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  1. Today
  2. And just like that, we're halfway through the year! It looks like my reading goals have been going very well, better than expected. I've read a bunch of books, including the three I had been planning to read--"Funeral of a Muslim," "Life and Death are Wearing Me Out," and "Fortress Besieged." Those three books (my 20th, 21st, and 24th overall) felt like a significant setback. Before that, my experience of reading Chinese was one of continuous, smooth improvement, with each book (usually) feeling easier than the previous one. I think that all along I was setting aside the more difficult books to read later, but ultimately, there's no escaping them. Eventually, I would have to read those books that are in a higher literary register, and it wouldn't be easy. Sure enough, they haven't been easy. On the other hand, how can I improve if I only read the easy stuff and don't read the hard stuff? So I'm quite happy about the whole experience, and I do feel like my reading skills are greatly benefiting from it. The trends are looking good, and I am quickly shedding my dependence on the Pleco dictionary. In my current book, I've only had to use it about once every 10 or 11 pages. That's an all-time record thus far! I've been plotting my progress (like a real data nerd), and it seems like I'm heading into a season in which my reading practice will yield extremely diminishing returns. The kind of progress I would once see in three months, for instance, might now require three years of practice. Of course, the longer you do something, the more slowly you progress. It looks like that reality will really be felt in about 5-10 more books. It won't mean that I'm some kind of native-level reading expert (I'll never be), but it does mean that I should feel happy and shift my efforts to weaker skills, especially listening. And I think lots of listening will give me a more intuitive grasp of all this vocabulary, which will then mean, later down the road, I'll be a better reader. In the meantime, I have been keeping up with some modest listening practice. I can understand more and more stuff, especially when my attention is focused. And that's been the real challenge. Even when listening to English audio, my mind can wander--especially when I'm distracted by my own thoughts/activities, or I find the subject boring, or I don't like the delivery style, etc. I feel like that problem is very much compounded when I'm listening to a language that isn't native to me. Nevertheless, I'm really encouraged by how much I can understand when I can pay attention. Which isn't all the time. My iTalki speaking practice has completely crumbled. That's probably the one failure story of the year thus far. I figure I'll get back into it when my focus shifts away from reading, and I am hyper-focused on reading for the coming months.
  3. Yesterday
  4. vellocet

    Alternative entry than Z visa

    1) A student can take a paid internship in the field he is studying. This doesn't mean work as an English teacher on the side. 2) Even if you are a business owner, unless you have a BA you can't work for your own company. A ton of people had the same thought and registered phony companies in Shanghai so they're quite strict about it now. Really? Tons of people are leaving the country in disgust right now, and they just destroyed the entire after-school English training industry last year. Wages haven't gone anywhere, schools just aren't willing to pay more than a certain amount. I get the idea that China is transitioning into more like Taiwan or Korea, where only educational professionals can teach. I.E. you're a career teacher in your home country before you ever set foot in China.
  5. I'd like to recommend you 發展漢語, published by Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Very good one. It gives good base and understanding of language. Regards, Jenifer.
  6. Jan Finster

    Keats and LTL Language School Online

    There is TPR and TPRS: https://spanishmama.com/tprs-storytelling-method/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm3F5tk5T-c&ab_channel=Poly-glot-a-lot https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=illApgaLgGA Here Chinese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG1ujcRuonA&ab_channel=HitChinese https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/46693-any-experience-with-tprs/
  7. Last week
  8. becky82

    Keats and LTL Language School Online

    I used to be a purist, but now I can accept a certain amount of English (a sentence here and there is 九牛一毛). Sometimes it's just faster to use English (e.g. 长颈鹿 = "giraffe"), and sometimes it's hard to explain grammar without linguistics jargon, and most of it is outside the HSK vocabulary. Some absolutely critical points, such as how character components work, are easier to absorb in English; if they're explained in Chinese, the student comes back a few years later and asks: "why didn't you ever teach me this?" On the other hand, sometimes it's harder to understand things explained in English. I've been told a Chinese word means XYZ in English, but my teacher doesn't realize XYZ has 4 meanings in English. They turned one problem into two problems. And sometimes I feel like teachers just want to sneak in some English practice. (On iTalki you can check out their English level and choose teachers with poor English.) (Oh, and it seems TPRS is what you're describing.)
  9. abcdefg

