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I am not in the same position as most of the students who regularly subscribe to this forum as I am an English speaking native from the UK. I try to be helpful where I can in the forum, but I too have had to master another continental language in the past, unfortunately it wasn’t Chinese.|
The biggest aid to learning another language in my experience is to be living in the country, to be immersed in the environment of the language is certainly advantageous. If you cannot live in the country, the next best thing in my opinion is to talk about subjects that you are familiar with.
Have you ever noticed how you can always remember things that interest you? Chinese computer programmers should talk to each other about computer programming; Chinese history students should talk about Chinese history etc, etc. I think you will grasp English much quicker.
I always remember having to absorb Shakespeare at school, it was very difficult, having to recite page after page, but my mind was just photo-copying text from a book – I honestly didn’t understand it, but I passed the exam and I still do not know what it was that I read. I know for a fact that it would have been much easier for me if I had to recite something that interested me personally.
So I say to you, talk to one another about subjects that you have knowledge of, you will find it easier and more fun. Take the fun away and it becomes difficult, that is why I think that the Joke site on this forum is a good idea. Everybody is familiar with the subject of jokes.
Trying to memorise words that you don't fully understand the meaning of is difficult, learn the easy words (for you that is), that interest you.