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Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 19 December 2023. Posted in Front Page

Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

The much anticipated holiday season is here. We are saying goodbye to 2023, and saying hello to 2024!

Got plans? Travelling? Planning multi occasions for drinking and eating? Having time reserved for binge watching? There is also of course playing video games, shopping and what not. I hope it’s going to be a great holiday for you!

What about learning Chinese? 

Here I have some learning tips for you to do just a little bit of Chinese while enjoying yourselves during the holiday break.

A little bit of learning goes a long way. It helps you stay on the right track. When the break is over, you won’t feel that you’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned.


Tip #1: Take a few minutes at a time.

Expecting yourself to block a whole hour each day for learning Chinese is asking too much. You are needed during the holidays, and you are going to get involved in many celebrations and errands all the time. 

Dedicate a few minutes instead. It’s easier to find a few minutes to do some Chinese, during your morning coffee/tea, right after you get out of the bed, or before you go to sleep. Find those few minutes, and make a habit of it.

If you have a copy of Learning Chinese Well Organised (LCWO), you probably find it easier to find those few minutes, as the sole purpose of LCWO is to help people find time and space amid all the distractions. 


Tip #2: A short vocabulary list is better than your Chinese textbooks.

Prepare a short Chinese vocabulary list which you think is important. For example, select a few key words from each lesson, and build a nice one-page vocabulary list. Use those few minutes to review these key words and try to recall what the lesson is about. You can have a quick mental review of an entire lesson in a flash.

Alternatively, use a Spaced Repetition Software (SRS) to help you stay fresh with your vocabularies. A few minutes a day and you can easily stay on top of everything. 


Tip #3: Write something occasionally.

Send a text message in Chinese, write a Facebook post in Chinese, send a tweet in Chinese, keep a journal in Chinese, or simply throw in some Chinese words to your normal writings.

Write about the activities you have done, people you have met, the good food you have eaten, some quality me-time you’ve enjoyed, or how many bottles of beer you have drunk.

All these writings will keep your Chinese active, and increase your knowledge retention. 

If you have a copy of LCWO, use it to doodle some of your thoughts. If you don’t, any notebooks will do the job. 


Tip #4: Listen to your audios.

Let your Chinese audios put you to sleep when possible. 

Some experts say that our brain continues to function and be more receptive when we are asleep. And this is the best time to learn subconsciously. We may not realise it after we wake up, but our learning is already there.

These experts may have a point.

If you are working on Mandarin Express textbook series, either Intro Level or Basic Level, there are dozens of audio lessons available for you to listen to. 

Listening to these Mandarin audio lessons can definitely put you to a sound sleep, and you wake up the next day fresh with energy.


Tip #5: Do some light reading on Chinese

If you prefer to read a few pages to relax before sleeping, try our Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories series.

The latest one, Easy-to-Read Chinese Short Stories, Book 3, was just released last month. It includes ten very short stories, which are winners of this year Chinese Writing Contest. These stories are all very easy to read. You won’t have many character roadblocks, because the entire book is written with only 320 Chinese characters.

Try to read one or two stories a day, and you’ll finish the entire book during your holiday.


Hope you find these learning tips helpful, and use them to stay on track with your Chinese study.

If you have some wonderful tips that you’d like to share with other Chinese language learners, drop me a line.

Here at MSL Master, I wish you a splendid holiday ahead!

About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and she enjoys teaching and interacting with students. She constantly explores new and interesting ways of teaching Chinese through creative and imaginative activities.

With her help, many students have achieved outstanding result, which has enriched their understanding about China and has significantly contributed to their work.