Learn Chinese in China
StChris

The 2016 Aims and Objectives Progress Thread

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I just want to reach a reading level so that I actually enjoy reading for a longer period of time, i.e., being able to read a novel for two hours just for the sake of enjoying it (and not getting a headache for concentrating too hard). I know that I should just keep going at it and read a certain amount every day, but I feel that it is hard to stay concentrated for longer time stretches.

 

Regarding Python, If you want something easy to start with I would recommend the free codeacademy course

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Thanks for the Python tip. There are a few good lessons on Youtube, and also a lot of MOOCs. One of the things that attracts me to coding is that there's so much learning material freely available online. It's just up to the individual to have enough discipline and motivation to study.

 

Regarding the reading, I don't think there's any shortcut. Just pick a relatively easy novel (活着 is a good choice) and make sure you set aside time each day to read. With physical books I would first read a page as quickly as I could, underlining any unknown words. Secondly I would read the page again, this time looking up some of the unknown vocab (there's no need to look up every piece of unknown vocab - I usually limited myself to 5 per page). I would then read the page a third time, before moving on to the next page. Although it's a long and slow process, it did produce results for me. 

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Hello to everybody, let’s see if I can be more motivated by publishing my goals.

Ultimate goal of the year is to gain enough fluency so that there’s no need to do SRS anymore. In other words, be able to read native material even if it is with a help of a dictionary. Sounds very ambitious, shall see how it goes. This translates into a few smaller, more measurable goals:

  1. keep on studying in NTU at least until August
  2. attend TOCLF band B test and pass level 4 in May
  3. finish Thought and Society textbook at some point this year
  4. form a habit of daily chorusing practice(à la Glossika), 30 minutes at least a day
  5. watch some talk shows/dramas in Chinese
  6. keep doing SRS daily

I am nowhere near Thought and Society, but as people keep mentioning it so much it has become kind of milestone for me. If I can find another, more modern textbook by then maybe I will change the goal. I am kind of hoping to find another since this book seems to be intended for students interested in humanities and my interests lie elsewhere.

 

Concerning watching Chinese TV, maybe here some measurable goals would be nice too. I shall try to engage with English media less and instead watch something in Chinese instead, just for relaxation. The first drama shall be 兩個爸爸, what I saw in the class it seems quite understandable. In case watching dramas is unbearable, maybe instead I will try reading manga.

 

JANUARY

The first monthly goal is to finish 視聽華語第四冊 (at the 6th lesson right now) and 遠東第三冊 (10th lesson) and ask teacher to let me attend a 升學考試 in order to skip a level. In total this is 15 lessons, over 5 weeks it should be easy (semester ends after first week of February), but I am kind of worried the test will be organized earlier so that there’s even less time. Because of this, I postponed all the other self-study material to February (see below).

 

FEBRUARY

Most of the February is holidays because of Chinese New Year and I will return back home during this time. Hopefully I won’t forget everything, in case I have motivation I will try to do some exercises in 今日台灣 and/or listening comprehension practice with 新選廣播劇.

 

MARCH

In March I try to finish whatever I didn’t in February, but after it everything is open, depending where I will placed after the exam and what kind of material I purchase next (suggestions welcome).

 

That’s it for now, will try to update how it goes. Good luck to all!

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StChris, thanks for being proactive. You are fine. This time around I thought to let someone else start up the goals for 2016 thread. The reason is I've changed careers, jobs, living situations, friends, colleagues and ironically found that French is of far more vocational and social value to my new situations than Chinese. A lot of work I do is in Louisiana where French is still spoken among many of my older clients there. So no Chinese goals this year and will not be participating in this thread much at all. I still practice kungfu though. Sorry if this post isn't exactly inspiring to the point of this thread. 

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My Cantonese is still so bad that I can start over again. Yay.

I'll aim to re-cram everything I knew a year ago and continue from there.

 

I shall do my best to make listening comprehension "drive" my program as I don't want to "do the same thing, the same way, over and over and expect a different result". :-)

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I have plenty of incomplete goals from previous years. So I'll just keep working on those.
 
