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Learn Chinese in China

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The new semester started a week ago, and it's been a great first week.  As far as my goals for this year, I've basically failed them all already!  I wanted to read a lot more, but over the break I went home for the first time in a couple of years, and so unfortunately my Chinese took a back seat.  However, I did get through one and a half books.  Now being back I feel like I have so much more to focus on, and I'd rather do a good job of covering all my class materials well than spreading myself too thin by plodding through a book.  Hopefully I can change this up when the books are a bit easier to read, and don't require constant stopping and note making.  Rather than dwelling on my failure here, I am trying to put it behind me and go all in with everything else!


This semester we have two different classes.  Our 中国概况 and 汉字学 classes are over, and in their place we have 中国文化 and 语法学。  I really like 语法学 and find it to be incredibly useful.  The books we are using are fantastic, and basically contain answers to many questions that keep coming up for me.  中国文化 seems to be fairly interesting, and we have a new teacher for this class.  She's very friendly and asks a lot of questions.  Although our class consists of 40+ students, there's only a few of us that don't sit on our phones and actually participate in the class, so I really appreciate an interactive setting.


On that note, our speaking class has changed slightly.  For some reason all of our exams are now going to be written exams (how someone's speaking can be tested with a written exam is beyond me, but it's out of the teacher's control).  So in light of this our teacher has said he will just teach one of our classes each week, and the other one will be dedicated to us speaking (presentations/reports/skits etc.). 


All in all, I'm really excited about this semester!



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Thank you!  I would say my Chinese has improved drastically.  That's not to say my Chinese is any good yet, but it has certainly gotten better.  When I get discouraged at how difficult it is, or at my lack of understanding, struggles with grammar etc., what always encourages me is looking back at where I was compared to where I am now. 


I haven't started reading Chinese literature yet.  I believe we start with native material at some point in 3rd year.  The most advanced I have gone by myself is reading a book for young people.  It was doable, but still quite challenging.  I was actually sometimes able to get through a page or two without coming across a character I didn't recognize (although of course some pages would then have a ton that I didn't know), but what slowed me down was not knowing what words meant, even though I could read the character. 

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