Language barriers are the biggest limitation for us to live and work abroad, but the fastest and best way to learn a language is to live there and immerse ourselves in the local culture.
Talk to yourself
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to learning a new language is not its difficulty and learner's ability to learn, but you don't know where to start. Why not try to start by talking to yourself in Chinese. such as,
"Good morning. How are you?"
"Very good, what about you?"
"Excellent, thank you.”
"Do you have plans for the weekend?"
"No, do you want to go hiking together?"
"Okay, this sounds great!"
If you are not at home, talking to yourself seems a little strange and even make people think you have a mental problem. A tip is to pick up your phone and pretend you are chatting with a Chinese friend so as to avoid embarrassment.
Practice more often
Make sure you practice Chinese every day, no matter what form it is or where you are. A famous saying "Practice makes perfect." You can study in the public library for several hours or just memorize some Chinese words on the subway.
If you are lucky enough to teach English in a big Chinese city, you may not need to learn Chinese specifically since most people you meet can talk to you in English. If you want to learn Chinese, you must first get rid of the habit of consciously speaking English. Try to immerse yourself in learning Chinese in daily life, like reading Chinese children's books (don’t feel embarrassed, no one cares what you’re reading), watching Chinese movies (usually with English subtitles), or learning to sing some simple Chinese songs.
Think in Chinese
When you have learned some basic knowledge of Mandarin, trying to use Chinese to think about some simple questions, such as, "What do I have for lunch today? --- Hamburger and vegetable salad". You can even think about the correct tone when saying these Chinese words.
Be Relentless on Yourself
To master a new language, you must have the spirit of perseverance. Learning Chinese is a difficult process, and what you need to do is never giving up. For example, you see a familiar Chinese character on the subway, but you can't remember its pronunciation and meaning. Take a minute to look up the dictionary instead of easily telling yourself, “Forget it, buddy.”
Believe in yourself, your Mandarin will become stronger after teaching English in China. Practice often and never give it up, you will soon be able to express yourself in Chinese fluently.
Check here to find out 6 ways to make new connections while working in China