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How to learn Chinese through TV shows


Choosing to be a second language learner is a lifestyle choice. If you are serious about learning Chinese to the level where you can use it effectively in your daily life, you might want to consider finding ways to actively study TV shows, by integrating them into your Mandarin study program. In addition to the active study, you should also make time to passively study without much extra effort. Chinese TV shows are useful for both types of studying.

1. Read the subtitles as you watch

Don't worry when you miss a few characters here and there–Chinese has a lot of characters! Jot down a few questions or key words to ask your teacher about during your next tutoring session.

2. Read plot synopses

Most websites that stream the shows include paragraph plot synopses for every episode. You can use these to either help you predict what will happen in the show by reading them before watching, and/or to review what happened in the show after watching. Either method will help you to identify key words that you will need in your next tutoring session, to help you talk about the show.

3. Write reaction essays

This often helps to solidify your ideas about what happened in the show. It also helps you to practice writing Chinese characters in a way that is meaningful, using vocabulary that is specific to the events of the show.

4. Get feedback from a teacher on your essays

Ask a teacher to edit the essays, and in the lesson explain some of the most frequently occurring errors in your writing. By doing this you will become more aware of your common writing mistakes, and it will help you to avoid making them again in the future.

5. Re-watch the episode

After you have had a tutoring session, revisit the episode or movie. You'll probably find that after going through all of the steps above, you will be able to comprehend much more of the show than you originally were able to when you watched it for the first time.


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