I was asked in the last post to list the books that we are using this year, so here they are:
综合 - Bridge, a practical intermediate Chinese course (I) (Beijing Language and Culture University Press)
口语 - Intermediate spoken Chinese 1 (Peking University Press)
写作 - Road to Success. Upper Elementary Reading and Writing 1. (Beijing Language and Culture University Press)
听力 - I left this book at uni, but it's the listening book of the same series as 写作
汉字学 - The Culture of Chinese Characters (Beijing Language and Culture University Press)
阅读 - Read This Way 1 (Beijing Language and Culture University Press）
中国概况 - A Survey of China (Beijing Language and Culture University Press)
I would recommend all of the books. The speaking book is probably the least useful in a sense, being as we don't actually do much from the book, aside from the exercises. The exercises themselves are great. I really like the 综合 and 阅读 books. Both the books and the teaching methods of those two teachers fit really well with my learning style. They will go through a certain number of the new words, explaining the meaning and use of each one, giving examples and having us create sentences. Then we will go through the portion of the text which includes the words we have just studied. The key words/grammar constructs have more time spent on them when we are in the text. The pace is steady so that we have time to really digest everything. One of the things I find hard about Chinese (and there are a lot) is small differences in meaning/use of words. Being taught in this way really helps me with that. I am talking about the difference between 忽然 and 突然 for example.
This week is 国庆节 and so I have the week off. Next week for listening I have to prepare a dialogue with a friend which includes 9 sentences that were given to us. Then I have to choose one of 7 small topics to give a 'presentation' on. I think I am going to do 'differences in lifestyle between England and China'. Because our class is big, this is only to be around 2 minutes long. Such a time limit makes it harder I think, but still it is a great chance to be up the front practicing again. We are not allowed to have notes of any form outside of our ppt, and if people want to opt out they are allowed to do so. If you opt out 3 or more times in a semester you are not allowed to sit the exams.
I really enjoyed the first year of study, and this year is so much better already!