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5 Ways to Study with Yoyo Chinese While You're Stuck Indoors

Right now, many of us are working from home, attending class online, and staying indoors as much as possible as we try to limit the spread of the coronavirus

While you’re stuck inside and using virtual tools more now than ever, now is a great time to put your free time indoors to good use, by starting to learn the language spoken by over 1.3 billion people - Chinese.

Our courses break the stigmas of learning Chinese, teach from a native English speaker’s perspective, and provide a really strong foundation in Chinese sentence structure, word order, and grammar, while equipping you with the most common, important language to know.

In this post, we list out 5 fun, interactive ways to get the most out of our online learning resources for studying Mandarin, so you can make real progress in learning Chinese!

#1: Use Our FREE Interactive Pinyin Chart

Having trouble with pinyin pronunciation and spelling? Looking to fine-tune your pinyin speaking, listening or spelling skills? Check out our FREE Interactive Pinyin Chart to hear EVERY possible pinyin pronunciation.

The pinyin chart is arranged by sound, and comes with TONS of short video clips explaining how to pronounce the sounds, with clear explanation, similar pronunciations in the English language, and important details for mouth and tongue position. 

This chart is a great way to hone in on the pinyin spellings/sounds that you find most difficult, to hear how they should sound, and reproduce those sounds yourself.

Check the chart out here.

#2: Check Out Our FREE Sample Lessons

If you’re just starting out learning Mandarin mastering pinyin and tones can be a bit overwhelming, which is why we dedicated several full units of our Beginner Conversational Chinese Course to guiding you through pinyin pronunciation, spelling and tones. 

The Beginner course also gives you CLEAR explanations about Chinese sentence structure and grammar, while equipping you with vocabulary and sentence structures that are key for having real conversations with Chinese people. What’s more, you’ll be able to reach basic conversational fluency in Mandarin by the end of the course!

Get started learning Chinese, with 40+ full lessons for FREE here.

Not a beginner? We also offer the first few lessons of our Intermediate Conversational Chinese Course and Upper Intermediate Conversational Chinese Course for FREE, so you can try it out and see if it’s the right fit for you - you’ve got nothing to lose!

#3: Use Our Features to Their Full Potential

Many students get started on our website, but aren’t fully aware of all of our lesson study tools and how to use them in the most effective way!

After watching the lesson video, go through these reviews and get started in really honing in on the lesson material! 

To go through the study features, just click  “Practice” on the lesson page:

Audio Review Round One (with Lecture Notes PDF):

First, listen to our Audio Review feature for lessons that have it, and click on the PDF Lecture Notes for a ‘cheat sheet’ if it’s difficult for you to remember the material! 

The Audio Review MP3 was created in a way that is highly compatible with our PDF lecture notes, making it a versatile tool that you can use to study in different ways, with varying level of difficulty! 

If you’re having difficulty, listen to the Audio Review while reading the lecture notes first. That way you have the notes in front of you, which serves as a review of what you learned, while you practice speaking the lines aloud as the host asks you the questions during the Audio Review. 

Audio Review Round Two (Optional):

Now, for an added challenge, listen to the MP3 one more time, this time WITHOUT the Lecture Notes - now you’ll really be putting your comprehension of the lesson material to the test! 

This helps both your pronunciation and listening skills, gets you more comfortable speaking Chinese, plus it'll also really help you to retain what you learned since you're basically translating from English to Chinese!

Check out this demo to learn more about the Audio Review:


After the Audio Review, you’ll be directed to our interactive flashcards, complete with audio so you can study the words you’re learning, while also improving you listening and speaking skills. Try to mimic the pronunciation of each word from the audio. 

Check out this demo to learn more about how the Flashcard Review works:


Once you’re done, it’s onto our 10-question quizzes, which really tests your comprehension of the lesson.

Dialogue Replay:

Some of our Beginner lessons, and nearly all of our Intermediate and Upper Intermediate lessons, include REAL on-the-street interviews with Chinese native speakers, which brings us to one of our other important study features: the Dialogue Replay

This feature is great because it breaks down each line of the interview, and gets you to train your ears to the way Chinese natives REALLY speak! This isn’t your average textbook stuff with Wang Peng and Li You (not that we don’t appreciate them!). 

The Dialogue Replay takes each line of the interview in the lesson video, and breaks it down with Chinese characters, pinyin and English, and includes the real ‘normal’ speed audio taken directly from our interviewee, as well as a ‘slow speed’ version which is more clear and standard. 

Through the Dialogue Replay feature, you’ll hear different people with different accents, speaking at different speeds and levels of clarity, which will prepare you for understanding Chinese native speakers in the real world.

Check out this demo to learn more about how the Dialogue Replay works:

#4: Check Out Your Up For Review Flashcard Deck

You’re going to LOVE this “Up For Review” flashcard feature! If you’ve started using our flashcards, you will start to have flashcards appear in this deck, which can be found here:

This "Up For Review" deck uses an algorithm based on the Spaced Repetition System, so the cards you will see there are the ones that you’ve studied before and haven’t seen recently. It’s a really great way to keep what you’ve learned fresh. 

Just spending a few minutes a day with the “Up for Review” flashcard deck is all you need to refresh yourself on the flashcards that should be on your list to review.

#5: Check Out Our FREE Yoyo Chinese Blogs

One great thing about our website is we have a BUNCH of free resources to aid you in learning Chinese and better understanding Chinese culture, including our Blog page.

Many of these posts also include great infographics that you can download to your device for future reference!

Below is a list of some of our most popular blogs both on the academic and cultural end, but feel free to explore further on your own at 

The Three De’s:
Colors in Chinese
Body Parts in Chinese
Chinese for Visiting the Doctor
The 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals
Topic Comment Structure

Here are some out of the box ways for studying:

Learn Chinese with Comics:

Learn Chinese with a Rap:

Practice Reading Chinese with a Chat Story

Enjoy this ‘out of the box’ way of learning? 

Check out our Chinese Character Reader course, to get you reading full Chinese sentences through watching animated stories in Chinese. 

If you’re just getting started with learning Chinese characters, you can also check out our Chinese Character I and Chinese Character II courses, which collectively teach you how to read and write the 600 most common Chinese characters, and gain, which combine to form nearly 80% of all written Chinese:

That wraps up our list for 5 ways to study Chinese on our website. We hope this post is helpful in highlighting some of the different useful features on our website for learning Chinese, so you can progress in learning this amazing language!