When it comes to learning a second language, it’s no secret that being immersed in an environment surrounded by the language will help. This includes Chinese! When learning Chinese, it’s always recommended to pay a visit to China and immerse yourself in the language’s culture and its people. But, obviously, that’s not always possible for everyone. What you can do is increase your immersion in the language at home. Here are some ways to improve your Chinese immersion at home if you want to learn Chinese!
1. Listen, read, and write in Chinese
Even if it’s only for 5 minutes a day, listening, reading, and writing in Chinese can do wonders for your language-learning progress. It can be something as simple as trying to stream your favourite show with the Chinese subtitles on, switching the audio dub to Chinese, or watching a Chinese show in its native language. You can also listen to podcasts, news broadcasts, or audiobooks in Chinese and try to write down words as you listen. This is helpful as you will be able to dive deep into the subject and learn very specific vocabulary. These are all impactful things that you can do at home to improve your Chinese immersion.
2. Start labelling objects in your home in Chinese
Using post-its, you can start labelling the stuff in your home in Chinese. This way, you can expose yourself to Chinese more often, and you can’t escape it because it’ll be everywhere and all around you. Not to mention, immersing yourself in Chinese in such a way is great if you want to remember how to write certain Chinese characters, words, and phrases. Once you’ve become more comfortable in the Chinese language, you can start progressing from using words to actual phrases, idioms, and even full sentences around the house.
3. Start writing your journal in Chinese
If you’re not keeping a journal or a diary, it’s time that you start doing it! In fact, better yet, you should keep two, with one written in your native language and the other written in Chinese. The latter is to help you practice writing and reading in Chinese. This is a great way to practice your recognition of Chinese characters and improve your vocabulary as you use words that will be connected to your activities and feelings.
4. Have a pen pal
This is a bit old-school, but effective nevertheless. Having a pen pal will force you to constantly think about how you phrase things in Chinese so that you are understood. This will help you improve your Chinese. Not to mention, your pen pal will likely be using words and phrases in Chinese that you wouldn’t normally learn in class or from a book.
There are other ways to improve Chinese immersion at home, and these are just some of them. Other methods include switching your phone’s language to Chinese, listening to Chinese music and podcasts, as well as watching Chinese movies, and more. Overall, just try to surround yourself with as much Chinese as possible! In doing so, you are both subconsciously and consciously improving your Chinese, gearing you up for the HSK test in Singapore!