If you are a beginner of studying mandarin, some useful tips can help you to study.
Try out these ideas:
a) label objects in your dormitory or apartment, e.g. furniture, utensils, rooms, etc.
b) TV programs teaching English to Chinese young people are helpful as they usually use simple Chinese, often translate the English into Chinese, and tend to speak at a slower pace.
c) before going out to buy something, rehearse beforehand the things you will probably need to converse about; you will find that this will make the communication process easier and more rewarding.
d) record yourself reading the dialogues in your textbook as this will make you more aware of your common errors and therefore what you will need to work on.
e) maintain an insatiable curiosity — every situation is a learning opportunity!
f) keep a small notebook ready at hand and note down new words as you hear them.
See, learning Chinese is not very difficult. If you want to learn Chinese in Shanghai, come and join us!