How to Decide On The Best Way To Start Learning Chinese
When it comes to learning Chinese, there’s a ton of confusion about which methods are the best. Some people may say that one method is the best way to learn the Chinese language, while some say another is.
Out of all the ways to learn the Chinese language, two stands out as the most effective – immersion and traditional education.
Which way of learning is immersion, and which way is traditional? And which of the two are the best ways for you to learn Chinese?
The pros and cons of traditional language learning
Traditional language learning involves learning from a trained experience in a typical classroom setting.
It has been proven many times over that the best way to learn a new language, including Chinese, is by learning it from someone who’s fluent in it and is trained to teach it to other people. In comparison to picking up random words from your environment, you’re going to build a better foundational knowledge of a language if you learned it from an expert, albeit the method is a lot less exciting than having to fly to China to learn Chinese.
What most people fail to realize with traditionally learning Chinese is that the teaching is focused much less on knowing how to copy and translate, and more on how to understand the language and communicate effectively in it.
As a result, you’ll learn the more complex parts of the Chinese language, including but not limited to the construction of sentences and phrases.
Finally, because classrooms are considered as “safe spaces”, you’re more encouraged to learn via trial-and-error, so you’re much more welcome to explore the basics of the language before you advance.
For a more immersive learning experience in a classroom setting, you’ll want to enroll in a Chinese course in Singapore that discourages speaking your native language within the classroom.
This way, you’ll learn to speak in Chinese throughout your lessons with your classmates, allowing you to pick up the language much faster.
The pros and cons of learning through immersion
In some ways, learning Chinese through immersion works because you learn how to associate words with certain memories, places, and people, making it easier for them to stick out in your mind.
A good example is learning Chinese by ordering in Chinese in a Chinese restaurant. You’ll learn a lot of the words for different types of food, as well as how to greet your waiter, say thank you, and plenty more.
Because of the actual and immediate application of your knowledge, you’re much more likely to remember the words than if you had learned them in a traditional classroom setting.
By learning Chinese through immersion, you learn from the “street” and from the people you converse with daily, and not just from textbooks, flashcards, as well as readings taught in a language school.
Also, because you get constant practice, you’re more than likely to become “fluent”, or at least comfortable in the language.
But the big problem with immersion is that if you lack any foundation built within the classroom setting, learning a new language like Chinese can be quite confusing.
So, which is the best way for you to learn Chinese?
The best way for you to learn the Chinese language is still through traditional language learning methods.
While learning Chinese through immersion is another effective way, the classroom provides the best way for you to build a good foundation in Chinese. This is so that you don’t get too confused once you decide to jump in and immerse yourself in an unknown language. Even if you only took a basic Chinese course in Singapore, you’ll still fare a lot better in a foreign Chinese-speaking environment than someone who had little to no prior exposure to Chinese.