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roddy

Xuefang's beginner writing project....

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Angelina

yes

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EricJMa

I have participated in the writing group and have thoroughly enjoyed the feedback and reading others responses. Recently I have been busy moving back to Texas from Kunming. While I haven't written anything in the last few weeks, I plan to participate again in the future it's just life is busy now.

 

As a writing participant I really have enjoyed the writing assignments. It has pushed me to really think about preparing my thoughts on paper (if the apple notes app counts as paper). I have benefited from xuefang's feedback. I think it's great to receive feedback from a "foreign teacher" who not only has an advanced knowledge of Chinese but who is also qualified to teach Chinese. xuefang understands the learning struggle as a previous student of Chinese and now as a teacher.

 

I do feel that my level is more closer to HSK 4.5 差不多。I deeply apologize if anybody feels that my posts have hijacked the forum and has prevented other people from learning and actively participating as a result of using vocabulary past HSK 3.

 

I like the challenge of writing my thoughts and my hobbies in Chinese and being able reply as if I was chatting with a friend. This is actually the first time I have decided to write anything authentic and personal in Chinese and I feel it was a personal breakthrough for me. I do love participating when I have the extra time. I really try to follow the rules and guidelines to the best of my ability.

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roddy

It has been quiet so far, but it's early days and we're figuring out how best to do it. Can happily give it another three months if not longer. 

 

I don't think it's feasible to have different topics for each HSK level (I can't imagine ever having six separate levels running. Three max) or traditional / simplified characters. That's just going to reduce activity levels in each section and we're not exactly buzzing already. I do wonder if having the instructions also in English (perhaps in spoiler tags) would reduce the barriers to entry for lower levels. Xuefang, would that be possible?

 

I'm amused by the idea that anyone's doing anything for the 'wrong reasons' here. I asked xuefang if she'd like to earn some money using her hard-won skills to help people learning Chinese. She said yes, because this is what she does for a living. Where's the wrong?

 

I understand that it's frustrating for people of a higher level to either be unable to participate or to have to adjust their language downwards. But people "find it tiring to have to look up so many words, and trying to work out the grammar of higher levels" and I do think that deters people from posting. Chinese corner topics, I think it's fair to say, tended to end up dominated by the advanced and the native speakers, and I think it makes sense to start at the lower levels. I'd hope we can expand upwards in the future, and would strongly encourage anyone who wants to start such a topic to do so. I can't currently support it with a paid tutor, but maybe at the higher level it's not necessary?

 

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

I'd have no problem with that. Separate forum, Xuefang has mod access. That's a very feasible way of running it. Obviously it'd be preferable if everyone follows the instructions, but not everyone reads or understands instructions.

 

"I like the challenge of writing my thoughts and my hobbies in Chinese and being able reply as if I was chatting with a friend. This is actually the first time I have decided to write anything authentic and personal in Chinese and I feel it was a personal breakthrough for me. I do love participating when I have the extra time. I really try to follow the rules and guidelines to the best of my ability."

 

Money well spent then. Do keep participating. 

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Shelley
I'm amused by the idea that anyone's doing anything for the 'wrong reasons' here.

 

On reflection I think that was too strong a term for me to use. It may be because I was unaware that people get paid on forums like this. I suppose I thought people did it because they wanted to.

 

I am not against paying people, I guess it was a surprise to learn it is normal practice.

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abcdefg
On reflection I think that was too strong a term for me to use. It may be because I was unaware that people get paid on forums like this. I suppose I thought people did it because they wanted to.

 

Like Shelly, I was unaware that it is customary to pay forum users for submitting helpful content. (I'm not against it.)

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character

I think it's great that roddy continues to invest in this forum. Perhaps interested more advanced students could contribute funds for a writing group for themselves and others.

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陳德聰

Well considering we routinely suggest people pay translators to do their translations, I think it makes sense to pay a teacher to teach ^_^ Especially if they're expected to regularly respond and do that work.

For the posts which have higher than HSK1-3 vocab, couldn't there just be some kind of heading or indication that signals for beginners to effectively ignore those ones, and if xuefang doesn't feel comfortable expending efforts on the higher level posts, another teacher could be introduced into the thread? I am trying to imagine how to balance people's feelings of wanting to participate with the audience of the thread as well as the broader purpose of encouraging people of lower levels to produce more writing...

I mean I certainly think there are users who are adept at editing Chinese writing, but they also do not always provide level appropriate feedback. So it makes sense to me to have someone who specifically and deliberately provides beginner level feedback dealing with beginner level writing, and then for those who are writing at a higher level than beginner, to have perhaps a different person giving lower intermediate level feedback even if it's in the same thread.

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imron
I was unaware that it is customary to pay forum users for submitting helpful content

It's not customary, but it does happen on occasion (e.g. the various threads giving free books in exchange for posting reviews).  When it does it's also usually stated up-front. 

 

Note that Xuefang's initial post clearly mentioned she had been hired by roddy to do this, in a separate paragraph starting with "Full Disclosure...".

 

If you weren't aware she'd been hired to do it, it wasn't because of oversight by Xuefang or the forums.

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Flickserve

Definitely a good idea to pay somebody for the service if funds allow (Reviews are different)

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Lu

While I agree with Shelley that people generally participate here because they want to be helpful and that that is a very valuable thing, I think paying someone in certain special cases is nice because it ensures that a qualified person sticks with the project (and doesn't suddenly stop helping because she'd rather lie on the beach instead or spend her time on a job that does pay).

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Mati1

I just found the beginner writing project and really like the idea, so I shall participate.

I do not know if what xuefang is writing there is too difficult for real HSK 2, 3 beginners. I myself am hoping for an HSK 3+ group. HSK 4 just gives you so many more words. Not sure if more people would participate.

Note: I consider myself to be at an elementary level.

When you get the feeling that guessing the HSK level of your words is more difficult than writing the actual sentences ... ok I just checked the HSK words check page (linked in the writing thread) and I like it. Easy ;-) But the grammar one uses might still easily be above HSK 3 and that's harder to check. I guess the teacher can keep an eye on it.

 

Anyway, now that I registered on CF I hope such a writing project will stick around.

I would also check out the reading project proposed by others and I agree that it would be perfect to spark discussions (hopefully at the appropriate level). It's just that an intermediate reading project might be too difficult for me at the moment.

Oh and then there's still that other thing. Without a dedicated teacher or others at a high enough level kind enough to help out, I am afraid that Chinese learners talking to each other will reinforce their mistakes.

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