Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Goals and Reflections

  • entries
  • comment
  • views

About this blog

I'll be writing down goals here, with a timeframe, and then reflecting on them when that time has passed - noting down progress made, what I've learned, etc.


I plan to use this as a platform to track my progress and place to discuss studying strategies with other learners, but any comments are welcome!

Entries in this blog


2021 Summer Holiday - Progress Reflection


At the beginning of my summer holiday, two and a half months ago, I set myself some goals. Let's take a look at what I've accomplished since then.


- Learn between 1/2 and all of the HSK 5 vocab through flashcards and going through the textbook + workbook.

- Completed. Did 1/3 of HSK textbook + workbook chapters, but reckon I know ~80% of the vocabulary.

- Daily LangCorrect journalling.

- Failed, I didn't have access to a computer for nearly a month due to circumstances out of my control. In total, perhaps half the summer days had journals.

- Watch one season of XYY (sixty episodes).

- Completed. This cartoon series is fun and comprehensible, this wasn't much work at all.

- Read 3-4 novels.

- Far and away completed! I probably read more like eight or nine novels this summer holiday - 6 of which were from the excellent Xiao Mao Riji Series.

- Add 300+ words to my flashcards outside of the HSK.

- Yes, probably like half a thousand added from reading. A hundred or so new words learned through Anki too.


Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with my progress. Although I didn't study for nearly as many hours a day (usually 1-3) as I'd hoped, I still accomplished most of my objectives and felt a real increase in my Chinese level. My pronunciation has also improved dramatically, since I've been practicing shadowing and relearning the tones for words I didn't know them for.


Summer 2021 Study Goals & Plan


I have an extended summer holiday this year and plan to make the most of it in regards to Chinese learning. First off, I'll set some goals, for what I hope to have accomplished by the end of summer (the start of September). Then, I'll outline some more granular details, such as what I plan to do each day and how I intend to achieve my goals. This post will help me stay accountable and serve as a space to go back and compare my progress to (throughout and at the end of the summer).


Summer Statistics

Time: June 11, 2021 - September 1, 2021

Length: 82 days

Notes: Roughly half (5.5 weeks) will be spent on holiday going back to the US, and another week in a forest cabin with friends - though I still hope to use this time to learn. The rest of the time is so far without major plans, making it ideal for Chinese study.



  • (Optimistic) learn all HSK 5 vocab | (Pessimistic) learn half of the HSK 5 vocab
    • Chosen as this would be a great achievement that is possible according to other learners, and I plan on learning HSK 5 regardless because of the structure and ease in finding audio/visual resources. This post on the forum has helped me in solidifying how I'm going to approach learning the vocab.
    • Currently, I know all HSK vocab and then a few hundred more words from novels, graded readers, DuChinese, Anki and so on.
    • If I achieve the optimistic goal, a secondary goal would be to pass an HSK 5 mock test in early September.
    • After HSK 5, I plan on leaving HSK altogether. To celebrate, I'll also be taking a look at some highly recommended novels that I'd like to enjoy more extensively, namely 《活着》and 《 许三观卖血记》.
  • Keep up daily LangCorrect journaling - this is a small thing that only takes 10-15 minutes a day, but requires dedicated focus that makes it a good goal to have.
  • Watch the equivalent of one season of the children's cartoon 喜洋洋 (halfway through one now, so finish this and half of another).
  • Read 《小布头奇遇记》- would be my 8th novel, and the 2nd hardest to date. Quite long. Likewise, read two-three other novels around the same difficulty - from my Dushu369 novels list (which it would be nice to update if I have time over the summer as well). If I can get my hands on SinoLingua's 1.5k unique word graded readers, then read those as well.
  • Add and learn at least 300 new words from novels, webnovels, TV, etc. - basically immersion.


Study Plan

While I have (for at least half the summer) the full day available to me for study, I know there's an upper limit to the time I can spend on Chinese - especially on more active learning activities. However, from my past experiences, I estimate that I can put in 4-5 hours a day normally and perhaps 2 hours daily whilst in the US. This is around the 275h mark for the entire timeframe. At a little over four new HSK words an hour, this'll be a challenge (especially as it won't be pure learning the HSK, or even mostly) - but I'm confident I should be able to at least get halfway through HSK 5 with this plan:

  • Daily LangCorrect journal entry - using new vocabs and a textbook or workbook-provided topic (~15 mins/day)
  • Daily Anki (Spoonfed sentences for speaking + listening practice), Pleco (HSK, tone catchup, handwriting and novel flashcards) (~45 mins/day). I'm planning on looking up new vocab in context (sentences that have the word or textbook dialogues), so this number may grow larger (June 2021, still not implemented, not sure how to approach doing this)
  • an XYY cartoon episode daily (~15 mins/day)
  • Speaking practice, language exchange - an hour or so a week
  • Self-study through 1-2 HSK 5 textbook chapters a week, including doing workbook exercises. Listen along with the free MP3s and do the activities. Add new words as HSK words to flashcard deck. Learn pronunciation of new words, and go back every once in a while to ensure it is learnt.
  • Try to spend at least an hour a day, though more if I have time, reading: aforementioned novels, advanced graded readers, newsletter messages. Listen along with audio if possible. I reckon this is where I'll spend most of my time. Will continue to use the excellent Readibu app for reading novels.
  • Listen to Chinese podcasts (aimed at learners) while walking the dog etc. - turn dead time into Chinese time - (30 mins/day)
  • Shadow 3 level-appropriate articles a day (~15 mins/day)



The things mentioned as daily I'll try to do each day. Generally, I'll be reading in the evening to decompress or on public transportation, with a chunk of free time, and so on. I'm aiming to do the meat of the studying - namely the HSK textbook + workbook and flashcards - in the morning, with some time between the two to take a break. Afternoon - if not otherwise occupied - will be more leisurely with podcasts, cartoons, speaking and writing; this is the timeframe where I'll most likely be doing something not Chinese related for my own pleasure in order not to burn out and have a more relaxing few hours to my summer.


This adds up to around 3h45m a day of active exercises (i.e. not passive podcast listening, audiobook listening, random speaking and so on).


If I come up with any new goals, or the situation changes, I'll update the post to reflect that. Equally, I'll be looking back on these goals and my routine after the summer holiday ends.


Wish me luck! If you have any comments or suggestions to add to the goals, improve the plan, etc. please let me know!


  • Create New...