“Without grammar, very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed.”
– David A. Wilkins (1972)
1. You Tend to Learn a Lot of Irrelevant Vocabulary
Most textbook vocabulary is based on a topic (e.g. sports or shopping). Topics are fine for after your foundation is set, but as a beginner, you should be learning vocab based on spoken frequency.
2. There Is Little Focus on Chinese Characters, the Key Building Blocks of the Language
Characters are either taught badly or not at all, presenting a real problem when it comes to learning vocabulary. Imagine not knowing what “side” means when learning the word “sidewalk”!
3. You Usually Have No Way of Guaranteeing Retention of the Words You Learn
Even if you do get a great teacher and a decent textbook, very rarely do you have a guaranteed method of retaining the information other than reviewing your notes. Consequently, large chunks of your learned content is lost before it enters your long term memory.
1. Only focus on high-frequency words at first
With our system, you will learn the most common 1,000 spoken words first, so you have the highest possible opportunity to notice them and use them when listening, reading and speaking very early on. This makes learning so much more fun because every word you learn makes up such a large chunk of day-to-day communication.
2. Focus On Character-Centric Vocabulary Acquisition
As we mentioned in the previous ‘characters‘ page, learning characters is essential for rapid vocabulary acquisition, due to the structure of words being so logical. As you progress through the Hanzi Movie Method character order, whenever you learn both characters for a multi-character compound word, that word will be “unlocked”, and you will prompted to make a flashcard for it. This character-centric method of learning will make your vocabulary acquisition a doddle!
3. Use “smart” flashcards daily
Flashcards powered by spaced repetition software are the best way to remember information, and incredibly time-efficient. In fact, it’s so effective that, as long as you review daily, we can guarantee your progress.
Using flashcards is a huge step in the right direction, but making them yourself and in accordance with top linguistic research is next-level smart. We guide you on exactly how to make the most memorable flashcards by applying various memory techniques to build as many connections to the word as possible. Similar to the movie scenes you create when making characters, this is completely personal to you, thus allowing you to build on what you already know using someone you know very well…yourself!