Best 9 Ways to Learn English
for Chinese Speakers

See also: Understanding Your Learning Preferences

Learning English can be an exciting adventure, but you might already know there are some hurdles to overcome. The pronunciation can be tricky, with sounds that don't exist in Mandarin, and those tricky tones can throw you for a loop.

Grammar might seem like a whole new world too. But don't worry, the rewards are absolutely worth it! Mastering English opens doors to incredible opportunities, lets you connect with people from all over the world, and unlocks a treasure trove of information and entertainment.

So, are you ready to take on this challenge?

Blackboard with basic English words and phrases.

10 Ways to Learn English for Chinese Speakers

First, you need to build a strong foundation. For this:

1. Master the Alphabet & Phonics

This is the cornerstone of your English pronunciation journey! Unlike Mandarin, English has sounds that don't have direct translations. Think about the "th" sound in "think" or the "v" sound in "van." These can be tricky for Mandarin speakers.

Here's where phonics comes in as your secret weapon. Phonics is all about understanding the relationship between letters and the sounds they make. By mastering phonics, you can start sounding out new words and improve your pronunciation significantly.

Here are some tips for mastering the alphabet and phonics:

  • Use flashcards or charts that pair letters with pictures depicting objects that start with those sounds (like "apple" for "A").

  • Many children's books and songs have a strong emphasis on phonics. These can be a fun and engaging way to learn.

  • Pay attention to how your pronunciation compares to that of native speakers. Many online resources offer audio samples of proper pronunciation.

2. Focus on Essential Grammar

Grammar might seem daunting at first, but don't be discouraged!  Instead of diving headfirst into complex verb tenses, start with the building blocks of sentences.

Here are some key grammar concepts to focus on initially:

  • Subject-verb agreement: This ensures your sentences make logical sense ("She speaks English" vs. "They speak English").

  • Basic sentence structures: Learn how to form simple sentences with a subject, verb, and object (e.g., "I eat rice").

  • Most common tenses: Focus on mastering the present, past, and future tenses to express yourself in various situations.

Remember, you don't need to memorize every grammatical rule at once. Start with the basics and gradually build your understanding as you progress.

3. Build Core Vocabulary

Having a strong vocabulary toolbox is essential. You should dedicate some time each day to learning new words.

Here are some strategies to boost your vocabulary:

  • Flashcards: The classic method for a reason! Create flashcards with new words on one side and their definitions or pictures on the other.

  • Spaced Repetition Apps: These apps use algorithms to show you words at optimal intervals to help them stick in your long-term memory.

4. Immerse Yourself in English Media

Learning English shouldn't feel like a chore! Turn everyday activities into fun and engaging learning experiences. Here are some ways to immerse yourself in English media:

  • Watch movies and TV shows: Start with subtitles in your native language for support, then gradually transition to English subtitles as you improve.

  • Listen to music and podcasts: Find music and podcasts that align with your interests. Pay attention to the lyrics or dialogue and try to pick up new vocabulary and expressions.

  • Read books and articles: Start with children's books or articles on topics you enjoy. This will help you build reading comprehension skills and expand your vocabulary in a fun way.

Surrounding yourself with English in a fun way will naturally improve your listening comprehension and vocabulary.

5. Find a Language Exchange Partner

There's nothing quite like practicing conversation with a native speaker! Look for online language exchange platforms or connect with native English speakers in your community

Talking with someone can boost your confidence, improve your fluency, and give you valuable insights into everyday English usage.

There are many resources available to help you on your journey, including online courses, language learning apps and websites like AmazingTalker, Preply, Duolingo etc.

From our list, AmazingTalker stands out! This innovative platform connects you with a vast network of talented English tutors (in Chinese you may say “英文家教”) who can tailor lessons to your specific needs and goals.

6. Think in English

This might sound challenging at first, but it's a powerful technique to solidify your understanding and boost your fluency. Here's how to incorporate "thinking in English" into your daily routine:

  • Internal Monologue: Throughout your day, try translating your thoughts into English, even for simple things like "I'm going to make coffee" or "I wonder what's on TV."

  • Planning and Problem-Solving: When faced with a decision or task, try mentally strategizing and planning your approach in English.

  • Describe Your Surroundings: As you go about your day, take a moment to describe your surroundings or activities in your head using English vocabulary.

By consistently practicing "thinking in English," you'll strengthen your mental associations with the language and find it easier to speak and express yourself naturally.

This mental exercise will boost your agility and make speaking English feel more natural.

7. Write Regularly

You need to enhance your grammar, vocabulary, and fluency by writing regularly. Grab a pen and journal your day, write blog posts about your passions, or explore creative writing.

The more you write, the more comfortable you'll become in expressing yourself in English.

8. Practice Speaking

Speaking is where the magic happens! Practice is key, so don't be afraid to jump in, even if you make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of the language-learning journey.

Embrace them as opportunities to learn and celebrate your progress as you gain confidence and fluency.

9. Celebrate Your Achievements

Learning a language requires dedication and time. Acknowledge your accomplishments, big and small! Reward yourself for reaching milestones and remember to be proud of your progress.

Staying motivated is crucial, so celebrate your victories and keep moving forward on your English learning adventure!


Mastering English is an investment in your future, opening doors to new opportunities, connections, and knowledge.

Remember, the key takeaways are to build a strong foundation, leverage engaging learning methods, actively practice, and celebrate your achievements.

With dedication and the right tools, you can achieve fluency and unlock the vast potential this language holds. So, find a learning approach that fits your style and interests.

About the Author


I'm Muhammad. You can call me “Wordsmith of”.

Truly, I enjoy writing blogs for people and have been doing this since 2015 on a variety of topics.  My research skills are honed through years of academic publications and investigative journalism. My mission is simple: to make information accessible, engaging, and helpful.