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The global pandemic has has a profound influence on the way we study languages. On the downside, restrictions have made it difficult to travel abroad. Yet the ongoing crisis has also led to record numbers of people taking on a new language. This year a British Council survey found that 10% of Brits studied a language during lockdown, with Mandarin the third most popular choice after French and Spanish.
On Today’s episode I explore the theme of learning Mandarin during a global pandemic with Chinese learner and friend of the podcast, Adam Morris. I first met Adam on a dream trip to China in 2018 organised by the Confucius Institute where we were both studying evening classes at the time.
Following the trip Adam decided to study a Bachelors degree in Chinese at the University of Leeds where he’s now in his his final year. Like me, Adam’s Mandarin journey has been profoundly impacted by Covid. In January 2020, his year abroad in Shanghai was dramatically cut short half way through and he was forced to return home to Leeds. I wanted to talk to Adam about his story and learn how he managed to overcome adversity and make the most of a difficult time for all language learners.