Useful apps and websites
Vocabulary learning – Memrise
One of the most important aspects of language learning is of course expanding your vocabulary to recognise and correctly use new words. Each lesson begins with a vocabulary section, listing around 5-8 new words along with their pronunciation, translation, part of speech and HSK level. At the end of the lesson, you will be tested on your vocabulary recall in the quick quiz.
However, to build long-term retention of new words, it is important to continue to review and practice new words outside of the course.
To further enhance your long term vocabulary retention, we have therefore partnered with Memrise to offer free vocabulary training via their website or app, directly linking to each lesson of this course. Please sign up for free here.
We have selected Memrise due to its fun interface and advanced spaced repetition algorithm, scientifically proven to enhance memory by using AI technology to prioritise those words you find hardest.
Build 15 minutes of Memrise vocabulary training into your daily routine to review new words while competing with other Abridge Academy learners to be top of the leaderboard!
Character writing – Skritter
Skritter is a premium app which was specifically designed for Chinese language learners. It focuses solely on writing practice, and will test you specifically on the ability to write characters using the correct stroke order.
If you are looking to practice writing characters, we recommend signing up for Skritter (10% discount for Abridge Academy students with the code ABRIDGEACADEMY).
You can add our Skritter word deck specifically created to accompany this course in order to practice your writing skills.
Speaking practice – italki or HelloTalk
Important speaking skills include pronunciation, fluency and the ability to hold authentic conversations. The nature of learning online through a self-paced course makes it challenging to build in such face-to-face speaking and listening practice, so we recommend using a conversation practice app/ website such as italki or HelloTalk.
Our recommendation for more structured conversation practice is to find a tutor on italki , a highly affordable and flexible platform for finding language tutors. Abridge Academy students benefit from a bonus $10 free italki credit after your first class!
Note that you just need an italki “community tutor” – a native speaker to practice what you have learnt in class. The going rate for Chinese conversation practice with a community tutor on italki is around $5-10/ hour, with trial classes from $1.
Alternatively, you can find a conversation partner on apps such as HelloTalk. This is completely free, although in return you are expected to give your language exchange partner assistance improving their English – spending an equal time talking in each language. It is a great way to get to know a new friend and practice together!
Note that these apps are totally optional, but highly recommended to support your independent studies outside of this course. Language learning requires frequent repetition and practice, which these apps are designed to assist with!