Resources Roundup: Intermediate & Above

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.

Mandarin Companion Graded Readers

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

The website 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.

screen grab of chinese stories
If you can get past the clunky website, there are some cute stories with audio narration on

More roundups on resources for learning Mandarin Chinese:

Resources for When There is no Mandarin Class

Advanced and Intermediate Resources

Have any suggestions for intermediate language learners? Share in the comments!

Mandarin Learning Resources for Intermediate and Advanced Students

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!