Massive Vocab Building

A few days ago, I got this excellent question from Mat Fay Long: Is there any learning trick where a small investment of time can have a big enough learning payoff? I was thinking that on the subway I can either read learning materials in Cantonese or listen to lessons/music on my iPod. Learning books … Continue reading

The Input Hypothesis and Its Flaws #3

This is the third post in a three part series: The Input Hypothesis and The Input Hypothesis 2 are still kicking around.  They ain’t going anywhere.  :) Today’s post is a short follow-up to two posts I wrote a long while back.  Basically, my premise was to happily include speaking as part of your language … Continue reading

Chunking – Your New Best Friend

Chunking.  Looks like the name of a Chinese kungfuist from Tekken IV, huh? But no.  Chunking is the process of breaking up information into chunks. Essentially: unless you understand what they’re made up of, large pieces of information are hard to process and memorise. For example: I added the following Mandarin sentence to Anki: 電視螢幕因天線接收不良而模糊不清。 … Continue reading

Adult Learner, Kiddie Textbooks

Although there aren’t actually any textbooks that teach Cantonese to Hong Kong students, there are a lot that teach Standard Chinese. A few months ago, I got 詞彙寶庫及寫作練習 for 小一, published by Pearson.  Unlike TV shows or manga, it’s designed to teach you to improve your Chinese reading and writing skills – and of course, … Continue reading