Since I've been shadowing the IT口语 booklet for a while now, I've reasonable hope to will finally complete it this year (was a 2010 goal...  :shrug: )
 
For January (restarting after break)
 
Daily Chinese TV (passive/background).
Daily shadowing (IT kouyu etc): 20'.
Daily tingli (新闻联播 etc): 15'.
Daily writing even if only 2'.
Daily reading (anything goes): 15'.
Newspaper reading class (x4).
Optionally: SRS, classifiers, event at the Chinese Cultural Center, write a little game.
 
English: pronunciation every other day.
Spanish: a little bit every week (FSI tape, or anything).
MSA: scan old handouts.
1 other: set up everything for shadowing.
 
RL:
One little "b" step every week.
Relearn and practice 八段锦.
Sort out breakfast.
No elevators.
 
January report:
TV: can do better,
shadowing: failed, tingli: failed, writing: not too bad, reading: failed,
class: failed (0/4), write a game done.
English: failed, Spanish: ok, MSA: failed, other: failed.
"b" step: barely started, 八段锦: barely started, breakfast: ok, elevators: mostly ok.
 
February goals: same as January + no snacks before 4pm.

February report:
TV: can do better,
shadowing: 20/29, tingli: 6/29, writing: not too bad, reading: failed,
class: failed (1/3), game sometimes.
English: failed, Spanish: ok, MSA: failed, other: failed.
"b" step: barely started, 八段锦: barely started, breakfast: ok, elevators: mostly ok, no snacks before 4pm: some effort.

 
March goals: No snacks. No sushi. Use game for "b". Explore "l".
 
March report:
TV: can do better and need to set it up on the laptop,
shadowing: 24/31, tingli: 15/29, writing: too seldom, reading: failed,
class: reasonable (3/4), game sometimes.
English: failed, Spanish: ok, MSA: failed, other: failed.
"b" step: used game, 八段锦: failed, breakfast: ok, elevators: mostly ok, no snacks: failed. no sushi: ok. "l": started.

 
April goals: no snacks. relax. TV on laptop.

on hiatus for several months

September: wrote a little in Chinese.

October goals: NoS. Write more in Chinese. Use my brand new tablet to study a little Chinese. Enjoy Autumn, enjoy the neutral situation, and patiently work towards getting in a good situation.

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Could someone clarify "shadowing"? I am pretty sure i know what it means but you never can be certain.

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"Shadowing is a language learning technique developed by the American Professor Alexander Arguelles, first in Germany and later Korea. The basis of the method is audio in the language that you are learning. While listening, you attempt to repeat -- to "shadow" -- what you hear as quickly as you hear it. It is most beneficial to be walking swiftly at the same time to maximize alertness and oxygenation."

 

From here.

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Speaking skills: My goals are to setup my own library of recordings of native speakers and do the shadowing technique.

Vocab acquisition: I would like to get proficient at all the computer software to be able to copy TysonD's method of learning new vocabulary.

Listening skills: I have just been in Beijing/Harbin. It is quite difficult for me to follow conversations. I can guess the meanings but the conversations are too fast. I hope that vocabulary acquisition will assist.

Slang: I think it is necessary to learn some slang to understand expressions in films.

Cantonese: insight on expressions is improving as an offshot of learning Mandarin!

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From 2015:

  • Study 100 episodes of QQSRX - probably did closer to 40 although I just watched them rather than studied them
  • Read 3 novels in Chinese - Yes, sort of if you count audiobooks
  • Read 3 technical books - Read bits and pieces of about 5
  • Watch 5 TV shows - i'm trying to remember what I watched although it is probably closer to 2 or 3.

So, I was partially successful, and I did a lot of stuff that wasn't on the above list. My Chinese parents in law moved in so I've spent much more time speaking Chinese. I spent a lot of time with Pleco flashcards this year to build up my vocab. And I had a kid!

 

For 2016:

  • Figure out how to learn to understand Dongbeihua
  • Figure out how to bring up my son to be bilingual
  • Read 3 good novels - maybe finish Pingfan de Shijie or start reading the three body problem
  • Listen to a lot of easier audio and audiobooks for extensive listening - might be trashy internet novels as well as start listening to fairy tales with my son
  • QQSRX during my lunch hour or before work, I think I will just watch it rather than study it
  • Continue to read tech material in Chinese, and be able to read more quickly with better comprehension

 

Probably won't get all this done - lets see how things are next year!