    Keats and LTL Language School Online

    I like that approach a whole lot too. The teacher needs to feel confident and needs to trust you as her student. Yields huge dividends. It closely emulates "real life." Over they years I taught 3 or 4 youngsters English as a favor to their parents. That's the approach I tried to take with them. Our lessons often took place on the street or in a nearby store, instead of in my living room. It seemed to "open them up" and promote a feeling of language freedom.
  10. @markhavemann -- It's reassuring to hear that. Similar accounts from most of my Chinese friends in Yunnan, even Kunming. (Less disruption in smaller cities than in the capital.)
  11. suMMit

    Keats and LTL Language School Online

    My bad , TPR is the wrong term, I don't know where I got that from. I'm not sure what the term for her method is, let me give you an example: She'd show a picture of a guy with a bird in a cage on a balcony. She'd ask what's going on. Student describes this guy is watering his plants, he's out on the balcony, the weather is nice,he has a bird. She says he's your neighbor. She asks what you think of the bird. She asks you if its noisy. Does that bother you? Why? Do you think a bird should be in a cage? why/why not? What are you going to do about this situation? She's say she's the neighbor, knock on my door and discuss the situation with me. Something like that. Very creative and fast, you're just constantly reacting to prompts and coming out with all this language. The time would fly. Much better than "read this text out loud while I listen". Sometimes she would focus on a grammar point. For example, show you a picture of a woman cooking chicken and soup, and a shelf of spices. She's get you to describe that. Is her chicken dish spicy? What about the soup? 连...? and get you to say something like 她 什么 都 放 辣 ,连 汤 都 是 辣的 。If you said it wrong she would simply say it again correctly and then on to another picture where you could use 连. Basically it all revolved around using drawings to generate speaking. She is really skilled.
  12. Hello, I have been already a teacher in China in 2017-18, although I was in a grey area of "legality" where they made me applied for the work visa and technically never processed I dont have a BA and dont plan to have one. I curious to know about the following: 1) Student visa, does being a student allow you to work, can you get a student visa just from language school, does it have to be from university? 2) Starting a business, I heard that from an agent, a recent "loophole", where you create your own business of whatever nature and its allow you to legally work too. I see so many demand and the salary is so high right now to work in China, although mostly kindergarten level, if they need so much why is the gov not reducing the requirement for those worker instead of being in constant need of them, I dont hear from a lot of BA holder willing to go in far countryside to do kindergarten or training school stuff. Like most I think they target tier 1, tier 2 city. so, they should really lower the requrement
  13. My experience is it's easier to keep two hobbies going if you put one in maintenance mode and the other in more intensive mode. Later you can switch if you so desire. Maintenance mode for Chinese would mean staying on your current level with activities you enjoy, whether that's watching Youtube stuff, reading news in Chinese or just rereading what you'd already learned.
  14. I used to have time to juggle multiple hobbies, but since becoming a Dad, I don't have time for everything anymore. My recommendation? You have to follow what excites you. There's nothing wrong with dialing back the Chinese, or even quitting entirely, for a time. I booked my first Preply class in almost a year today, and I haven't thought much about Chinese since finishing my last novel at the beginning of the year. Instead, I've been focusing on playing guitar in a jazz band. It doesn't matter that you study Chinese - what matters is that you do something fulfilling with your time on this planet. Don't be afraid to let yourself quit, if only temporarily. You can always come back to it
  15. Yes, that's exactly the issue I have. News focused on China and Taiwan simply isn't terribly relevant to my daily life. When it comes to the Sinosphere I'm mostly interested in history, culture, and music, so reading about random daily news I feel like I really have to force myself to care. I feel like that scene with Zapp Brannigan.
  16. abcdefg

