Noah.Pflugradt on June 18, 2012
I'm currently busy with HSK 2, so I'm still at the absolute beginner level and I only started studying Chinese three months ago. But maybe someone will find these ideas helpful anyway:

So far I've found ideas about total immersion, simply listening to podcasts or reading texts less than helpful. I think for that to make sense you need a basic vocabulary of at least aquivalent HSK 2-3. So my goal for the first 6 months of Chinese is to simply use brute force to hammer the first 500-1000 words into my memory to have a basis for reading and listening.

For this I try to use a multi-tool approach since I've found that this increases retention for me.

My first tool is They have hands down the best memonics and it's free too. So that helps with getting the words, the pinyin and the characters somehow into memory. Oh, and they have this strange tone game which helps too.

The second tool is It's not free, but after my first month of skritter I've found that it increases my retention for the chinese characters by a frankly ridiculous amount. And oddly enough it became a lot easier to distinguish new characters too. At the beginning they all kind of look the same after all...

Third tool is excessive popup chinese, using the popup review and simply listening. And as soon as David puts in the lesson study tools we suggested, that will really rock!
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