TV Shows, Podcasts and Books to Help Students Learn Mandarin Chinese

For students who are learning Mandarin Stateside (or any non-Mandarin speaking region) it can be a struggle to get enough input in Mandarin Chinese. Students who learn the language in China or Taiwan are immersed in the target language, but students here must seek out listening and reading materials in Mandarin Chinese. I’ve posted here and here some links to videos to help students get more input in Chinese, but there have not been so many resources for intermediate to advanced learners until today. Below please find some links to resources (tv shows, movies, podcasts, books) that may help intermediate and advanced learners of Chinese get the input they need to acquire the language.


A couple of my adult students turned me onto It has dramas and movies from all over Asia, but you can search by Chinese/Taiwanese options. I like Viki because it has subtitles with Chinese characters, this is very helpful for students. I suggest skipping the soap operas set in ancient China because they use a great deal of archaic language that is not very useful to the modern leaner. is free with advertising.


Dramafever is similar to, although I find it harder to navigate. Top tip, look for Chinese characters in the titles to find Chinese-language dramas. Free with advertising.

Learning Chinese Through Stories

This podcast has content for three levels: novice, intermediate, and advanced, which are further subdivided into three levels. The content for novices is frankly a bit too difficult for actual novice learners of Chinese, but would work for intermediate and above. Getting lots of comprehensible input only works for language acquisition if students actually understand what they are hearing and are not struggling and straining to “get it.” Free.

The Three-Body Problem (Chinese version)

For students who want to master academic Chinese, reading fiction is the way to get to that next level. If you are a sci-fi fan, the work of Cixin Liu is highly regarded and popular. In any case, free reading (for pleasure) is practically a guaranteed way to increase your language acquisition.

Any other resources to suggest? Share in the comments!

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