As well as learning with experienced professional tutors, using Chinese textbooks and listening materials that are appropriate to your level, you should always try to look for innovative and effective study methods. Here are some that worked for some Mandarin learners:
- Learn common sentences. If available, get a Chinese person to ruthlessly correct your tones and pronunciation.
- Listen and repeat: listen to a native speaker’s words. Also, memorize some basic sentences; this will help you get used to using the language unprompted.
- Learn (and memorize) some songs: For starters children’s songs are good options, but pop songs tend to be pretty simple.
- Keep a simple diary in Chinese: If characters are still too difficult, use pinyin.
- Watch Chinese movies: use Chinese subtitles to practice listening and association.
- Chat online in Chinese: You can do this easily if you get a qq number, you can also do it with Wechat.
- Read a newspaper article a day: Underline the new words, and add them to a vocabulary list. Once you’ve done that, read it again for improved comprehension.
- Make simple monologues: Prepare simple monologues to practice your vocabulary and pronunciation. Choose topics that you are interested in, and use language that you are already familiar with.
- Listen: Listen to 2 minutes of spoken Chinese a day (possibly on the radio) when finished, summarize the conversation or monologue in Chinese.
- Learn idioms: Write a list of idioms. Look up their meaning and proper context. In order to memorize them, use them in your monologue or diary. Try to learn at least 5 per week.
Source: New Concept Mandarin