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The 2012 Aims and Objectives Progress Thread


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I cannot believe it's almost time to commit myself to another years's aims and objectives!

2011 was the first time I did this aims and objectives, and although I didn't achieve everything, it certainly made me look at what I was doing differently, and in a much more constructive way.

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My goals:

- Read my first book in Chinese. With book I mean a book aimed at native adults. This most likely will be: 许三观卖血记, 余华 (I hope to make a start this year)

- At least double, hopefully triple, my vocabulary from about 2500 now to 5000-10000.

- Diversify my Chinese skills. To achieve this I intend (on average):

> to work on grammar at least an hour a week.

> spend at least 1/2 an hour a day on listening (watch movies, soaps, audio books, real excercises)

> start to actively use chinese (maybe find language exchange, tutor or abuse some chinese friends)

> 4-6 weeks of travel in China this summer.

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To the OP: could you further expound on your "short-term formal course (3 hours per day, one-on-one) to refresh" experience. What-in-heavens name didn't you review in that time span? How many "days" did this intensive study go on? You're definitely a hard charger, and as the saying goes "there is no substitute for hard work.." Way to go, icebear.

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For the year 2012:

1. Skritter: I now have 3000 characters (both trad and simpl) in the Skritter queue. So I want to end the year 2012 with 5000 characters in the queue.

2. Middlebury: Pray that I get $$$ to go there now that I've been admitted. Then go to Middlebury this summer and get started on a master's in Chinese pedagogy.

3. Wushu: Compete in the Boston tournament while I'm at Middlebury. Compete in a Texas tournament if there is one in the fall/winter.

4. Blog: Just continue to blog. Simple enough.

I was going to put in "get job as Chinese language teacher" goal but there's no way I can ever get that unless I relocate, and that's not possible for another 3.5 years, for reasons I am not going to explain here.

I was going to put in some read-a-book goal but in the last several years I have been more and more attracted to writing while more and more disliking to read, in any language. I don't know why this is so.

That's it for goals, any more than that I am going to expire.

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I don't think I've participated formally in this topic before, but here are my goals for 2012 (in no particular order):

1. Concentrate more on listening comprehension (movies, TV shows, radio, etc)

2. Join/start a 武侠 book club in the Bay Area after I move back

3. Continue working through modern novels, mixing in some non-Kung Fu selections

4. Make friends with the Chinese people at work (and speak Chinese with them)

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My goals are simple.

-Improve listening comprehension. I want to be able to understand 80-90% of TV shows without looking at subtitles

-read more Chinese websites

-add 15-20 cards a day to my Anki Deck, on average, and do all the scheduled cards every day

-sleep with a Chinese girl who doesn't speak English. Without paying, obviously.

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1-I finally got the courage to take fewer classes this semester in order to finish all the 30,000 words and phrases in my wordlist by the end of this summer, so I'm going to review and recite the words in A, B, C, D and E (about 7400 words) a few times by the end of next month and then I will continue with the rest of the wordlist starting from February.

2-review 診斷學,中藥,方劑,腧穴 by the end of this summer

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Im still new to chinese && really aspire to reach a speakable level!

My Goals:

- Be able to converse for atleast 10 minutes in Chinese

- Be able to read and understand a simple chinese text (Comic book or poem or news article)

What I will do:

- Listen to podcast daily; 1 lesson per day and review material covered extensively.

- Write/Learn 5 new characters per day; After learning, form simple sentences to understand different ways to use the word.

- Watch a chinese drama or movie once per week

- Get through rapid chinese literacy series (I bought this a while ago and never got around to reading it *so sad*)

What I want to do:

- Find a language-exchange partner; Id really like to do this but I still feel super insecure at my level right now and will probably not do this BUT I add it on the list as a *MAYBE*

- Go to China this summer; Mostly for study but regardless even for traveling id love to go and visit. But things come up and have a chance of messing with plans so this is on the *MAYBE* list. But most likely because im feeling super determined this year. Preferrably for 2 months.

- Attend a chinese-conversation meetup; I just noticed this maybe last week. It sounds interesting but again, I get nervous at my level of chinese. But its on the maybe list because it sounds really interesting. The group also teaches, and has cute events like attending a KTV,etc. We'll see !

I tried to keep it simple, hopefully I will stick with it *fingers crossed*

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Before I post my ambitious goals for 2012, I hope someone can assist me with this recent learning "block" I'm experiencing. Although I'm fairly new to this, I know about 1000 simplified characters, however, I'm starting to forget many of the recent characters that I've learned after a day or two. It's frustrating as hell, but yet, I'm still committed to my studies. Has anyone experienced something like this, and if so, how did you adjust your study plan in order to retain most of what you've learned? Thanks.

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Wang 7 - as regards forgetting characters you've learned after a day or two, I've been saved by anki. I've been using anki for about two and a half years and I'd say it transformed both how many characters I 'know' and also how I study. I just wish someone had introduced me to it years before - and that it had existed years before it did. I'd never have found out about had I not been using this forum. I use it both for learning character recognition and for testing my ability to write characters.

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This is my first aims and objectives thread.

Here are my goals for the new year...

1) Finish Heisig's Remembering the Hanzi Vol. I, as I have been stuck at 900 characters for a long time. I want to finish by March.

2) Finish Pop-Up Chinese Elementary and Intermediate podcasts. I am more than half-way done with their Elementary catalog.

3) Listen to Chinese materials on a daily basis. I just started listening to 黑米公主 and 锵锵三人, based on another thread. While I barely understand anything said on 锵锵三人, I would like to make this a daily habit, just to train my ear to listening to normal speed Chinese.

