Whatever your individual situation for learning Chinese, the most important thing is regularity. If you only work at your Chinese once a month, then it’d be hard for you to make improvements in Chinese. With podcasts, you can make sure that you get a regular “fix” of Chinese to help you. It’s up to you to decide whether regular means one ten-minute podcast/day or 4 podcasts/day. Many users of podcasts find that they are a great way to use up empty time where they are not otherwise doing things and for a lot of people it’s the time taken when computing to work. Some people choose to listen to podcasts when they are driving while others while they are on public transport.
By listening to one ten-minute podcast/day, over a year that’s 3650 minutes of Chinese learning, equivalent to 60 hours of Chinese/year. If you listen for twenty minutes/day, you’ll be getting 120 hours of Chinese/year. If you decide an achievable amount of time to listen and stick to that amount knowing that on days when you’re not feeling like it, you will still try and listen to the podcasts. Learning Chinese is an art and it isn’t an art, but you need to practise regularly to get the most benefits.
There is no right or wrong with podcasts.
That said, it’s important that when you are listening to podcasts you have the chance to listen and can hear things clearly without too much background noise. Public transport is a good place to listen to podcasts as you don’t really need to concentrate on the road or what’s happening around you (providing you remember the right stop!).
You could also listen to podcasts last thing before bed as a way of relaxing and hoping that when you sleep you’ll dream in Chinese.
Learn Chinese for FREE
Listening to native Chinese podcasts is a free way of learning Chinese. No need to pay for books or tapes or programmes. You can listen as much as you want and see how things go. See how they go, you can also opt for one of the learn Chinese programmes that we suggest.