Making the most of your time is one of the most crucial components of studying Chinese. Even though it can be tempting to waste all the random five-minute intervals that pop up throughout the day, if you can use them effectively, the rewards quickly mount.
This kind of five-minute learning activity has one feature I like: they’re simple to get motivated for. One of the best strategies, when you don’t feel like studying, is to force yourself to do something for five minutes, a minute, or even thirty seconds. You’ll frequently discover that getting started is all it takes to get motivated for more, and doing anything is better than doing nothing.
You may engage in countless exercises to boost your Chinese in just five minutes, and each learner compiles a list of useful ones. If you haven’t already, here are ten things you should add to your list.
1. Study Chinese Flashcards For 5 Minutes.
This is how I always make the most of any unexpected extra time. You can easily use any amount of time to enhance your Chinese if you have access to Anki (download it to your computer and smartphone, if you have one).
Flashcards can be studied for 10 seconds or several hours (at least if you have enough caffeine and upcoming final examinations).
Because they are adaptable, personalized, and may always be a part of your Chinese study routines, making a few flashcards is a great default option for using your study time. I adore them for their scheduling capabilities as well. You can add information to your flashcards deck, knowing it will eventually be reviewed.
Chinese flashcards are one of the many studying methods to improve. However with HaoChinese, there are many more Programmes which encourage further Chinese learning.
2. 5 Minutes of Chinese Reading.
Flashcards are a great way to expand your vocabulary, improve your language proficiency, and keep track of important information. But pushing yourself and learning information you haven’t seen before is also crucial to learning Chinese.
Since it’s far more challenging to zone out and disregard the bits you don’t understand when you’re reading, it can be one of the finest methods to acquire that unpredictable factor. It’s simple to ignore and forget the more challenging sections when you’re listening, but it’s more difficult to do when you’re reading.
Although less adaptable than flashcards, this method gives you access to a lifetime’s worth of reading material in Chinese if you’re sitting at a computer with an internet connection. Try entering some random information into Baidu and seeing if you can understand the first result. Since you only have five minutes, it should only go on for a short time.
If you have one on your smartphone or tablet, you can also download various reading apps. There are many Chinese reading applications with free ebooks, and Kindle with an Amazon China account can be significant.
It’s relatively simple to carry reading material in Chinese if you have the technology. Of course, you can also purchase some of those book items.
3. Start Listening to Some Music.
This one is practical for your Chinese studies and is simple to keep nearby at all times (your whole life, hopefully). Because listening can be either low-effort (offering little benefit) or highly intense, it is flexible. Additionally, it may seamlessly fit in with your other activities without getting in the way.
Find some Chinese internet radio if you are using a computer. Try to include a few stations that you frequently visit and never have to think about. Use FM radio to sharpen your listening skills with just one switch if you’re in a Chinese-speaking area.
I maintain a variety of podcasts on my phone and occasionally listen to the FM radio to ensure I have Chinese listening materials handy while I’m out and about. Before switching to a smartphone, I used an iPod for the same purpose. Making listening as simple as possible will ensure that you don’t have to give it any consideration.
4. Chat Online in Chinese.
Online Chinese chatting can be fantastic if you can make it work. It can be challenging to get it correctly, though; I’ll shortly write about it and provide a link to my opinions. What I’ve discovered works, in brief, is:
- Look for opportunities to talk about subjects other than Chinese that interest you (e.g., look for Chinese chat rooms about rock music or anteaters or whatever).
- Avoid mentioning or emphasizing that you are a foreigner, and ignore anyone who requests to practice English with you or engage in language exchanges.
- Make a distinction between language practice and folks you genuinely like.
Please note that I’m referring to talks with anonymous or semi-anonymous strangers. Speaking with friends is entirely different and shouldn’t be considered a language-learning activity (even if it has that effect).
5. Do 听写 For 5 Minutes.
A little language exposure might be added to other activities or used as a valuable method to pass the time. But it’s straightforward to listen passively to the point where many advantages are lost.
Doing is a technique to ensure that you genuinely pay attention to what you are hearing (dictation). As the name implies, you listen to it while writing, but there is much room for creativity.
All of these strategies—writing out what you hear word for word, trying to summarize, or completing pre-made activities from a listening course—work and can be used right away, provided you have the necessary tools.
6. Pick Up a Chinese Song.
Yes, I am aware. This kind of reading always makes me say, “Oh gosh…” However, studying songs benefits your Chinese, even if it sounds unreasonably festive. Spend some time with the music you enjoy after finding them.
The words of a song can be translated into your local tongue and then posted on your blog, which is an excellent method to learn the song. The objective is to ensure that you become familiar with and comprehend the lyrics rather than produce a beautiful music translation.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t particularly appreciate the well-known traditional Chinese songs everyone expects you to sing at KTV. The fact that I ultimately learned various tidbits of them against my will merely proves how powerful songs are at encoding information in your memory.
This article will talk more about Improving Chinese Through Music and show the effectiveness of doing so.
7. List Off-hand 10 Chinese Characters.
If you use Skritter, then launch it and start writing. Additionally, you can organise particular hanzi-writing flashcards in Anki and manage your characters. Otherwise, it’s always good to have some paper and a pen. Just keep track of the characters you need to test, possibly by noting any you might forget or any new ones you encounter.
8. Place a Call To a Few Chinese Customer Service Lines.
No, I mean it. I will post about this shortly, and I’m not even kidding. After having numerous awkward talks with Chinese businesses (I would not say I like calling companies in any language), I realized that you could practice this by calling random companies.
Although it may seem strange, you can devise a flimsy excuse to call a big corporation and chat with a representative for a while (for example, pretend you’re interested in becoming a customer). I’m not advocating that you play a prank on them or cause trouble; a big business can afford to pay for one “wasted” call.
Try it; you might find it to be amusing!
9. Create 5 Mnemonics for Chinese Characters.
…or mnemonics for anything you’re learning about Chinese. Mnemonics are helpful. Once they understand mnemonics, most people agree, but they still don’t make them a significant component of their learning.
Making mnemonics is a great learning activity that can be used to fill in various time slots due to its granularity.
To accomplish this now: Which characters have you recently forgotten? What words are you missing? Make them into mnemonics!
10. In Chinese, Describe Your Surroundings (In Detail)
This was introduced to us during our first year of college and has remained with me as a friendly approach to practicing my Chinese at any given time. The concept is straightforward and applicable anywhere: describe your surroundings in as much detail as your Chinese proficiency will allow. Try to employ challenging reading material and terms that are difficult to pronounce.
Speaking aloud is the most excellent option, but even if you’re not alone, talking quietly or simply in your head is still helpful. You will feel foolish doing this even if you’re alone because it’s ludicrous. However, you rapidly get over that and discover it’s surprisingly helpful.
Of course, you are not required to describe your surroundings; this is merely a handy prompt. Discuss anything you like, including your day, plans, and feelings.
In addition to the linguistic advantages, it is a pleasant activity in and of itself. Do this for your Chinese, even if you don’t go for that hippy junk!
I’ll Leave it With You.
Do you engage in any of these activities when you have free time? What are additionally effective methods available right now for learning Chinese? HaoChinese is the perfect choice for you if you are still struggling with Chinese. Our experience and patient tutors will be able to help you improve and excel with Chinese studying tricks and tips. Here are our reviews. Do engage with us today!