5 ways to practice your conversational Chinese
Polyglots will almost universally recommend that, when learning a new language, you should start speaking it out loud as soon as possible. For some this co, es easy. For some, this is nerve-wracking. For some, they want to do it but just don’t know how to get spoken practice in! This is an article for all of the above, especially that last group.
1. Ask Your Chinese Friends
If you’re learning Chinese it’s probably because you have some sort of connection to China and/or Chinese speakers. Yes, some people learn Chinese just out of an interest in Chinese culture or history, but more often than not you will have a Chinese speaking friend or two in your social circle. Practicing Chinese with your friend(s) is a great way to strengthen your relationships and learn a new language at a time. Friends are often very friendly and patient and more than willing to share their culture!
2. Get on WeChat
If you don’t have that many Chinese friends or acquaintances, no problem! There’s plenty of places to find them. Most mainland Chinese are frequent WeChat users. WeChat is like FB, Instagram, texting, and more all rolled into one. But WeChat is not only the channel to connect to Chinese but also the place to find them. The app has several built-in futures to make friends — Shake, Discover Nearby, etc. With the shake of a phone or press of a button, you can find users nearby or that are interested in having a language exchange.
3. WeChat Language Group
In addition to exploring WeChat one on one, there are several social options. Many Chinese learners congregate in WeChat groups dedicated to daily Chinese exploration. They function similar to the FB group but are less “post” oriented and more like a free-flowing messenger conversation. Groups often have both Chinese learners and Chinese natives. This is great for talking to people who both understand your struggle and can help take you to the level. TutorMandarin has several such groups — contact us on FB to be invited in with a QR code. (Note! The QR code in the picture expires on March 12th… talk to us via FB to get a new link)
4. Language Partner
Instead of just looking for Chinese people to talk to, you can go after language exchangers. Language exchange partners will be looking to practice a language as well (probably English). You can agree to have sessions together where 50% of the time you each get to speak with the language you’re learning. Language partners can be found all over! Here’s a list:
5. Real Tutor
Practice Conversation In Chinese
Language partners are great but they’re not perfect. If you’re learning a language it’s best to have a professional who knows the struggles of learning a language and the tricks to do it quickly and efficiently. A Chinese tutor will be much more effective at helping you with your struggling tones and pronunciation, whereas a language partner might end up just trying to repeat how it’s done correctly. At TutorMandarin, we have personal Chinese tutors for $12-20/class – plus, every student who signs up gets a free Chinese class to see if they like it! Why not give it a try?