It has been a few months since the last post on resources for learning Mandarin Chinese outside of class. Today I am including a roundup of resources that would be useful for students who are at least at an intermediate stage of language proficiency. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages provides definitions for the different stages of language proficiency here. Many parents and adult students want to have resources to help them learn Mandarin Chinese outside of class. Since students learn language through comprehensible input, it is important that whatever students listen to or read is at the appropriate level of difficulty. If a student is looking up every other word, the material is definitely too difficult. To facilitate learning, reading and listening should feel fun and enjoyable, not like a struggle.
I have recommended this publishing company’s series of books before. They publish versions on western classics like Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen (and a few Chinese stories!) that use limited vocabulary and simple sentences. They have added more books since I last recommended them. It looks like they are building their catalogue enough so that a variety of students can find a book they’d like to read.
Chinese-language movies on Netflix
Netflix doesn’t have a foreign-language category, but you can search “Chinese” or “Mandarin) and browse Chinese-language movies. I haven’t found any movies that also have Chinese subtitles (like they have in China), but it is perfectly fine to keep the English subtitles on. I recently watched This is Not What I Expected (喜欢你). It is a enjoyable romantic comedy with nothing that is too mature for a tween/teen audience.
Short Stories on Chinese-Stories.com
The website www.chinese-stories.com recently crossed my desk. First, the bad: this website is clunky and really difficult to use. It also falls into the same trap that claims a lot of content producers: their “novice” content is way too difficult for actual novice language learners. On the plus side, the website uses a freemium model, so there are some free readings. The short stories also have an accompanying audio track, so students can listen to the stories as well as read them.
More roundups on resources for learning Mandarin Chinese:
Have any suggestions for intermediate language learners? Share in the comments!