“Everyone leads busy lives, but if you want to improve, you’ll have to make Chinese a priority. Set aside at least a few minutes every day to practice at least one skill: listening, speaking, writing, or reading.”
Check out the ever growing Activities List for ideas.
Regardless of how busy you are, make a regular commitment (like a few minutes every day) to do something in Chinese.
Subsequent posts will have list even more suggestions for things to do. Feel free to chime in on the comments or by emailing me.
Tip in Practice (Language Basics)
Anyone who specializes in languages will tell you, improvement in a language takes repetition at regular intervals. Expose yourself to the language frequently. The longer the time between when you review and practice the more you’ll forget.
If you’re not in school, set up a schedule:
- Listen to pop music on the 30 minute commute to work 3 days a week.
- Read before you go to bed every Sunday night.
- Use your lunch breaks twice a week to review grammar.
- And so on…
If learning Chinese is a serious pursuit, you’ll make the time until you’ve accomplished whatever it is you’re aiming towards. It’s easier to get motivated to study everyday if you have some concrete goals. So set those goals and figure out what you have to do to achieve them. Possible goals:
- Record a music video of me singing in Chinese on Mother’s Day for my mom.
- Talk with my language exchange partner about her trip to New York City the week she gets back from vacation.
- Write a postcard in Chinese and send it to my friends for Lunar New Year.
I work best when under pressure, so I had to combine the goal with a fixed deadline. And I think I’ll be able to achieve all of them (just like I had to set a deadline to launch this website).
I have no time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. You obviously have prioritized watching certain TV shows, spending time with friends, and eating meals. There’s no reason you can’t prioritize Chinese too. In fact, why not watch Chinese language TV shows, hang out with friends who speak Chinese, or go out to dinner with Chinese speaking friends every once in a while. Multitask and you’ll improve in no time.