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Learn Chinese in China

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Week 12 - 阅读期中考试




This has been an awesome week, and I felt like I really learned a lot.  First of all, for some reason I am still unable to upload photos.  I have sent Roddy a message and so hopefully by next week I can put some up.


I got my reading/writing midterm back, and it turns out I actually did write 容 correctly, and I got 100%!  Obviously I am over the moon with that, but it led to something even more cool.  There were 9 of us who did really well on the midterm, and so our teacher said that after looking at our results, attendance, and homework each week, we don't need to attend class between now and our final exam in January if we don't want to.  She said we are welcome to come, but our time is probably better spent devising and studying our own 内容。  She said we obviously still need to take the final exam, and we need to make sure we cover what's in the book as that will all be on there.  Each week we have to send photos via Wechat showing that we have been studying, and we have to produce 3 paragraphs/articles each week, on whatever we choose.  We can either send photos of those to her, or leave them in the classroom the night before and she will correct them for us (I am definitely doing the latter so that I actually continue to learn).  I am really pumped about this. The remaining Hanzi in the book that will be on the final are fairly common, and so shouldn't take long to learn.  Most of them I can read, I just need to remind myself how to write them.  But it means I have more time to study personal vocabulary, and writing the articles will be really fun and allow for a lot more experimentation with new words and grammar.  Finally she said after our final exams she will reassess and let us know whether she wants us to return to class, or we can continue to do our own thing. 


I just started a thread on sentence structure, so I won't repeat it here, but one of our teachers gave me a brilliant revelation when he was teaching this week - basically, if we know general sentence structures (subj + v + obj) and all that, then when we discover a new word, in most cases we can work out how to use that word by just checking what type of word it is.  I have always struggled with this when looking up words in the dictionary!  Now it seems so simple, why on earth was I finding it so hard, I should have just checked what kind of a word it was and then I would know how to put it into a sentence!


I spent some time hanging out with my friends at the tattoo place on Friday which was fun.  They wrote me a list of vocabulary as I walked around the shop pointing out things I didn't know, and then trying to explain things.  I think (I haven't actually checked them all in the dictionary yet though) I managed to get outline and shading, which I was quite proud of, or at least I will be if they are right hah!


Aside from Chinese study, the weather here has been getting very cold.  Today was -16C, which is the coldest it has been so far this winter.  There has also been some snow which is nice!  Some rather unfortunate news is that we may have to move house.  Our landlord is letting us know by the end of this month whether or not she wants to sell the place (I naively just assumed we'd be here for 4 years).  It's annoying because this place has 3 bedrooms which is perfect with our kids, the location is also fantastic.  It's not too far from uni and we are right by a big supermarket and a great kindergarten for the kids.  The silver lining is that our contract is up mid-Feb, so we will most likely move in January, right in the middle of my holiday!  I think I will stop there for this week, before the post gets too long!



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Moving is always a hassle. If you do end up having to move, I hope you find an even better apartment for your family.

The events at school are rather flattering, but personally I'd be a little bummed if I paid for an instructor led course and the teacher told me to learn by myself :/

Maybe you and your classmates can still study together to keep motivated?


Suggestion: in addition to the week number, maybe you could add a short title to your posts, related to the contents (like "listening exam") ? I think in 4 years time it may get a little difficult to find a specific post if they are all titled "week nn".

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Thanks, I appreciate that!


Yeah regarding the class we only have one class a week, and it is completely optional as to whether we want to go or not, she said the decision is ours, it wasn't her telling us to stop coming to her class.  I'd feel the same if it was any other class, but the class consists of learning the new characters, and putting those into words (which are also in the book).  We then read the 2 texts.  The second half of the class is the same thing for the following chapter of the book.  The homework is the same each week (I outlined it in the previous post).  If you know most of the characters and words already, there's definitely a better way we could be spending our time, but there are many in the class who don't, and so our teacher can't just skip over stuff.  She made a group on Wechat for us all to motivate one another, and we are supposed to send our work to that group, so we can all learn from each other too.  She was also very clear that we can ask her anything we like.  If I felt that I'd get more out of being in class and doing the prescribed homework then I'd do that, but I feel I will get much more out of trying to write longer pieces and having her help me with those.  Anyway that's just me!


Fantastic suggestion, I may actually go back and see if I can edit the names of each entry tonight, before the number of posts gets overwhelming!  Thank you!

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I've read most of your blog entries and I don't think this has come up (it might have done in the comments, so apologies if you've been over it already), but I was wondering if you were able to provide a little more information on your motivations for studying in China.  Obviously, you might not want to disclose too much information but I'm curious as to how you've managed to commit to a four-year course with a full family in tow.

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I actually don't think I mentioned it, except maybe in the blog description. Well my wife already spoke Chinese, and we have both wanted to go fir a while. My wife is Cambodian and I was in Cambodia teaching for 7 years. We felt like it might be time for a change! Also the schooling in Cambodia is abysmal, and while China certainly has its drawbacks, it is FAR better than Cambodia! So we just went for it! Still not sure what the plan is afterwards, maybe back to Cambodia, maybe working here, who knows!

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Haha!  Self-funding.  Unfortunately I think I may have been wrong, but I thought scholarships were only for Masters or for a shorter period of study.  In hindsight I wish I had looked into it more!  Thankfully the cost is nothing on what the equivalent would set me back in England!

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