A few weeks ago a message appeared on the I’m Learning Mandarin Facebook group addressed to me from a learner called Jake Martin.
The message read as follows:
“Thank you for accepting me into the group! I just found your podcast and website the other day, and found them to be extremely helpful. I started learning Mandarin in the beginning of 2021. Like many others, I was pretty lost at first, not really knowing the best way to learn a language. Fortunately, I found out about the Refold Community, which provided some structure for my learning.
Now, my reading comprehension is fairly good, but my listening and speaking skills are abysmal. As a result, I have been looking into alternative study methods over the past several months…What I appreciate about your perspective, is that you value the immersion experience, without being dogmatic about it. As you wrote on your blog, you are a former Krashenite who experienced a sense of disillusionment. That is exactly what I have been experiencing for quite some time now (…Krashen-holics Anonymous, anyone?)”Jake Martin, I’m Learning Mandarin Listener
I was intrigued to learn more about Jake’s journey of learning to speak Chinese after going through a long phase of relying exclusively on listening and reading. So I invited him on the podcast to talk about his struggles as well as share his story about how having the courage to speak Chinese recently led to a truly life changing experience.
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