It is always good to receive guidance, especially when you are learning a new language. For instance, having an instructor who is more knowledgeable than you to coach and guide you is a significant way to speed up the learning process.
However, when learning a new language such as learning Mandarin, too much guidance is not beneficial as well. Receiving too much guidance can disrupt the learning process and make it harder for you to progress further. This is especially so if you have just begun learning the language.
With that being said, we decided to round up several things that you should avoid when you are seeking guidance for learning the Mandarin language.
1. Too Little Mandarin
A common mistake that many Mandarin language learners make is that they spend the majority of their time listening or reading something in a language besides Mandarin.
If you truly wish to master how to read, write, and speak in Mandarin, it is necessary for you to keep yourself engaged with the Mandarin language.
It is alright if you have yet to understand the language fully. What is important is that you are actively engaging yourself in the language that you want to learn. Regardless of the language you are learning, effort and constant practice are two essential key factors.
2. Minimal Focus on Vocabulary
The key to learning the Mandarin language is building up on your vocabulary.
Many experts recommend learning the basic meaning of everyday words through translation. This is mostly because it makes it easier for you to learn a lot of words in a short amount of time, and you are actively engaging yourself because you are constantly translating back and forth. This method is helpful because eventually, you will realise that you subconsciously learnt through the process of doing so.
Some instructors or teachers do not focus too much on vocabulary; some even skip it entirely in favour of teaching students Mandarin phrases and words. Although that might help, not having an extensive vocabulary can make it difficult for a student to listen and read, which, in turn, may delay the language learning process.
3. Little to No Engagement
Engaging with content can be very tiring and demanding. However, that is the best way to learn a language. Otherwise, you are not engaging with the language at all. You will merely be spending time passively learning the language, which will only delay your learning process further.
How to Start Learning Mandarin More Effectively
A good way to start is to listen and watch media that use Mandarin. You can begin with mostly Mandarin media before fully transitioning to just Mandarin for better immersion.
Focusing on immersion now while setting aside vocabulary and grammar explanations allows one to put full attention in learning the nuances of the Mandarin language.
When looking up Mandarin language courses in your area, keep an eye on these “red flags”. This way, you can choose the best course and institution that will help you build a solid foundation and learn the Mandarin language from the ground up.