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Learning Schedule for NPCR

Shelley

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In this entry I am going to share my learning schedule and methods using the New Practical Chinese Reader.

 

I will also go into more details about my learning materials, books, practice aides, flashcards, dictionaries etc. in a later entry.

 

I will start with a brief overview of the materials I use, the first version of New Practical Chinese Reader (NPCR) textbook, workbook, audio and video. I also use Pleco, Hanzi Grids and occasionally Skritter. I listen to Pimsleur when I have time. I also try to watch and listen to CCTV 9 Documentary when possible, and expose myself to as much Chinese language and culture as I can.

 

My routine is to read through the dialogues for the lesson, read the notes and the grammar, then listen to the dialogue mp3 with the text in front of me, then listen to it again without the text a few times. Then I read the dialogue again, check I am happy with my understanding and do the same with the second dialogue of the lesson.

Then I put all the characters (words) into Pleco and spend some time reviewing and testing those. Then I start the exercises in the text book and work my way through them. I write as much as possible using characters, so for example the substitution and drills section I write out fully each one with all the different possibilities. This helps reinforce the new characters and the sentence structure.

 

I then watch the video, this can clear up some things I may have not quite understood, I usually watch them a few times more when I have a moment spare.

I then move onto the workbook and work my way through that.

 

Then I go back and cover up the pinyin and read the dialogues again and if I feel happy I have grasped the meaning I move on to the next lesson and start over again.

 

I will review and test the characters using Pleco and actual paper flashcards throughout the entire time I am learning that lesson, but also at other random times, in the doctors waiting room, waiting in a long queue etc.

 

I also practice writing all the new characters from the lesson using Hanzi Grids as well as the practice in NPCR.

 

I also like to write little stories, only a few lines, a short paragraph using the new words and new sentence structures and grammar, These I will write using pinyin on my phone or tablet so I can concentrate on the structure.

 

My weak points are lack of speaking and tones. I feel my strength is in learning characters and words. I am trying a new method of listening and speaking, recording myself reading the dialogues and listening back and comparing with the NPCR audio for the dialogues.

 

My one indispensable tool is Pleco and I really like using Hanzi Grids. I think the NPCR series is good for someone like me who is self studying, there is also an answer key so you can see how well you are doing :) .

It takes me about 2 weeks to complete a lesson, putting in about an hour and half to two hours a day. I study for pleasure and have no deadlines or exam dates so I may miss a day here or there.

I have in the past with one of my first teachers worked through the PCR books 1 & 2.

 

I decided to start again from lesson one with the New PCR as I felt I needed to fill in some holes in grammar and reading that I feel I have. So now I am on Lesson 10, and am enjoying being thorough with my learning and not moving on until I feel very confident I have understood and learnt everything from the lesson.

My next entry will be about my learning materials and how I use them. I will also, starting from Lesson 11, go through the lesson briefly and share my learning problems and successes.



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I also like to write little stories, only a few lines, a short paragraph using the new words and new sentence structures and grammar, These I will write using pinyin on my phone or tablet so I can concentrate on the structure.

 

Do you write something interesting like an essay?

Or is it just random sentences for practicing new words?

 

In this entry I am going to share my learning schedule and methods using the New Practical Chinese Reader.

 

I like the way you organise your study program, no matter good or not, at least you keep learning and don't give up, just like Chinese old people like to say - 活到老学到老 ))

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Thank you for your comments.

 

I use the new vocabulary I have learnt and recent words and write grammatically correct sentences and string them together to try and make a sensible story with them.

 

It is not important if they are true, as long as they are correct and readable.

 

It is like a written excessive using the TPRS method of circling, which I like as a method.

 

There is a topic on the forums about TPRS,  if you are not familiar with it have a look.

 

As for not giving up, that's just not an option as learning Chinese is a passion for me, I can't imagine life without Chinese :)

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I use the new vocabulary I have learnt and recent words and write grammatically correct sentences and string them together to try and make a sensible story with them.

 

How long these stories are? Could you share some with us?

Writing a story in Chinese is the most effective and the most difficult exercise I'm using for increasing vocabulary, it is a real challenge for our productive vocabulary ))

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They are anywhere from 4-5 sentences long to 10 or 12 approx.

 

I will try and share the next one I write, usually I write them on my tablet or phone and I don't keep them for too long.

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Like stated the npcr is great for people like us who are self studiers and can go at our own pace. I found the answer key to the work book but no answer keys to the textbook. So sometimes I get stuck on something and think I'm not doing it right and no clue if I figured it out right. But it's just conversation practice and it will never be just a single answer.

Solid work ethic on the npcr and like the way you go through it. I finally got the workbook CDs to work on iTunes so going through all the workbook lessons this week.

I too have the npcr lessons I learned on pleco flash cards and whenever I'm on a train or waiting somewhere I go through them. Do you write a lot in simplified or traditional or just pinyin?

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When I write by hand I always use simplified characters. When I write the little stories I use pinyin input so it ends up in characters. But I only do that so that I can concentrate on the grammar and structure.

 

I try to write as much as I can.  I do this because I believe the more I write characters the better chance I have of remembering them.

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My weak points are lack of speaking and tones. I feel my strength is in learning characters and words. I am trying a new method of listening and speaking, recording myself reading the dialogues and listening back and comparing with the NPCR audio for the dialogues

 

It would be great if you share some of your recording with us too ))

I also use similar method for practicing tones ))

Btw, I found some people improved their speaking skills by storytelling, it's like a spoken version of writing an essay :

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzREI7DbyfI

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Yes telling stories is a good way to practice which is one reason i like the TPRS method. I might share some audio later, but not at the moment.

 

For one thing I need to work out how to do it.

 

Thanks for the clip but i concentrating on mainland Chinese so it would be confusing to watch a lot of Taiwanese TV.

 

i watch CCTV9 and CCTV Documentary a lot and sometimes CCTV4.

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Yes telling stories is a good way to practice which is one reason i like the TPRS method. I might share some audio later, but not at the moment.

 

For one thing I need to work out how to do it.

 

I might be wrong, but in my opinion, this kind of video blogging has some advantages over the TPRS.

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Wow that was 4:30 of chaos. You will have to explain to me the point of that. It also uses traditional characters which makes it confusing as I am learning simplified.

 

That style of thing maybe ok for some people but it is not for me.

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Wow that was 4:30 of chaos. You will have to explain to me the point of that. It also uses traditional characters which makes it confusing as I am learning simplified.

 

That style of thing maybe ok for some people but it is not for me.

Well, because it requires creativity and it's fun, telling stories and listening to the stories, that's how children learn their native language ))

You can start your own video blog with simplified characters ))

I understand it's not for everybody, just like learning from textbooks, one semester was enough for me to realize that textbooks are not for me ))

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that's how children learn their native language ))

 

I don't think children were subjected to quick fire, random topics with no regard to their abilities.

 

I understand that some people may not like text books but this is no substitute in my opinion.

 

As far as I can tell it lacks structure and explanation, it you are seriously advocating this as a learning method, it is not for me.

 

I am not saying it is good or bad because there are as many learning methods, styles and techniques as there are people.

 

I prefer a more structured, paced and thorough method of learning. Some consider it old fashion, but it works for me.

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I prefer a more structured, paced and thorough method of learning. Some consider it old fashion, but it works for me.

You are right, everybody should follow the way that works best for him/her.

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