instructor.such as learn chinese via skype, just add skype ID:chinesetimeschool.You can learn chinese with native chinese speaker online. You work at your own pace on a one-on-one basis so you get feedback in real time. If you need to work on particular skills, your instructor can help you. And there's no class waiting for you to get a specific pronunciation or rule down before moving on. For most people, this is an ideal way to learn the language, since you move at your own pace in the privacy of your own home.


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