大家好！ 好久不见！It’s been a while. I’ve been busy with life, work and Chinese study. I’m preparing for my HSK2 exam on June 5. I just want to give you an update on my current study routine. For beginner learners like me, it sometimes get too confusing and stressful. There are tons of apps and online resources out there. It’s overwhelming indeed. I have narrowed down the stuff I use to reduce study stress. These are:
I now mainly use DuChinese app for my reading practice. This is a subscription app but it’s worth it. It not only provides me stories from different levels but it also allows me to turn off the pinyin when I do not recognize a character/word. The app will also allow you to save words so you can review them at a later time.
To be able to learn new words every day, I watch some Instagram videos. This way, I am able to see how words, phrases and sentences are used in daily conversations. I mainly follow: easymandarinteacher, everydayeasychinese and learnchinesewithdolores. They make learning Chinese fun.
I use Chegg flashcards. I like the simple interface. It gives me option to practice on’flashcards’ or ‘multiple choice’ mode.
Also, I started putting in English sentences then I translate them into Chinese sentences, instead of the other way around. I found this effective for me since I suck at sentence structure. Repetition does help.
To improve my listening skills, I watch Netflix Chinese dramas whenever I have free time. I also watch ChinesePodTV videos on YouTube. You can choose your level to focus on. Their videos are very informative and detailed.
My online one on one class with my Chinese teachers are still ongoing. This time, I try to speak more and don’t care if I make mistakes. They correct me and I take notes. I also started recording them so I can go back and review the lessons. My goal is to be more confident in expressing myself. I know it will take time but most polyglots suggested to speak the language as much as possible…it is the only way to improve.
I passed my HSK 1 test!!! Only 1 mistake. 195/200 Wohooo! Some might say HSK 1 is easy, no big deal. However, it’s quite an achievement for a non-native speaker like me who only started 3 months ago (December 2020). The most difficult part of it starts from learning to pronounce the four tones. Yes, one word can have four different tones with different meanings. I thought I would never be able to pronounce them but with practice, I was able to do it.
So, what does my study routine looks like?
I speak with an online native Mandarin teacher few times a week.
I review Quizlet flash cards of new words daily (read them aloud with correct tones)
I practice writing Chinese characters and familiarize myself with the strokes.
I subscribed to DuChinese app. It provides reading articles ranging from HSK 1 – 6. It has pinyin for your convenience.
I listen to Chinese songs, watch Chinese movies/drama/cartoons. Sometimes repeating after the dialogues.
I listen to Chinese FM kid’s station (set the speed to slow). It enhances my listening skills.
I apply what I learned by translating (writing) simple English sentences into Mandarin.
I also purchased HSK Online. It’s available on iOS and Android. It’s an online learning platform for people who are preparing for the Chinese Proficiency Test. This allowed me to do mock exams and I believed it really helped.
What worked for me were consistency, practice and repetition. You’ll need to talk to yourself… a lot. Don’t worry if your family members think you’re going crazy, 哈哈哈。It’s the best way to practice. So, what’s next? I’m preparing for the HSK 2 exam that I plan to take on July or August 2021.
I took my HSK1 exam today. There were 40 items. Half part was listening and half was reading. I will know the result after 2 weeks. Although I feel that I will pass, I still feel nervous. Wish me luck.
A. 从第一小学到地铁 Cóng dì yī xiǎoxué dào dìtiě From the elementary school to the subway
一直走，第七个十字路口，往左边。过了第一十字路口，地铁站在路右边，公交车站后边。 Yīzhí zǒu, dì qī gè shízìlù kǒu, wǎng zuǒbiān.Guòle dì yī shízìlù kǒu, dìtiě zhàn zài lù yòubiān, gōngjiāo chē zhàn hòubian. Walk straight, on the seventh crossing, turn left. Cross the first intersection, the subway is on the right side of the road and behind the bus stop.
B. 从家到邮局 Cóng jiā dào yóujú From home to post office
一直走，第二个十字路口，往右拐。邮局在银行前边。 Yīzhí zǒu, dì èr gè shízìlù kǒu, wǎng yòu guǎi. Yóujú zài yínháng qiánbian. Walk straight, turn right at the second intersection. The post office is in front of the bank.
C. 从消防局到银行 From fire station to bank 一直走，第二个十字路口，往左拐。一直走，第一十字路口，往右拐。银行在路左边。商店旁边，邮局对面。 Yīzhí zǒu, dì èr gè shízìlù kǒu, wǎng zuǒ guǎi. Yīzhí zǒu, dì yī shízìlù kǒu, wǎng yòu guǎi. Yínháng zài lù zuǒbiān. Shāngdiàn pángbiān, yóujú duìmiàn. Walk straight,turn left at the second intersection. Walk straight, turn right at the first crossing. The bank is at the left side of the road. Next to the shop and opposite the post office.