Building up vocabulary in a foreign language helps you get better at it fast—and Chinese is no exception. Rote learning is not the only way to learn new Chinese words; there are many other more interesting and equally effective ways.
Use these tips to learn Chinese in Singapore or, for that matter, anywhere else.
Draw a vocabulary tree
Begin with a topic which interests you most. For example, if you love shopping, choose it as the topic. Write it as the main topic at the center of the paper (Preferably, use big sheets of paper for this exercise). Next, using related words as titles, add branches to your main topic (for instance, you can use a bag, credit card, money, shoes, etc., as titles for new branches).
When you come across a word that you would like to use but are not familiar with, pick a dictionary and look for that word. It is best to use the latest dictionary which comes with phonetics. Using a vocabulary tree will help you build theme-based vocabulary lists which you can quickly review whenever you want.
Create vocabulary flashcards
Many students who join Mandarin classes Singapore find it difficult to remember the correct stroke order of Chinese characters. These students, as well as others, can benefit from creating Chinese vocabulary flashcards. You will remember the details better when you create your own flashcards.
In case you absolutely have no time to make your own flashcards, buying them is the next best option. It is not as effective as making your own flashcards, but it’s better than nothing.
With help of flashcards, you’ll be able to become familiar with the new language more quickly. However, don’t forget to add new flashcards to your collection every few days.
Practice listening Chinese
The thing about listening Chinese is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. Therefore, always keep Chinese audio and an audio player at hand. You can also practice listening Chinese while doing other things. As a matter of fact, listening Chinese can be done with any activity that doesn’t require you to listen, like walking, gardening, cooking, washing laundry, and many others.
Of course, in the beginning, you might get distracted easily. But after some time, you’ll surely get the hang of the things and will be able to effectively combine other activities with listening Chinese.
Read Chinese loudly
Pick something that interests you. If you are into sports, a sports magazine would be a good option. Similarly, comic-books lovers will enjoy digging into Chinese comics. Read aloud and if possible, from time to time, record yourself and later listen to it. This will help you identify your mistakes and rectify them.
Watch Chinese movies
You don’t have to just do book learning to learn Chinese. You can improve Chinese vocabulary and even pick colloquial expressions by watching Chinese movies. Also, pay attention to how different tones are used. Unlike audio, Chinese movies show you how native speakers move their mouth while speaking Chinese.