Archive for the ‘Learning Chinese’ Category

Consolidating Mandarin Lessons

November 17, 2007

Today I focused on consolidating what I’ve learned over the previous 3 days. I’ve gone over about 45 Newbie lessons and 3 Elementary lessons so far since I started Chnesepod on Tuesday. Basically what I’ve done is sort the Newbie and Elementary lessons in ascending order by date. I then listen to the full lesson and chorus the Mandarin. Chorusing is when you speak along with the audio you’re listening to in your target language.

Some of the Newbie lessons were very basic for me so I would stop after the speakers had repeated the mandarin lesson 3 times in a row. If there was a new word for me I would listen to the entire lesson and then chorus the dialog (there’s a link to just listening to the mandarin for each lesson.) a few times and then mark the lesson as studied. If there were 3 or more new words for me I would listen to the full lesson, chorus the mandarin dialog a few times, then bookmark the lesson for reviewing the next day. The next day I tried the dialog, if I could get the entire lesson right away I would mark it as studied so it would drop off my bookmarked list. If I felt it needed more work I left it on my bookmarked list for more review the next day.

Right now I have 5 Newbie and 3 Elementary lessons in my bookmarked section. When I feel I can check 2 or more of them off as studied I’ll start on some new lessons. I really like this approach. I have multiple lessons to work on at various level of understanding, which keeps me focused and interested.

I’m still mulling over my learning tools for next year. Right now I’m leaning towards

1) Chinesepod
2) Integrated Chinese
3) Getting a Palm TX and installing Pleco.


Mandarin Immersion Day

November 14, 2007

Yesterday I bombarded my brain with Mandarin. I did 3 new lessons in my Assimil Chinese with Ease. When I wasn’t actively studying, I was playing Assimil lessons so I could listen to it while I did everyday things like shaving, cooking, eating, etc. I was so upbeat about this experience that I signed up for a trial membership with Chinesepod. I took the listening test and scored at Elementary-low. Chinesepod has Newbie, Elementary, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced, and Media levels. I sorted the Newbie lessons by ascending order by date and did the first 19. I just kept doing them one after the other and didn’t realize how many I had done till my brain said enough and I suddenly became very tired. I’ve set a goal of reaching Intermediate level at chinesepod by Thanksgiving 2008. Ideally I can reach this target by June of 2008, but November 2008 is more realistic. Who knows, if I keep working at it, Mandarin might suddenly click in my head and I could reach upper intermediate in my time frame.

I must have done at least 9 hours of mandarin input time. I definitely want to try this once a week. I really felt like I was thinking in Mandarin instead of translating from English to mandarin and vice versa. I’m going to sign up with an internet Asian dvd rental store so I can increase my mandarin listening time and hear a wider variety of speakers. Plus most stuff on US TV isn’t too interesting to me, and I can speak English.