Clear the List: Mandarin March – Language Learning Goals

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My focus in 2019 is Mandarin Chinese, #AyearofMandarin. Here are my learning goals for March! To keep me focused and motivated this month I will be introducing monthly themes and taking part in the Yoyo Chinese Challenge and the 90 day My Language Challenge.

Full transparency: From time-to-time we do use affiliate links for paid products on this site. This means Language Learners Journal gets a small commission for some (not all) referrals. It doesn’t affect the price of anything but doing so has helped to maintain, improve and keep this site ad-free for over 3 years. We appreciate the support, thank you.

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Week 1 – Food and Professions

Week 2 – People & Pets

Week 3 – Places & Directions

Week 4 – Shopping & Transport

Chinese -Mandarin

Vocabulary – I have been vocabulary building with uTalk and LingoHut. Both services cater for a wide range of languages! I’ll also be using Memrise on a daily basis too.

Grammar – I am working my way through BBC Talk Mandarin.

Reading – My daughter and I are using the Chineasy method to help us recognise Chinese Characters.

Listening – I’ve joined the My Language Challenge pilot, which will act as a 90 day booster. The first mini-challenge will focus on listening skills. I’ll be using Pop-up Chinese, that has audio for all levels. I am also taking part in the Yoyo Chinese Challenge.

Speaking – I am having regular lessons on Italki with an amazing community tutor. In 2016 I founded the Hampshire Mandarin Meetup. It’s now facilitated by a friend who has done an amazing job at promoting and getting others interested in learning Chinese. People from the local Chinese community also attend! I’m going to swing by a few sessions this month and get involved with some of the amazing activities they run.

I am really looking forward to the Women In Language’s event this month! In the UK language learning is now more important than ever yet the amount of students studying languages is in decline! There are some amazing guest speakers all experts in their fields. I’d highly recommend checking this out. Men are welcome too!

Other resources I’ll be using this month:

Chinese in 9 weeks from Domino Chinese (via Udemy and their website).

Mango Languages

Join Clear The List + Share Your Goals!

1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this post.

3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList.

A Year of Chinese Mandarin…

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This year Language learners Journal Founder Trisha Dunbar will be focusing on Chinese Mandarin. Although there are a number of different Chinese dialects including Cantonese and Shanghaiese. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the would with 1,000,000,000+ speakers and rising. It forms part of the Sino-Tibetan language family.

Full transparency: From time-to-time we do use affiliate links for paid products on this site. This means Language Learners Journal gets a small commission for some (not all) referrals. It doesn’t affect the price of anything but doing so has helped to maintain, improve and keep this site ad-free for over 3 years. We appreciate the support, thank you.

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Learning Chinese Mandarin means that you will be using both the right and left sides of the brain!

The language has four tones, plus a neutral one. Getting the tones right is an important factor…

… it can make all the difference between referring to your mother as a or ( – meaning a horse)!

A language without an alphabet!

Chinese has no alphabet! It is made up of a series of characters.

To help western society better understand there is the Pinyin system. This helps to spell out the sounds of Chinese using Roman letters. It is used as a helpful written aid to guide Chinese pronunciation.

You can follow Trisha’s journey from a false beginner to HSK 2 and beyond on Twitter and Facebook or Check the Mandarin Board on Pinterest.

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10 reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese

  1. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world. If you can speak it then you can communicate with nearly a billion people worldwide!
  2. China is an economic superpower and a major trade point.
  3. China has a fascinating and rich history and culture.
  4. It is easier than you think! There are no verbs, plurals, tenses, subject-verb agreement, OR conjugations.
  5. Chinese could be regarded as one of the most logical languages in the world!
  6. Speaking and reading in Mandarin Chinese is a great workout for the brain as it uses both the left and right hemispheres!
  7. The Chinese love to hear Westerns ‘attempt’ to speak their language and can be very supportive in helping you learn.
  8. Traveling or doing business abroad? As well as China, Mandarin is spoken in countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines and Mongolia.
  9. Make new friends! Learning Mandarin gives you access to communicate with many people and connect on a deeper level, not just in Asia but across the world! Almost every major Western city has a growing Chinese community within it. Being able to communicate with those in your neighborhood and exchange students at your local university will help to connect communities, as well as foster lifelong friendships.
  10. Self-development. Being proficient in Mandarin will certainly boost your CV and make you stand out among against the many other applicants. Even if you don’t actively need the language for work it shows that you have commitment, focus and an understanding of another culture.

