Tips for Effective Learning

Learning a language means talk a language

Don’t be shy about speaking

Speak Chinese whenever you get a chance. Learn from your mistakes. Nobody expects perfect Chinese from foreigners. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, or maybe even to say everything wrong. Just start talking. A new word or a new sentence is more easily remembered if you try to use it, even if you pronounce it incorrectly in the beginning. You will learn a lot from your mistakes, you just have to dare to give it a try, mistakes and all!

Memorise short phrases from daily life

Frequently it is helpful to memorise new vocabulary words in the context of a sentence or phrase. You think of a sentence you use frequently in daily situations and integrate the new vocabulary into it. This makes it much easier to keep the new words in your mind. In this way you practice both common sentences and phrases, as well as learn the new vocabulary at the same time.

Keep a diary

By keeping a diary or writing a short story every day, you will easily practice using new words, at least in written form. Every day you repeat the new words and sentence structures and will also gradually come to use them when speaking in day-to-day situations. Ask your teacher or a Chinese friend to correct your written texts.

Team up with a language partner

A good way to practice and learn Chinese in a realistic setting is to get together with a Chinese language partner interested in learning your native language. Together you arrange a date and time, and converse together in both languages. In the end, both will have improved their language skills. MandaLingua maintains a database of its language students interested in teaming up to practice, ask our staff members to help you find a suitable language partner.

MandaLingua Language Exchange

Join our frequently offered Language Exchange group discussions, open conversations on varied topics led by a moderator from MandaLingua. The moderator brings together international students who would like to learn Chinese with Chinese students who would like to improve their English, ensuring that everyone gets a chance to learn from each other. These discussion groups emphasise active conversational practice for all participants.

Optimize your study time management

Learn effectively with regular breaks! You should schedule a regular study time of set length for learning the language, and then keep this appointment with yourself. For instance, you study effectively for around 30 minutes, and then take a break. When you study too long without a break, you learn less and less effectively because sustained concentration becomes increasingly difficult after a time. Breaks of 5 to 10 minutes between individual learning units are recommended.

Text highlighting

To organize and prioritise your learning within a text and give yourself a better overview of various topics, try highlighting important words and phrases with different colours according to your own colour-keyed system.


Flashcards are a very popular, easy to use learning aid. On the front side of the card you write the word both in Pinyin and with its Chinese character. On the back you write your translation and any other useful information.

Store the flashcards in a file box with five compartments. Each compartment has a different meaning and describes your learning progress. Using the flashcard system is very easy: first place all the cards in the first compartment. Each time you correctly identify and translate the card, you place it one compartment farther back; each time you cannot translate the card, place it one compartment closer to the front. If you regularly use this system, the words and phrases will be increasingly reinforced in your memory over time.