4) Read a Chinese book. I want to start this once I finish with goal #1. I tried reading a book earlier in my studies, but it was frustrating. Recently, I started testing the water by reading comics, and I wasn't looking up too many words. I hope that by the time I finish with Heisig, I will be in a good position to read a full fledged book.

5) Visit China by May. The last time me and my girlfriend went to China, it was for only a week due to work constraints, and we lost couple of days in Japan due to the earthquake. Hopefully next time we will be able to take a 2-3 weeks tour of China, and stay couple of day in her hometown.

6) Start speaking with my girlfriend's roommates in Chinese. They are pretty nice and helpful about it, but they seem to quickly forget that my listening comprehension and vocabulary list are limited.

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my 2012 goals:

1)improve my pronunciation in Italian, English and Chinese so people can finally understand what I'm saying.

2)read 14 books during the year

3)Listen to 3 chinesepod podcast a week

4)Translate excerpts from an Italian rock climbing book into chinese.

5) Write on my blog 3 times a month.

6)Doing 15 minutes of flashcards a day.

7)Reading one brief news article every day.

8) climb an 8a+ and onsight 7bs constantly, save enough money to stay in Getu for a month or a little longer (rock climbing is always on my mind, no matter what I do and where I live)

The first and the last goals are mandatory! :mrgreen:

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Ok so here goes...

Last year my main objective was to keep up consistent improvement, improve the fluidity of my colloquial chinese and pass the HSK advanced exam (old version) by the end of the year, as well as working on listening, grammar and all the other skills enough to achieve that. Well.. although I have kept up several hours of lessons most weekends and I have improved my spoken Chinese, the exam in October was a fail - not by a gigantic margin, but there is still quite a way to go. As usual I was too ambitious, I only moved permanently out to Beijing in January and I've had to cope with a new (very busy job) since then. So I guess I just have to keep chipping away..

This year's objectives:

Pass Advanced HSK in April and if I fail on that attempt re-take in October (and ad infinitum..). Further to that I need over the next few months/year/as long as it takes to do the follows, in order of what I think priority should be (although they are all important):

1. Complete my "grammar sentence structures" notes. I have these written by hand, but I'm putting them into word format. Most of the structures cover the advanced level, but I need to further memorize and consolidate these and also add structures for the medium level exam to ensure that I also have a really comprehensive grasp of these down (i.e. work them with examples and get my teacher to check them, which she is already helping me with). Unfortunately although 北京语言文化大学出版社 did I think once publish a comprehensive list of examined HSK grammar structures for the old HSK advanced exam I'm basically having to recreate this (I think Roddy mentioned on another thread he may once have had a copy but it now seems to be out of print.. I have a friend doing research for a PHD so I might perhaps ask him if he can try the China national library for this..).

2. Listening. I have a collection of HSK listening exams, that I will start working my way through shortly. Although most of the content is at my level, unfortunately when listening to something without context, at a fairly high speed and once only I'm too-often still lacking detailed first-time comprehension. Unfortunately the HSK is not a test of whether you can understand something, for instance if it were repeated and if you were given more time to think about it, but of whether you can get the full meaning first time and without pondering the answers to the questions for too long. I just have to work through it and really improve my listening skills and also my exam technique on this section.

3. Writing. In my opinion writing free hand is the hardest skill because it tests so many aspects of one's grasp of the language (full memorisation of characters, composition, grammatical use..). Errors made when speaking appear to become magnified on page. I simply must start writing every day. For me (I would be very interested to see what others experiences are) I need to keep this up a little but often with faultless consistency or I just won't reach the level I need. I tried to practice hard for a couple of weeks before the exam, but although I could certainly write some prose in the main written portion of the exam, I'm still lacking the ability to write something that is well formulated and clear when I'm under time pressure. :evil: I initially thought that if I prepared a few essays beforehand and if I could partially re-write those if necessary it would be enough to get me through - but I have now changed my mind. Writing, at least free hand, may not be very necessary in day to day life anymore, but it is the ultimate way of consolidating and refining the use of language and this has a beneficial "spill-over" effect for all other language skills. Writing is also not just confined to some prose writing in the advanced exam in any event (part of the reading comprehension requires written answers) so a strong writing capability seems fairly essential for a high grade.

4. Knowledge of characters. Generally to focus on learning characters, rather than words, is not the way to go with Chinese. However I have been trying to review those characters of the most common 3000 that I am less familiar with. I'm also learning which key words these characters are found. That way from now on if I encounter an unknown character I will be fairly sure that it is at least not one of the 3000 most common and therefore not one that I necessarily have to know (I will also feel less fed up when I see characters I don't recognise!). Longer term I would like to know the first 3500 (maybe this achievable this year, I would certainly without question want to know "over 3000"), then the first 4000 and so on until eventually I know the first 5000, which is roughly what I understand an college educated Chinese would generally know. The aim is not to become a scholar of hardly-used characters but to ensure any gaps in my knowledge are generally unavoidable.

5. Vocabulary generally. I have some vocab books for the HSK, as well as the HSK dictionary and also a 近义词词典. I need to continue to go through the vocab primers and try to ensure a) I have the correct understanding of words I already think I am familiar with and b) fill in gaps in the specified examinable vocabulary where these still exist.

Phew! I love studying and it really is a pleasure - but there is always so much to work on it is hard to know where to start, even when I have a fairly clear idea of what I need to do. :conf This year I'm going to try very hard to do each of these from 1 to 5 down a little and often every day if I can..and that probably means getting out of bed early :-? .

Otherwise, I want to continue reading for pleasure, computer games in chinese, film and tv and hang out more with Chinese friends - this is the easier objective, time permitting! :P

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