Recommended Resources

Here are my most highly recommended resources for learning Mandarin Chinese. The resources below have played a crucial role to my own learning of this beautiful language.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step;  Chinese: 千里之行,始於足下; pinyin: Qiānlǐ zhī xíng, shǐyú zú xià.”

Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Italki – is an excellent resource and one that I regularly use to help me learn languages via Skype lessons. These lessons offer flexibility that fits perfectly into my busy lifestyle. Lessons can vary in price but start from about $5 for a 30 minute session. Register using this link to receive an additional $10 in credits after you have complete your first paid lesson!

uTalkuTalk is one my favourite resources for learning languages. It uses verbal, visual and fun exercises to teach languages increases your chance of success. Their tried and tested products work by stimulating both sides of the brain at the same time – the visual memory (right brain) and verbal (left side). This dual-coding improves recall and learning dramatically. Adding fun to the mix helps release the neurotransmitter chemical dopamine which keeps you motivated and improves memory recall. A fabulous free alternative is LingoHut.

Easy Peasy Chinese –This book and audio CD (Amazon) is a fabulous resource for beginners and will help you get to grips with speaking, writing and understanding the basics of the language in no time.

The Chineasy Range – An excellent resource for visual language learners. From books to flashcards and even board games. I have used this range to teach my own family Chinese. check out the full range on Amazon.

HelloChinese – Learn Chinese via this awesome app which is similar to Duolingo. There is a paid element, but the free content will enable you to grasp the basics via gamification methods. Although I don’t recommend using this app alone as it is not a replacement for real conversations. It is however a welcome and fun boost to vocabulary and learning the sounds of Chinese.

Learning Chinese? Let us know in the comments section below what resources you are currently using.

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Learning a new language and would like some community support? Come join our free, friendly and supportive group today or sign up for our free-mentorship programme! 


Thanks for visiting Language Learners Journal! If you have enjoyed this article please share it and inspire your friends and family to learn Chinese.

#AYearofMandarin

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Summer Language Goals: Clear The List

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Become fluent in any language! Visit italki.com

Hola! 你好! Živjo, Bonjour…

Welcome to my summer language learning update through #clearthelist. Hosted by Shannon of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages. Clear the List is an awesome monthly support and accountability linkup for language learners who like to set regular language learning goals.


This post may contain affiliate links. You don’t pay more, but I may receive a modest commission that supports the running costs of this site & the FREE content it has to offer!

I have a strong local accent and struggle with pronunciation. This can be more of a problem with the tonal languages I’m learning, such as Chinese Mandarin. So my main goal over summer is to really focus on my pronunciation of Spanish and Mandarin, whilst adding a brand new language to the equation – Slovenian (Slovene).  I’ll be updating this article once a month with the progress I’m making until September…

This summer I’ll be joined by my Little Learner who is wanting to improve her French, Spanish and has just started learning Mandarin Chinese with me…


Updates…

August – Little Language learning did her presentation on China and spoke in Chinese Mandarin for 2 minutes. 😀 I have learnt how to say hello in Slovene, count to 10 and do very basic Captureintroductions. This is brilliant as before June I knew nothing of the language!

July – I signed up for the Languages of Slovenia Challenge! As I am already familiar with German, Italian and Romani I’ll be learning Slovenian in 90 days. I have NO experience WHATSOEVER with this language and currently unable to even say hello!