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大家好!

I am a little late to the game, but here goes.

Just for Winter quarter:

 

Mandarin IIB:

~Shadow 3 mini-dialogues from Happy Chinese on non-class days

~Two new Integrated Chinese grammar points, make example sentences for points from yesterday, 7 days ago, 3 weeks ago, and 2 months ago.

~One workbook section per night

~2 guided exercises from: Expressway to Perfect Chinese Pronunciation

~Quizlet dialogue vocab, review vocab sets from the third, sixth, and ninth prior lessons.

~Write 10 new characters from Reading and Writing Chinese, review 10 from yesterday, 7 days ago, 3 weeks ago, and 2 months ago.

 

Classical Chinese IA:

~A New Practical Primer of Literary Chinese: One lesson per week

~1/7 new lesson vocab each day on quizlet

~review last weeks vocab, -3, -7, -11

 

Latin Club:

~Finish Wheelock's supplemental reader

~Tutor when possible

 

Resolutions

~Class work > Club activities :shock: Always.

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Chinese-learning/using goals:

 

I'm planning to mostly continue on the current path. Keep reading, keep translating, keep learning words, hopefully learn some more chengyu because that didn't really happen last year. I need to find a new language partner/friend/person to talk Chinese with as my last language partner left. And perhaps I should look into how to go to China and/or Taiwan again this year. Also, apart from the thing I'm currently writing, I want to write & publish at least one more thing about Chinese literature, so I don't only translate it but also get more knowledgable about it.

 

In non-Chinese goals, I should find some form of exercise that is not expensive and that I will actually keep up. Running has pretty much entirely fallen by the wayside.

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Jan/Feb: read a book a week. Unlikely but I want to push for four or five hours reading a day.

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Ugh. I've been back home not doing Chinese for so long. Gotta get myself back on track soo my goals:

1. Glossika lesson once per day!
2. Read in Chinese 30 mins per day (Newspapers, novels, comics, its open to whatever I feel like)
3. Watch Chinese drama/TV at least once per week. I actually kind of missed this? Chinese TV is really funny in a not trying to be funny way. I think I stopped once I got back home because the access to it wasn't as good as in China
4. write an entry on Lang-8 three times a week. This might kill me but I need to get back into the habit. Or.. I might switch to govoluble?? Ill see..

Next month I'd like to try finding a teacher/language exchange partner to work on but for the month of January I just kind of want to work on getting out of this rut. I know its bad to admit but speaking to native speakers usually really discourages me regardless if they're teachers or not. Wish I knew why.

 

Anyway, I liked reading everyone's goals...... I might steal some (if not already) :P

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"Shadowing is a language learning technique developed by the American Professor Alexander Arguelles, first in Germany and later Korea. The basis of the method is audio in the language that you are learning. While listening, you attempt to repeat -- to "shadow" -- what you hear as quickly as you hear it. It is most beneficial to be walking swiftly at the same time to maximize alertness and oxygenation."

 

 

I have used 'shadowing exercises' when I was training for simultaneous interpreting in order to also learn to dual task (write while shadowing/speaking) and practice speaking while listening and seeing how far back you can lag and retain what is being said. Also it is a good way to help with speaking rhythm. To this day I find it helpful (ok, really just fun) to watch dramas & listen to speakers to see if I can shadow and follow along (to the annoyance of those around me). It actually helps for speaking/oral warm up exercise and I recommend doing it throughout the day if you are living in China or as you listen to Chinese conversations and/or programming in the background (while waiting, doing chores, etc...it's a good multitasking exercise).

 

My resolutions given I'm back in school will be to re-enter the work force this year and frequently work in China in my next role and ultimately return to China following graduation.

 

As for language goals, I want to broaden my active working vocab more into finance, strategy, marketing, manufacturing, operations, supply chain etc. This means re-launching my daily news article reading!Therefore, I'm setting a minimum 20-30 min goal of reading news daily. Sounds fun. Maybe I'll resuscitate my old daily 朗读 thread. It's best to practice reading aloud as much as possible anyway....

