Blogging to Learn: How to Leverage a Blog as a Learning Tool 

Today we are able to read countless personal blogs on the internet. However, it’s important to remember that readers don’t consume blogs like they might a book or a magazine article. More often than not, a reader will probably find a blog they enjoy, bookmark it, and return every once in a while to see … Read moreBlogging to Learn: How to Leverage a Blog as a Learning Tool 

Language Learning Documentation: Translating an App Notification

Interested in learning a language outside of the traditional, sugarcoated world of textbooks and classrooms? Why not try using your phone? Today I used a notification from the update of my bank app as an opportunity to study some more Chinese (note: bank is 农业银行 – Agriculture Bank of China). I’ve documented my translation process … Read moreLanguage Learning Documentation: Translating an App Notification

Fall in Love with Communication, Forget About Grammar

I always get surprised when I hear someone complain about their English very articulately. Normally, I have been speaking to the person for a while, perhaps even in deep conversation. “What do you mean?” I inevitably respond. “I think your English is great. Sure, you could probably work on your tenses and gender usage, but … Read moreFall in Love with Communication, Forget About Grammar

The Importance of Guanxi (关系) in China and How to Cultivate It

The Importance of Guanxi (关系) in China and How to Cultivate It The importance of guanxi (关系) Relationships are important everywhere, but in China they are considered fundamental to success. In fact, they are so important in China that the word in Mandarin for relationships, guanxi (关系), transcends its English translation both in depth and … Read moreThe Importance of Guanxi (关系) in China and How to Cultivate It

5 Useful Attitudes and Habits to Adopt When Learning Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is a notoriously difficult language to learn. When I first came to China in the summer of 2013 I knew zero Chinese, but still I had hope that I could succeed where other language learners before me had failed. In the beginning I learned the easy stuff. Phrases like “听不懂 (tīng bu dǒng)” … Read more5 Useful Attitudes and Habits to Adopt When Learning Mandarin Chinese

Questions That Effective Language Learners Ask Themselves

Have you ever wanted to learn something so badly that you studied it all the time? If you are like me, then you have experienced the point at which studying becomes counterproductive. When learning something new, it is important to take intermittent breaks. This practice allows you to replenish your “focus muscles” and reflect on … Read moreQuestions That Effective Language Learners Ask Themselves

Using Movies to Increase Fluency and Cultural Knowledge

Watching movies in Chinese is a great way to improve your fluency in the language. Similar to learning a language through immersion, this technique forces you to progress via context and setting. If used effectively, this technique will not only increase your listening comprehension, but will also increase your vocabulary and cultural knowledge. How I … Read moreUsing Movies to Increase Fluency and Cultural Knowledge