31 Jul 2023

Do’s & Don’ts When Learning Mandarin

Mandarin words on a board

Learning a new language can be an exciting and fulfilling journey, and Mandarin, a language close to home, is no exception. With Skillsfuture in Chinese freely available, you essentially have a free pass at learning the most widely spoken language in the world. Before doing so, however, it’s important to approach it with the right mindset and strategies to maximise your progress. In this article, we will explore some essential do’s and don’ts to help you have a smoother and more effective learning experience.

Learn more: 5 tricks to learn Chinese characters


Someone learning and writing mandarin

Plan your learning process

Before diving into your Chinese course in Singapore right away, take some time to plan your learning process. Set realistic goals, determine your preferred learning methods (such as online courses, language exchange programmes, or language schools), and create a study schedule that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Having a clear plan will keep you organised, motivated, and more importantly, on track throughout your language learning journey.

Be patient

Learning Mandarin takes time and dedication. It also isn’t something that can be mastered after a single Mandarin course in Singapore, contrary to popular belief. Be patient with yourself and embrace the learning process. Understand that language acquisition is gradual, and progress isn’t always linear. Celebrate small victories along the way, such as mastering new vocabulary or successfully holding a conversation. More importantly, embrace mistakes and do not be afraid to make them. 

Learn the basics before tackling complicated materials

Like every new skill you pick up, it’s essential to build a solid foundation in Mandarin before attempting more advanced materials. Start with learning the basics, such as pronunciation, tones, and commonly used phrases and vocabulary. Then, develop a good understanding of fundamental grammar rules and sentence structures. Once you have a strong grasp of the basics, you may then gradually progress to more complex materials, such as reading texts like simplified news or watching Mandarin TV shows.


Frustrated adult student

Set unrealistic study goals 

While it’s important to set goals for your Chinese course in Singapore, it’s just as important to ensure they are realistic and attainable. Setting unrealistic study goals, such as aiming to become fluent in a few weeks, can lead to unnecessary frustration and disappointment from trying to attain something that isn’t humanly possible. Instead, break your language learning goals into smaller, simpler milestones. Celebrate each breakthrough and adjust your goals as you progress.

Focus excessively on one skill 

Mandarin learning involves multiple skills, like listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Avoid solely focusing on one skill at the expense of others; one can easily fall into that trap when there’s an aspect of Mandarin learning that they enjoy more than the others. Instead, strive for a well-rounded approach by practising all aspects of the language. Incorporate listening exercises, conversational practice, reading comprehension, and writing exercises into your study routine. This balanced approach will help you develop comprehensive language proficiency.

Plan excessively long learning sessions 

While consistency is key in language learning, planning excessively long study sessions can lead to burnout, all whilst receiving diminishing returns. Instead, aim for shorter, focused study sessions that are more manageable and productive, and complementing those with shorter but regular study sessions will help you maintain motivation and retain information more effectively.

If you’re looking for an effective Mandarin course in Singapore, do check out Stanford Language Centre. Here, we offer Skillsfuture for Chinese and a whole range of other courses for different languages. These courses are designed to provide a structured and immersive learning experience, helping you develop your language skills effectively. For more information about our courses and programmes, please visit our website.