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It's a case of continuing to learn as real life gets in the way. Finding a way to review stuff I've tried to learn has been a problem, so the other half has decided that I should broaden my knowledge of popular music. Learn a song of her choice every few weeks. 

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Last year's goals:

 

1. Save enough money to go back to China and study in a private school intensively for between one and two months. (It didn't happen)

 

2. Try to achieve greater parity between my reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. (My speaking and listening are still well ahead, but my reading caught up, somewhat)

 

3. Improve my level sufficiently that I'm able to watch a Chinese t.v show and understand the bulk of what is said. (Partially successful. Through repeat listening and occasional look-ups I came close to achieving this with one series)

 

4. Abandon perfectionism. (Nobody cares how well you can say 你好 if you can't say anything else). (Success. I know there are still lots of things I need to work on but I don't beat myself up about it as much anymore)

 

5. Take and pass one of the HSK exams. HSK 3 would be acceptable, HSK 4 if possible. (Passed both)

 

This year's goals:

 

1. Learn 5 new words per day during week days.

2. Watch at least one episode of a t.v series each week.

3. Read for a minimum of 15 minutes everyday in Chinese.

4. Have an online lesson once a week.

5. Attempt HSK 5 at the end of the year.

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Grawrt said: 

3. Watch Chinese drama/TV at least once per week. I actually kind of missed this? Chinese TV is really funny in a not trying to be funny way. I think I stopped once I got back home because the access to it wasn't as good as in China

Mr John said:

2. Watch at least one episode of a t.v series each week.

 

Who else is signing up to that?

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I'm a newcomer and roddy steered me to this thread. It has been rightly said that "after 40, one is either a fool or a physician", so...

 

1) I plan to eat and sleep in a regular and responsible manner.

 

Whether I have success with any of my other goals likely depends mostly on whether I have any success with that one. Once the DeFrancis readers arrive I will

 

2) spend 20 minutes a day admiring and writing 字 (traditional Chinese characters);

 

(using color coding) and

 

3) 40 minutes or more reading from the textbooks.

 

My experience with characters, I am hoping, will follow my experience with learning English. Back in 1950 when I was being taught the latter, the vogue was what was then called "sight reading". Rather than teaching first graders (kindergarten was nearly unknown then) how to sound out words, they were taught just to memorize whole words which the teacher wrote down on the black board. Couldn't read a thing until, sometime in the second grade, I could suddenly read everything. I am hoping that will work with Chinese characters, which I have been looking at off and on (mostly off) for about 34 years. I am thinking that if I put some regularity into it, the overdue epiphany may come. Until that happens I will just have to get my satisfaction from the reading.

 

Perhaps something similar will show itself  if I

 

4) practice 功 an hour a day.

 

One never knows what work he might be called upon to do, and as such he might be called upon to express himself or say dig a hole, or perhaps shovel snow. To prepare for the latter it were well to

 

5) do physical work or exercise for an hour a day.

 

For the former learning

 

6) Donald Knuth's TeX book

 

and enough of the

 

7) C programming language

 

to write figures into PDF files  using

 

8] Hellmut Michaels' Dislin software

 

should suffice.

 

The brilliant old scientist Karl von Reichenbach wrote some good stuff about and 陰 (which he called negative and positive od), back in the 1840's and 1850's and learning some

 

9) classical German

 

would help in going through his actual scientific journals. Von Reichenbach pointed out that the nature of qi is closely connected with electro-magnetic phenomena, although yet distinct from it. Thus, to understand what is going on there, one should take a look at Maxwell's equations which attempted to explain what Faraday, Ampere, Volta, Oersted, Coulomb and others had been finding out in von Reichenbach's time. This led to Minkowski's geometric description of Einstein's theory of special relativity which was an implication of those equations. The key to understanding what Minkowski wrote are the basic notions of synthetic

 

10) projective geometry

 

which notions are all inherent in sound understanding  of the

 

11) circle

 

which seems pretty much the key to everything (if stared at long enough :D ).

 

I suspect I have followed this resolution topic quite far enough. :-?

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Grawrt said: 

3. Watch Chinese drama/TV at least once per week.

[...]

Who else is signing up to that?

 

I've been doing this, and the occasional movie.

 

Goal for 2016 is to get back to studying Chinese grammar and building reading skills.

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