So you’re interested in studying in Singapore, or maybe you’re already even there. Congrats!
But it’s a no-brainer that in order to make it in one of the fastest growing countries in Asia, you’ll need some grasp of that seemingly alien language. This is even direr if you’re studying there. So in order to help you get the success in your efforts, I’ve put together 5 hacks for surviving Singapore, made especially for language learners.
Get covered- Like every other student worrying about finances for territory education, in China, this still applies. But don’t worry, here are some hacks on how to get your tuition funded.
Hack#1- Get a fully funded scholarship
Now where you get that scholarship is up to you. But just to give you a heads up, places you can get a scholarship for your studies in Singapore include from your host university, the Ministry of Education in Singapore, and also from funding bodies.
Your body is a temple – If you want to do your best, then being half drunk from lack of sleep or overwhelmed by stress and worries won’t do you any good. It’ll hurt you. But apart from the obvious like eating healthy and getting proper sleep. Here’s a hack to help you prevent some of these worries before you actually get to China.
Hack#2 – Do preparations before you arrive in Singapore
Now that sounds obvious, and you may even already have an apartment. But have you actually gotten a bank account yet? This will make paying for even simple things less stressful and can even save the extra fees.
Do you have a plan about how to manage living and travel expense to ensure maximum enjoyment and less stress? Who knows, when you get there, you may even need a new bed, and a bunch of other expenses you wouldn’t expect.
So now that we’ve managed to get a lot of the stress out of the picture, here comes the bump in the road.
Communication is key – Now we already touched on why you need to learn the language, so here are two hacks to help you with this!
Hack#3 – Remember your end GOAL
Apart from wanting to reach a certain level in your Mandarin ability, do you actually have a reason to learn this language? This could be in order to just understand your notes, maybe so you can speak and interact with friends, or maybe you want to become fluent enough so you can work as Mandarin tutor and make some cash on the side.
Now once you’ve finalized your GOAL, here are two ways in which you’ll use it to supercharge your Mandarin learning efforts:
1. You need to remember it.
Even if you have to write it on a huge paper and stick it on your wall. This will help you to stay motivated when you hit those down times because they’re going to happen. But what’s deadly about these times, is that they’re like a virus, the more you let it go unnoticed, it starts to take over, and soon you find yourself not studying at all!
2. All your language learning efforts should revolve around your GOAL.
So now this will enable you to make smaller goals that are not just measurable, but relevant. For example, let’s you’re studying to become a lawyer. You may set a weekly goal to learn 20 vocabulary items each. But to make this help you even further with your GOAL, you’ll set a rule like; 10 of those words must be a term you’ll find in Law. So if you list has a lot of terms relating to gardening, then something’s wrong.
Hack#4 – Follow a method
Instead of dashing to the stores or online to buy every Mandarin textbook you find. You may want to slow your pace and try something more strategic.
You can try the following method below to really get the best out of your results. It’s what I also follow for my own language learning, even though I’m still the beginner.
But it works!
1. Learn the basic vocabulary first, and not advanced words you probably won’t ever hear. One good way to do this is to use mnemonics. These are like small mental cues to let your brain remember something or a particular word. For languages like Mandarin where letters are represented by symbols, this works well. Eventually, you’ll forget the cue and just remember the word.
2. Then you move on to the textbooks. Once you’ve at least learned a decent amount of vocabulary, then you can move on to textbooks in order to learn grammar. Here you’ll also learn more important vocabulary and also reinforce the ones you learned.
3. Listen to it. There’s a reason why babies are born being able to hear before they can talk. This can be applied to language learning also. This can be watching movies, music or even podcasts. But whatever it is, make sure that it helps you to achieve your GOAL in some way. You shouldn’t be listening to olden-day Mandarin if you want to speak conversationally with young people. Now here, you want to make note of accents and pitches in the way they say words and phrases.
4. Now you can speak it. Here, you’ll try to imitate how words are spoken based on what you’re listening to. So whether it’s a movie or music, you need to eventually say it out loud. Just remember, saying something in your mind and saying it out loud are two completely different things. Here, you also want to make note of new vocabulary.
5. So after a baby learns how to speak, what does it do next? It goes to school to learn how to write. Your next step is learning how to write more meaningful and complete sentences. Apart from the obvious like writing a grocery list, you can make it work in your favor by blocking out intruders. Maybe it means writing your private diary or folders on your computer in Mandarin.
Surround yourself- Your last tip would be to surround yourself with the language. Try as much as possible to make aspects of your everyday life include as much Mandarin as possible. So here’s a way in which you can do this.
Hack#5- Analyse and then swap
You should take a moment to figure what you normally do, that you can add Mandarin too. This could mean changing the settings on certain computer software to Mandarin instead of English, following Mandarin fashion bloggers on Instagram instead of English ones, or even Chinese games and be reading Chinese books also.
The key is to do it step by step until everything you do is simply done in Mandarin!
I hope these hacks really help you with your studies in Singapore.
Bonus Hack – Get professional chinese tuition in Singapore
No one said learning a new language was easy. Why not get professional teachers to help boost your learning? There are plenty of options for chinese tuition in Singapore, ranging from one-to-one private lessons, classroom-style group tuition and even online skype lessons. You can find more information on the numerous options in this article.
Let me know if that helps! Thank you!
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