June – I am really excited to announce that I am now CELTA (Basically a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualified! This was one of the hardest courses I have ever done and it made me realize just had difficult the English language is. I am currently doing another course with the focus on business English for Professionals. In June, whilst attempting to chat in Spanish with some natives I ended up going French! It was both rather embarrassing, but equally hilarious at the same time! This made me realize that I really need to knuckle down and regain my focus.


How will ‘we’ be learning languages this summer? 

Slovene, Slovenian, mood board

Learning Slovenian with some inspiration from an interactive mood board.

This summer I have been grasping the basics with LingoHut for both Spanish and Chinese and using The 50 Languages website for Slovene. I’ve ordered BBC Talk Spanish Complete from Amazon and will be using Language Transfer. I have also booked lessons on Italki for Chinese and found some potential language study partners for Slovene.

My little learner is excited about the new Chineasy for Children book that is launching in July and I’ve pre-ordered a copy for her. I’m excited too as my new notebook has arrived and as much as I love bullet journalling I’m going to get creative with an interactive language notebook. However, little learner also has her eyes on my new notebook too…I’m going have to order another one! (UPDATE: Little language learner STOLE my notebook and used it to plan her Chinese presentation and write vocab for French and Spanish).

Pronunciation is key for me and I’ll be using Speechling to really get to grips with any areas of weakness. What I love about Speechling is they share the same values as Language Learners Journal Ltd.

“Everyone in the world deserves access to quality language education.”

Speechling

Finally, I will be using Flash Academy for gamification of Spanish and vocabulary building on the go. To keep language learning fun and help with my motivation I’ll be using The Take Action Calendar for Language Learners. It’s designed to spread a little kindness across the language learning community too.

The Take Action Calendar for Language Learners.

The Take Action Calendar for language learners to help with motivation.

 


Our August Goals

Little Language Learner

Little Learner will be continuing with her Chinese over the summer holidays and will be using the Hello Chinese App. She will also be using Duolingo for Spanish. As of September, the school has announced they will be teaching Chinese Mandarin to students!

Mama Language Learner

In August my main focus will be on Slovene, but I’ll still be using Duolingo for Spanish and helping the little learner with Chinese. I have booked an Italki package for Slovene and will be posting regular updates in the Languages of Slovenia Challenge Group and on my blog Learning Slovenian in 90 Days.

Our Goals for July

Little Language Learner

My little language learner is taking part in a speaking challenge at her school. Were she will be doing 2 whole minutes in Mandarin and preparing a presentation in Chinese! The school has given options so children can now choose the language they want to study. My Little Learner has switched to Spanish because she has been learning that language since Primary School and it’s the language of her ancestors.

Mama Language Learner

I’m delighted to have my little language learner by my side and I’ll be helping with the preparation for her speaking challenge in Chinese as well as posting my progress videos in the free #LLAP challenge. I’ll also be helping others to learn English, which I am super excited about. I have scheduled in some Chinese lessons on Italki and will be taking part in their 12-hour challenge for July. Plus I’ve joined the Languages of Slovenia Challenge where I’m introducing Slovene into the mix! You can follow my progress here.


Our Goals for June

So as you can see I’ll be using a range of resources to really stimulate my brain and help me get to at least B1 in Spanish and HSK2 in Mandarin Chinese by September 2018.

My little learner is studying French at school and her goal is to be top set for French. She also recognizes 70+ Chinese Characters now and we are learning Chinese together at home.

HSK Levels – Chinese Levels.

Language Learning Levels – European Languages.


Resource Roundup

Chinese – Mandarin 

Spanish 

Slovene

French (Little Learner) 


JOIN CLEAR THE LIST!

1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this post. You can use our button code below if you wish.

3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the link-up.

5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList 


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This post may contain affiliate links. You don’t pay more, but I may receive a modest commission that supports the running costs of this site & the FREE content it has to offer!

Become fluent in any language! Visit italki.com