**A little bit of backstory:** Studying Chinese used to be my greatest passion and joy in life. I used to go to Chinese courses for 3 years and my level was around HSK 3. Unfortunately, I pressured myself too much to be perfect and eventually burned out because of that. After a year long break I‘ve decided that I‘m in the right headspace to start learning Chinese again. This time with less pressure and a better study routine. Right now, I’m also taking a gap year which means that I can really focus on studying Chinese. Although I already know quite a bit of Chinese I want to start from the beginning again. Only this way I can make sure that I learn everything properly without any gaps because I‘ve forgotten quite a few things already.
**I hope that you guys could help me with the following questions:**
1. What resources do you recommend to buy? I already have all the HSK books and workbooks but I personally don‘t find them that good for self-study. Is there maybe a better alternative? If not, how do you use the HSK books for self-study?
2. What online courses can you recommend? I used to go to classes regularly but because of COVID-19 all the classes here in my area got canceled. Are there maybe and cheap or free online courses?
3. Do you have any tips for building a good study routine and how to stick to that said routine (e.g. How much time should I dedicate to learning Chinese a day)?
4. Are there some good mobile apps to download? Which ones are worth buying? I already have downloaded the most popular ones (e.g. Pleco). But maybe there are a few ones that I don‘t know yet.
5. How do you learn new words? I often struggle to find good ways to learn new words and characters because I have problems to find a good way to repeat them regularly so I don‘t forget them.
6. How can I improve my pronunciation when I‘m not living in a Chinese speaking environment? I used to have language exchange partners but they all were pretty discouraging and harsh. That‘s why I‘m really anxious to speak Chinese now. Do you have any ideas how I can improve my pronunciation by myself and how I can maybe fight my fear of speaking Chinese?
I know, I have a lot of questions but I hope you can answer them because I am very serious about my goal and I just don‘t know who else to ask. Thanks a lot in advance, I appreciate any recommendation and tip I can get.