Regular listeners to this podcast will be aware that a common thread running through many of the topics we discuss is how to create an optimal language learning environment while studying Mandarin from outside Chinese speaking countries.
So on today’s podcast I explore the topic of immersion with the founders of a groundbreaking new language learning initiative.
It’s called Mandarin Retreat and it’s organisers Karl, Ryan and Esther (who are also regulars on this podcast) aim to enable Mandarin learners of all levels in the UK to replicate the experience of living in a totally Chinese speaking environment for an entire weekend.
The immersive weekend trips take place in Scarborough in the north of England. Small groups of native Chinese speakers and Mandarin learners are brought together to enjoy a weekend of walks, eating and fun activities all 100% in Chinese.
I recently attended one of the first ever retreats and found it gave my spoken Mandarin a real boost. As I documented in a recent blog, it was the first time I’d ever gone a whole weekend entirely immersed in the language. By the end of it, my Chinese was noticeably more fluent than it had ever been before.