I've been learning Chinese Mandarin for about six months now, and I really want to start an accountability group where we can update each other on progress, share tips, tricks + resources, and basically keep each other on track so we can make it to whatever goal we have in mind.
Native English speakers are preferred, and it would be even better if we were on similar time zones for Skyping (I live in Las Vegas), but it isn't necessary.
I'm not 100% sure on the structure of the group, but we'll figure it out depending on the people who are interested in joining.
Talk soon (&happy language learning!),
Sounds like a great idea a great idea, however, I doubt very much if you will find any "tricks" to learning Mandarin other than lots of practice and hardwork. As far as sharing ideas about resources or tips to aid in your studies, 非常好建议！
Tip #1: purchase several China Breeze Graded Reader books, read them aloud, and afterwards play the accompanied MP3 disk to check your pronounciation of new words, and to improve your listening comprehension.
Tip#2: roleplay every and any textbook scenario you come across in your studies. Make sure you use every new vocabulary word you have learned. This is an underrated exercise that should not be overlooked. Do the same scenario, with variety, several times to reinforce the context of the vocabulary.
Tip#3: utlize the greatest resource on italk: the one to one language instructor.
Tip#4: practice listening comprehension endlessly (Chinesepod, Slow Chinese, et al.)
Tip#5: do not neglect to learn about the great cultural aspects of China. "Eat it, sleep it, talk it, live it, and be one with it". (When I first heard that I thought it was the dumbest idea in the world, until I tried it)
continued here because of 2000 word limitation.
I use the ZhongWen Popup Dictionary to read chinese online.
Pleco Dictionary for iphone and android.
Line dictionary http://linedictionary.naver.com/dict.html#/cnen/
https://chinesequest.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/new-years-goals/ Reached proficiency in 2 years. Spent about 6 months studying at MTU in taiwan if my memory is serving me right.
http://www.sinosplice.com/ Former podcast host at chinesepod.
Discover more for yourself!
Motivational Reads. Ask the Experts:
You can also find a lot of referred blogs in these posts.
I watch dramas on viki.com
I've mainly learned chinese in college and chinese school, so I can't recommend any personal tutors.
The most profilic american based chinese teacher i've encountered on the web is YangYang of https://www.yoyochinese.com/, but I'm sure there are plent on italki.
What I'm looking for:
Currently I'm looking for native chinese books to read at the 4th grade to 8th grade level, preferably english and chinese side by side. I remember reading harry potter in the 5th grade. I'm also taking recommendations on HSK 5 preparation material.
This is great! I'm currently working toward either an HSK 4 or HSK 5 certification. I really like the idea of updating each other on one's progress. I believe this can just be monthly updates on this thread in the form of number of vocabulary words learned, number of notebook entries written on italki, and scores on real tests/practice tests e.g. HSK or TOCFL or school tests. Or perhaps we can start a thread on chinese-forums.com. I find it hard to search for discussion threads on italki (since search is not built-in), so if we want higher visibility, and more participation, maybe chinese-forums.com would be more appropriate.
I'm learning HSK vocabulary on http://www.memrise.com/home/ at about 15-30 words a day. (Free)
I listen to chinese podcasts on slow-chinese.com at a rate of 1 podcast a day. (Free) I went through the free podcasts listed on http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2014/01/18/chinese-podcasts/ and this is by far the most useful to me so far. Though it only has hanzi, you can use browser plugins to quickly get definitions.
I'm doing about 2-3 language exchanges every week via italki.
I also occasionally listening to podcasts on https://chinesepod.com
The mother of all resources I encountered so far is: http://www.hackingchinese.com/
I've come across chinese-forums.com as referred to be jefflau.net and chinesequest.wordpress.com. Haven't used the forums yet, but I would imagine it would be able to find more resources.
I also recommend www.hackingchinese.com and also www.chinesehacks.com
What really helped is downloading and using the Firefox plug-in Perapera Chinese when I browse websites. I will browse Wikipedia articles of interest in Chinese using the plug-in and I learn enormous amounts of vocab whereas before there was an impenetrable wall of Chinese.
I learn songs as well - they help with character recognition and new vocab.
I'm not at the stage where I can read a newspaper but I have to learn more characters so I'm choosing to use Heisig's book "Remembering the Hanzi".
Check out your local library. There are a ton of Chinese books at my local public library, some annotated with zhuyin, some just characters that can be a good resource.
Also, highly recommend DLI's GLOSS: https://gloss.dliflc.edu/
Sounds kinda cool