Sick of Flashcards? Here Are 6 Other Ways to Learn Chinese

Other Ways to Learn Chinese

Learning Chinese can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Rather than relying on old-school methods like flashcards and rote memorization, you might consider some alternative methods and strategies. Today, let’s explore how to learn Chinese in ways other than using flashcards.

Listen to Chinese Music

For starters, you can learn Chinese quite easily just by listening to Chinese music. If you want to know how to learn Chinese rapidly and efficiently, you need to immerse yourself in that language’s media. Music is one of the best ways to learn Chinese because:

  • The language content itself is accompanied by music, so you can anticipate certain words once you understand the music or listen to it on repeat
  • It’s a little more memorable because of the beat or rhythm the music presents

Plus, many of these songs have plenty of entertainment value in and of themselves. Therefore, try to listen to Chinese language music if you want to pick up extra vocabulary and sentence structure patterns without having to read flashcards. 

Consume Chinese Media

Secondly, you can consume other forms of Chinese language media to learn Chinese rather rapidly. Books, movies, TV shows, and other entertainment media not only provide you with plenty of access to the Chinese language in its raw form. They also give you important cultural context that is key to speaking Chinese fluently.

You can consume Chinese language media on YouTube, Viki, or other streaming sites. Consuming Chinese language media is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the language, which experts suggest is the best way to learn any language, not just Chinese.

How to Learn Chinese Learning Programs

For kids, you can alternatively use a Chinese learning program like LingoAce. LingoAce and other online programs offer flexible, personalized learning paths and engaging, high-quality one-on-one lessons for 3-15 year olds. The online lessons are all taught by certified teachers, so you can rest assured that you’ll get a quality education by signing up for one of these programs.

More importantly, many of the best Chinese learning programs allow you to tailor your educational content to your needs, learning preferences, etc. In this way, you don’t have to go through a lesson plan that doesn’t work for how your brain is wired or how you prefer to learn a new language! These are perfect tools if you don’t know how to learn Chinese quickly.

Listen to Chinese Audiobooks

As touched on above, listening to Chinese media in general is advantageous if you are trying to pick up the language quickly. Therefore, listening to Chinese audiobooks can be a great way to consciously and subconsciously absorb the language in a matter of weeks or months.

The best Chinese audiobooks are those you already know the stories to. That way, your brain can anticipate how the sentences should go and make connections between Chinese sentences and English sentences. Of course, Chinese audiobooks are also great for entertaining yourself on long car drives to and from work, while tackling chores, or while just enjoying some time outdoors with a pair of earbuds in.

Hire a Tutor

If you benefit from one-on-one instruction and even more personalized education, it may be beneficial to hire a private tutor. While this does cost some money, it could be arguably the most comprehensive way to learn Chinese without using flashcards or other rote memorization tactics.

Hiring a tutor gives you benefits like:

  • Direct access to an expert in the Chinese language
  • Personalized instruction tailored to your unique needs
  • Someone to correct you if you speak Chinese improperly so bad habits don’t set in
  • And more

Hiring a tutor is a great choice if you want to make sure your Chinese is perfect or that you never make any pronunciation problems so you can speak Chinese fluently for an upcoming business meeting.

Spend Some Time In a Chinese-Speaking Country

Lastly, consider taking a trip to spend some time in a country or region where Chinese is the primary language. Immersing yourself in the Chinese culture and language is a great way to jumpstart your brain’s understanding of this tongue. If you spend some time in China, you’ll learn much more quickly than if you try to use the materials in America or another primarily English-speaking language.

When you go, try to speak to as many people as possible and continue to absorb Chinese media to maximize your learning progress.


Ultimately, if you’re wondering how to learn Chinese without flashcards, you’re in luck. There are many different methods and tricks you can use to enhance your brain and grasp this complex and fulfilling language in no time at all. For the best results, try to use each of the six methods above – within a few months, you’ll be speaking Chinese fluently!  

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.