Chinese Language Learning – semi-advanced heritage speaker looking for advice

hello! sorry for the long post ahead. i’m a heritage speaker entering university looking for advice on how to proceed with my language learning. for context i grew up in a primarily cantonese household in the united states but all my immediate family are fluent mandarin speakers since they relocated to hubei so i grew up surrounded by both. i did a few years of mandarin school when i was younger, then retook classes from chinese 1 through advanced placement in high school (took the ap test in 2020).

i have a hard time gauging my skill level but if necessary would place myself somewhere between hsk 4-5. starting in high school i’ve made an effort to consume chinese media (think 湖南卫视 reality shows, podcasts, following celebrities and douyin/weibo) and have a solid grasp on cctv and other formal native content. my accent is neutral and native passing, but i’ve lost vocabulary out of the classroom and as a result tend to stick with familiar words in conversation.

my greatest concern is that i haven’t been in a formal classroom setting in nearly two years and will most likely not have the chance to until fall 2022. for all of 2021, i only practiced reading out loud from native middle school level chinese books with a parent daily. i also continued consuming entertainment media. while my reading and understanding have definitely improved, both of these were passive forms of learning, and i feel my active output has deteriorated.

i recently tested into “post-advanced chinese” at my university which i will begin at in january. however, i was able to guess correct answers to some more complicated texts through cultural context, and the test had no writing/speaking section. unfortunately, the university does not allow language placement retakes – i won’t have the chance to enroll in a chinese class because of scheduling issues until the fall, so i’m not sure how to maintain or maybe even improve my chinese until then.

are there any ways for me to self-study at this level and with this much difference between my passive/active skill sets? i don’t want to lose my grasp of the language within half a year while i’m not at home, but am also worried that i won’t have the time to maintain a rigorous study schedule. any tips or advice would be appreciated! thank you.



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3 Comments

  1. Peace4WinWin January 10, 2022
  2. Makoto_Hanazawa January 10, 2022
  3. KattyaBarta January 10, 2022
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