    Keats and LTL Language School Online

    What is TPR in this context? I don't recognize that abbreviation. Thanks!
  17. ------------ Definitely! Just started doing my other hobbies in Chinese.
  18. It annoys me somewhat that DW, just like BBC, mostly prfioritize news about China and/or Taiwan on their Chinese news website, instead of providing news that are more similar to their English editions. When I go to, say, Asahi Shinbun's English website, I want to read about Japan and what the Japanese read about, rather than subjects that are aimed towards Europeans or Americans.
  19. What are your usual news sites? I'd suspect DW is your best bet for the Europe focus. They also used to do some very useful podcasts, but that was many years back. Not sure if they still do.
  20. Now that I've reached an advanced enough level that I'm not limited to e.g. graded readers and the like, I'd like to start incorporating Chinese into my everyday life as much as possible. I also want to expand beyond just novels, since I know Chinese is written in a much wider variety of style than English, and I figure reading the news is a good opportunity to kill several birds with one stone. I can read more formal material, but also read stuff that is immediately relevant to my everyday life, which really helps with motivation. I make it a point to read the news every morning shortly after I wake up, so it'd be really easy to work one article in Chinese per day into my routine. I'm kind of aiming for one chapter of reading, one chapter of audiobook, and one news article per day.
  21. Thanks for the update. I didn't realize it this was possible. This thread seems to have come to an abrupt end, anyway. Somehow I seem to have that effect. I feel like I've killed more than my share of someone else's threads over time. Anyway, thank you, again... TBZ
  22. Ah, it's posted in the News forum. That doesn't show up to guests so it doesn't get indexed - while it's not as common as it once was, we'd sometimes have 'controversial' topics that would attract folk searching for "Discuss Tibet with Chinese people" or something. They weren't the most productive of contributors, and those discussions aren't our core business, more of an add on for existing members. So the news forum has always been members-only and not index. I'll move this one, it'll show up then.
  23. Why is it that his particular thread does not show up on the forums home page unless I am logged in??? If I stop by the forums page after visiting another site, chances are that this thread is not shown. As I know that it's too recent to have moved off the home page, and I log in, it suddenly appears right about where I expect it would be. Is there a pecking order system in place, is it possible for a member to request that a particular thread not be made "public"??? Just askin' for a friend... TBZ
  24. It's not very efficient and you're generating a lot of repetitive topics, sometimes not getting any responses. Please do start one topic for your questions and keep posts in there. Or perhaps use this earlier one.
  25. suMMit

    Keats and LTL Language School Online

    I am pretty on the fence with LTL. A year to 6 months ago I did many Flexi classes, around 50. If I had my way, I would like to continue to include them in my study routine. But I had to make a choice between a teacher of my choice on Italki and LTL. I simply don't have time and money for both. Also, I want to go through the hsk book with my teacher, whereas they have their own material(though it overlaps).Here are some pros and cons in my opinion: Pros I really liked having other students in the class, takes the pressure off I liked the flexible scheduling The price is reasonable The owner is a Chinese learner and engages with the students Study with a variety of teachers and accents very nice scheduling interface good customer service *There was one amazing, amazing teacher who used TPR. Her and students talking back and forth 50/50 in this very natural way. Best language teacher I have ever had in my life. Cons Some of the teachers I really didn't like, I mean their methodology mainly Most of the teachers had you just reading the dialogs out loud, explain vocab - not very interesting or valuable for me I felt so many lost opportunities where the teacher could have utilized pairwork discussions or role plays If you like a particular teacher, you may not find them teaching the class you want Some of the teachers speak too much English (I cannot tolerate any at all at Hsk 4+) Too much pinyin Some of the fellow students were too far below the level we were studying This
  26. I suppose it was inevitable, but after almost 4 years of making Chinese almost my only free time activity, I might have to adjusts things a bit. Another long time hobby that I love, but haven't had much opportunity to engage in, has recently re-emerged. This hobby also requires a lot of practice and study. I have by no means quit Chinese or lost interest, but I find myself wanting to split my time between the two now. I am still finding time for both of them every day, there are also times that I can listen to Chinese while doing the other pastime. Has anyone else had this experience?
  27. I've been in China for pretty much the entirety of COVID. Don't get the idea that the whole shanghai thing is the standard. There were a few months of things being mostly locked down in the very beginning, (2020?) which turned out to be a really nice time to do things and explore the empty city. There are some slight inconveniences like occasional and often free covid tests, and scanning a QR code to get into places, but besides that, things have been pretty much normal (in Chengdu at least) almost the whole time.
  28. phoneticsem

    尴尬 gāngà embarrassed, awkward

    @abcdefg thanks for sharing your own experience using "我真不好意思!“
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