Chinese is one of the most complex languages in the world to learn. Many people might have told you that you need to study hard, maybe hours a day, memorizing Chinese radicals if you are a Mandarin learner. However, that only works for those with available hours a day to spend on Chinese learning. What about people who have to wear a lot of hats and are often occupied with many things such as work, child care, and housework. Does being busy shut the opportunity of learning Chinese for them?
Not really, and do not let it be. What if we tell you that learning Mandarin 15 minutes a day is already good enough? If you know how to use that 15 minutes well, you’ll be able to master this hard-to-chew language. Learning hard is not an ideal way for anyone with a modern busy lifestyle. Let’s learn smart!
Why learning Chinese for 15 mins every day is good enough?
There are many available practices to help you learn Chinese better. One of them is breaking down the information into small chunks and studying each for a short period of time daily.
You remember better what you have learned
Scientific evidence explains why studying a language for 15 minutes a day is a better learning approach. Your brain is very selective when storing information. You normally know what you need to remember, and you try your best to remember them. However, your brain decides by itself whether the information is essential, and forgets it sooner or later.
The Interlanguage model by Bill van Paten explains this brain’s memorization mechanism.
First, if you cramp for about 3 hours, all the information will be packed in the short-term memory area in the brain. That is why after learning, you think that you’ve learned a substantial amount and you can recall everything. However, because you’ve put a lot of information in your brain, it suffers from “information overload or cognitive overload.” As a result, most of what you’ve learned will disappear just a few hours later and never make it to the long-term memory area.
However, if you spare 15 minutes a day to study Chinese, your brain will be programmed to acknowledge that the input information is essential. You can focus more on a few pieces of information and quickly imprint the language in your brain. Moreover, newly learned vocabulary or grammar can arrive at the long-term memory zone with little repetition.
It prevents you from procrastinating
Let’s look at two scenarios below:
- Scenario 1: What if you know that today, you have to spend three hours learning Chinese?
- Scenario 2: What if you know that you just need to spend 15 minutes learning the language, then you can do whatever you want?
In which situation makes you more likely to be eager to learn Chinese right away?
Actually, if you choose to study like the first scenario, you’ve made the most common mistake of language learners. You link the learning to a long and tiring 3-hour experience. According to the pleasure-pain theory, human beings tend to seek pleasure and avoid pains in nature. Therefore, in this case, you are more likely to find many excuses so that you can avoid studying Chinese as long as you can. At the end of the day, you may find out that you have not learned a bit of Chinese today. Then you begin feeling guilty and promise yourself to learn maybe 6 hours tomorrow so that you can make up for today’s performance. However, the procrastination cycle will repeat itself tomorrow and the days after that.
You can fix this if you set a lower standard for your Chinese learning. If you study 15 minutes per day, you do not find learning Chinese so painful anymore. You are more motivated to start studying at once. You even properly prefer to learn Chinese as early as possible during the day so that you can focus on other more important things. As a result, you do not procrastinate anymore from hours to hours and from days to days.
It helps you not to skip a day
As mentioned before, the essential thing in language learning is repetition. With repetition, you can move what you have learned into long-term memory and use it cognitively as a native speaker. On the contrary, if the knowledge is still fresh and not reviewed, there is a high chance that you forget 80-95% of it only a few days after. It goes without saying that studying Chinese 15 minutes every day without skipping one day is more effective than cramming for 3 hours one day and getting back to it days after. Additionally, this approach makes it easier to maintain that daily learning habit. Come on! It is only 15 minutes a day. Even if you are the busiest person in the world, you can still spare 15 minutes a day to study Chinese.
It gives you a high sense of accomplishment
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people tend to seek chances to heighten their esteem. Everyone needs to feel good about themselves, be confident in who they are, and be proud of what they have done, including you. If you are trying to study so much Chinese in one day, you might feel disheartened when you cannot meet the goal you have set. However, selecting a schedule of 15 minutes daily for Chinese acquisition can be no more realistic and achievable. After you have finished 15 minutes of learning Chinese, you feel like you have achieved something. Your brain then emits a type of hormone called dopamine, making you so happy and satisfied. Can you imagine that learning Chinese can make you happy? This approach can even create an emotional connection between you and the language. Whenever you think about Chinese or come across Chinese in real life, you have that pleasant feeling. The amazing feeling encourages you to keep studying Chinese every day.
How to learn Chinese 15 minutes per day?
The chunking principle in psychology suggests people can remember from five to nine new information items at a time. Pandanese, a reliable Chinese learning tool, helps you remember from almost five to ten new Chinese words at a time with a perfect mnemonics system for better storing complicated Chinese radicals in your brain. Imagine how awesome it is if you only need less than 15 minutes a day to master Chinese radicals. Pandanese also offers the most appropriate learning curriculum based on your learning purpose, either it is travel, business, or school.
We’d love to hear about how you master learning Chinese in the comment below!