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roddy

Xuefang's beginner writing project....

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roddy

As (hopefully) you've noticed, we're running a small experiment where our member Xuefang (who has a degree in Chinese teaching) helps people out with their Chinese writing skills. You can see the topic here. This is being paid for out of advertising income. 

 

I'd be interested to know what people think of this, what might make it more accessible or useful, etc. So far it's being quiet, but it's early days and I'm happy for it to take some time to build up....

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LinZhenPu

I think xuefang has two degrees now, having initially completed a Bachelor's with a major in Chinese teaching and having recently completed a Master's. But I digress.

 

I feel it's quite a good idea, and it's interesting to learn that it's an experiment run by the forum being paid for out of advertising.

A bit unfortunate that it's been quiet.

 

I do feel that the level of writing is a bit above a real beginner's level, ie a person who has only been learning Chinese in their spare time for less than 6 months. If some more basic topics more accessible to people's whose Chinese level is equivalent to HSK1-2 could be included added along with continuing the current level, that would be good.

 

I do have one idea. How about us participants asking teachers on italki that we have lessons with if they would be kind enough to put a link to the writing group on their teacher's profile? That should be mutually beneficial to both teachers and students if italki allows this, I feel it would help to make their lessons more involved and students more likely to come back to them. I could message a few teacher's who I've had Chinese lessons with in the past and ask.

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Shelley

I was mildly interested but the fact it was being funded by Chinese Forum funds kinda put me off. It felt like it wasn't being done for all the right reasons.

 

Also the fact it covered HSK 1 - 3 was off putting, I would say I hover around HSK 1-2 ish and find it tiring to have to look up so many words, and trying to work out the grammar of higher levels.

 

IMHO there should have been a topic for each level. 

 

I also find the use of both simplified and complex characters tiresome, literally, my eyes ache trying to work out some of the characters. (yes I know I can zoom, that not the point)

 

So I would say there should be topics for each level in traditional and complex. And the levels should be adhered to quite strictly so as not to put people off.

 

If people at higher levels want to join in they can start a topic of their own.

 

The basic idea is good, but its not working as well as it might.

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Lu

I think it's an interesting idea, I hadn't realised it was being funded by the forums. My thoughts on that are different from Shelley's: I think this is a good thing, because it means that it's not just something where people correct each other's stuff, but that there is an actual Chinese teacher there who is committed to putting real time and effort into it. A cool new feature of the forums.

 

I won't be participating (writing is not high on my list of stuff to learn), but I put a link in a somewhat relevant facebook group, in the hope that it will bring in some more participants.

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Angelina

here is a copy of my original reply:

I have a suggestion. Can we try a reading group? It is better to read first, write later.

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abcdefg

I use Lang-8 off and on. Haven't felt the need to try this Forum-sponsored group. Besides, it wouldn't be appropriate; I would find it difficult to stick with beginner-level material.

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Flickserve

I think I got told my writing wasn't appropriate. Hence, no further writing by me.

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abcdefg

Roddy, Why not pay all of us to submit helpful content to the Forum?

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ChTTay

Looks good to me! I am beyond HSK1 to 3 but actually I find I still struggle with some basic stuff. Might start contributing of time allows.

@Flickserve, don't you just need to stick to HSK1 to 3 level?

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陳德聰

I have been periodically checking the thread to see how it's going. I obviously am not the target of an HSK1-3 thread so I pretty much stay out of it, but I've noticed a few folks who don't really belong in such a thread posting into it and I actually wonder if that doesn't deter people from posting.

I think it could be made more explicit that it is an HSK1-3 thread or the HSK restriction could be done away with altogether. I know I never learned which characters go in which level, and I suspect perhaps some other people are not following HSK wordlists on their journey.

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Shelley
but I've noticed a few folks who don't really belong in such a thread posting into it and I actually wonder if that doesn't deter people from posting.

 

Yes, this.

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ChTTay

It looks to me that Xuefang usually replies/reminds people after they've posted if they've posted at too high a level. if you read the first post it's pretty clear its HSK 1 to 3 and there's that online check thing too.

What can you do though if people just post anyway? Pre-screen posts? Delete them?

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Flickserve

Looks good to me! I am beyond HSK1 to 3 but actually I find I still struggle with some basic stuff. Might start contributing of time allows.

@Flickserve, don't you just need to stick to HSK1 to 3 level?

probably then the title of the thread is better modified to HSK 1-3 vocab only. But that might be quite challenging given people's own experiences. I tried it out on the basis of being a beginner (not got past mid NCPR 2).

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ChTTay

Yeah, maybe bracketing (HSK1 to 3) in the title would help too.

Then again the first sentence in the description (second sentence overall) is "This group is for beginner or elementary level Chinese learners at HSK1-3 levels."

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Shelley

I took part in this topic for a while until it was hijacked by higher level posters and I soon lost interest. This topic even gave a list of characters to be used but it seemed to fall by the wayside. This is one reason I didn't join XueFang's topic, I felt it might go this way.

 

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/48078-experimenting-with-a-beginner-level-writing-thread/

 

 

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YuehanHao

I think it's a great idea and am surprised more have not taken advantage.  I have followed the thread a bit and considered participating myself.  Somewhat of a perpetual beginner, though would like to believe I have achieved a modicum of progress over the years.  So from here, a few thoughts:

 

* Separate threads each week may be useful for organization and garnering increased attention

* Find xuefang's posts quite helpful and enjoy reading them in particular

* I may be vaguely put off by selecting the right level of vocabulary / spoiler hints or something like that.  I should say more, as this comment doubtlessly appears totally trivial given the ease of complying.  I suppose it's that I have little time to spend and have an independent mentality of trying to progress naturally from wherever I am (not sure exactly and not that concerned over) versus targeting an arbitrary standard (which, I must admit, is indubitably an understandable and reasonable aim for such a project, such that I am not intending a criticism).

* While readily posting on abstract topics, perhaps I am also put off a bit at speaking much of myself, which many of the topics thus far would have covered (quite naturally, I must admit, such that again no criticism is intended).

 

Surely the better part of this feedback must be old-fashioned idiosyncrasies, but nevertheless a data point for the record.  In any case, here's hoping for the project's success.

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Flickserve

Yeah, maybe bracketing (HSK1 to 3) in the title would help too.

Then again the first sentence in the description (second sentence overall) is "This group is for beginner or elementary level Chinese learners at HSK1-3 levels."

does HSK level 1-3 mean being constrained to using HSK 1-3 vocab?

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艾墨本

Can there be two writing groups? One for the beginners and one for the intermediate folk? This might keep the upper level people from posting in the beginner group. 

 

While I haven't actually posted to the group, I have enjoyed reading her responses. All of my past Chinese teachers just marked the wrong spots in red and moved on. No explanation, no other help. 

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Angelina

I want (need actually) an intermediate reading group.

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艾墨本

@Angelina, I would also like this. It would be easy to pair the two together. Read a book together and write responses about it in Chinese.

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