Whatever your situation, the most crucial thing is to study Chinese on a regular basis. Any new language takes time to learn. If you only work at your Chinese once a month, it will 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 several podcasts/day. Many language learners find that podcasts are a great way to use up spare time where they are not otherwise doing things and for a lot of people it’s the time taken when computing to work.
Just 10 minutes a day
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.
Decide an achievable language target
Work out 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 isn’t as difficult as people say, but you need to practise regularly to get the most benefits.
Chinese podcasts are there to help you!
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. There is no need to learn Chinese characters or the writing system (although of course this helps as you progress to an intermediate or advanced level). Through listening to podcasts, you would just be learning spoken Chinese. You can listen as much as you want and see how things go. A great way to learn Chinese at your own speed. Hopefully soon you will be impressing native Chinese speakers with your skills.