Get your favorite movies or TV shows and watch them in Chinese with subtitles. If it is a movie that you have seen, you will be able to follow the story, even if your Chinese is still at a basic level.
Download podcasts (that is, a series of lessons in mp3, today there are many, even for free) or audio-books and listen to them while you go to work.
Sign up for a website where you can find people willing to learn and teach any language. For example, you can find a Chinese willing to talk to you for half an hour a day in Chinese or as long as you want and then speak with him in Spanish. Do not underestimate the chat. Writing is important to strengthen words and grammatical structures in memory. The use of the best chineselanugage school in Singapore is there now.
It is useless to try to avoid it. A little grammatical foundation is necessary. I’m not saying you have to learn all the sentence structures that are in Chinese (there are hundreds of them) or all the classifiers; but at least you have to know how classifiers work, how a sentence is structured, how to use the particle 了 (le), the use of the passive and so on.
Buy a Chinese grammar
You are not obligated to follow the order of the book. Take a look at the index and study the rules that you think may serve you immediately. When you try to speak Chinese, look and note the points where you get stuck or you are not able to express yourself. Half of the cases will surely be due to lack of adequate grammatical structure (while sometimes what is missing is vocabulary).
To speak Chinese successfully you will have to memorize many words (verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc). To get the best results I advise you to download Anki , an “intelligent” flashcard program that allows you to remember the words you want to learn in an effective way.
I am so convinced of the effectiveness of flashcards that if I were still in college I would use Anki to study mathematical formulas. Here’s a brief explanation (summary of the article I just linked a little above) of why you should start using a program like this:
The use of flashcards simulates an “interrogation”, that is, a question / answer process that forces you to dig into the memory until you get the correct answer or not. The main reasons that active memory is more effective than passive study are two:
- “Remembering” something strengthens memory, which increases the chances of retaining information.
- If you do not remember the answer to a specific question, you know that you need to spend more time with that concept instead of indiscriminately repeating everything you are studying.
There are many programs that allow you to study with flashcards. But Anki’s strength lies in his algorithm, which takes into account the wrong answers, “discovers” your weaknesses and forces you to spend more time studying the information you do not yet know, instead of going over what you’ve already learned by heart.