How to Improve Your Chinese Reading

Posted by Fifi Yang on Jan 27, 2016

learn to read Chinese

If you are learning Chinese, here are 5 ways to help you improve your Chinese reading skills.

1. Get to know many Chinese words as a basis

Obviously, the word is the basis of learning a new language. If you want to read Chinese, you must grasp certain amount of Chinese words. If you are a beginner, please make sure you understand every Chinese character when you read an article. If you meet some words you don't know, just write it down to ask someone who can help you or look up into a Chinese dictionary. Lists all the new words and try to remember them all. Learn some new Chinese words or phrases each time during the reading, you will clear lots of obstacles for your next reading.

2. Choose the right book for yourself.

It is very important for you to get the right book for yourself, or your Chinese reading process may become very tedious and boring, and you can't improve quickly.

Firstly, choose the book you want to read. If you like novels, then pick the Chinese novel. If you like news, then read some news on Chinese websites. Anyway, choose the books you are really interested, then you can concentrate on reading and do not easy to give it up.

Secondly, choose the book content which is a little bit higher than your current level. If you already learnt Chinese for a long time, you still choose a book which is marked by pinyin, a little bit more like a kid Chinese reading book, do you think it will helpful for your Chinese reading? Just remember, you always get progress after you are trying to solve some problems. Read the book which is a little bit harder than your current reading level, you may feel a little tired at the beginning, but after few days practice you will realize that you finally get over it.

3. Control the reading speed: learn how to read both slowly and quickly.

There are two types of reading: intensive reading and extensive reading. You need to control your reading speed according to the different Chinese reading materials. For example, for some news or messages on the websites, you can just read extensively and get the main idea of the passage. But for some reading content on a Chinese textbook or some classic Chinese books, you may need to read intensively, try to understand every single Chinese character in the books. So just control the reading speed by yourself, according to your time and the content you read.

4. Keep practicing: read Chinese for 5 minutes every day

There is not doubt that keeps practice is the essential ways of learning a new language. Just read Chinese for 5 minutes every day, you're increasing "语感" (feel for the language) will be developed during the practice. As long as you have the increasing, sometimes even some Chinese characters you don't know, you can still figure it out the main idea of what you read.

You could install various reading apps on your phone or tablet, download some good Chinese reading materials on it and read it when you are free. Squeeze the spare moment together to read, you will make big progress finally.

5. Do some exercises to improve reading quality

To test if you really understand what you have read, do some reading exercises is the best way. This is especially useful to some Chinese learners prepared for HSK Test or any other kinds of Chinese level tests. There are some question types of reading exercises, such as multiple choice, fill in the blanks and so on. Only when you really understand what you read, you can do the exercises correctly. If you have some problems of doing reading exercises, taking a Chinese reading course is necessary for you.

About The Author

Fifi Yang

Fifi Yang is a Chinese learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin. Having spent a great number of years learning French, Fifi understands the challenges of learning a language. She puts this experience to good use while preparing and delivering classes to her students.

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