ive hit what i believe to be a very early brick wall with my self learning of Mandarin. I am reaching out here in hopes someone can give me some tips, tricks, and advice to help propel me in the right direction. I will try to specify my issues and elaborate. Please feel free to ask me more specific questions if you find im not being clear enough in my struggles listed below.
First of all, i will let you know that my Wife is Chinese, so i do have someone to help with pronunciation, as well as a proper speaking partner when it comes to attempts at practicing words and conversation. Ive spent the last 2 months putting 1-2 hours a day into learning tones, and understanding how to produce them myself. i can say i feel pretty comfortable with my ability to parrot the right sounds, and know what something should sound like when reading pinyin.
Problem 1: Im having trouble finding a proper path, or direction as to what and how i should actually be learning. Im told i need to practice listening, but despite the large quantities of listening materials out there, I dont actually know what i should be doing. I’m actively watching and following along with videos, trying to say the words as i go to stay engaged. What am i supposed to be doing while “practicing listening”? is the correct thing to do is just keep watching over and over, looking at new videos and rewatching those over and over? I’m doing that now and i don’t feel like ive achieved anything.
Problem 2: I feel like i need a structure or something to follow. Like, “you should be able to get though these specific things before moving on”. that way i can see a goal to move towards. I’m not someone who can just make a goal, and start moving towards it. i need to see an example of what “should” be done, so i can better picture myself doing it. Is there a step by step way to learn that isnt vague like, “learn to listen, then learn to speak. then watch these 10 videos”?
Problem 3: Im getting increasingly Frustrated with the process and find myself getting mad before i even start studying. I know its most likely because i dont actually have a learning structure as i mentioned above. any suggestions to make the concept of learning mandarin not seem so bleak?
Thanks again, and i know i rambled a bit. Im just very tired of not knowing what i should do, and would love some help.