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cliveface96

how to improve how well you retain grammar structures

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cliveface96

Hi,

 

The title probably isn't the best so allow me to elaborate a little. 

 

I've been learning a heap of new grammar structures and uses of characters etc. through my textbook/Italki lessons/Chinesepod/just generally reading.

Currently my approach to learning new structures has been to write them down, write out an example or two, then write out my own examples and upload them to Lang-8, find relevant sentences of a similar structure online (either on Chinesepod or I'll bring it up in an Italki lesson) and then add it into flashcards on Anki. 

This approach seems OK but I don't feel that I have internalised the new content that well. By this I mean that if I see it written somewhere I'll gloss over it and probably understand it (even if I have to think about it for a second), but I never use it in my own content (that I come up with myself) in conversations either verbally or in written form (when I'm talking to people I'm doing language exchange and stuff with). 

 

I would really appreciate it if anyone could comment on this approach to help me refine it a little. Or even just let me know how you have gone about this problem.

 

Thanks. 

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Flickserve

Isn't this normal, even in one's own native language?

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cliveface96

Ye it's normal but I feel like it's harder to start regularly using stuff when you suck at a language. 

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snowflake

I have the same problem.  So far the only thing that seems to work for me is to use audio clips and drill (chorusing or shadowing) the various structures. Repeatedly reading the sentences doesn't do it for me. 

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eion_padraig

I have found that my active use of more complex grammar structures usually takes me 3 - 6 months to incorporate into my spoken Chinese. By this I mean things like using 把 sentences, or 除了。。。以外.

Depending on your reasons for studying Chinese, one thing that might help is if you study grammatical patterns that you find yourself wanting to use immediately and prioritize that type of learning. The times I've specifically tried to grammar for ideas that I wanted to express frequently, I have able to incorporate them into my language much sooner. This works a lot better if you're living somewhere that you have a real need to use Chinese on a frequent basis, but if you're doing formal study and getting grades that may not be an approach that helps with your grades.

 

Eion

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Silent

 

 

but I never use it in my own content

As others said above, it's natural. Passive knowledge is much bigger then active knowledge. If you want to activate it faster it's key to force yourself to use it. Write sentences using the constructs, force yourself to use it in language exchange etc. etc. 

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ShelbyR

I have had the same problem.  After 5 years of studying Chinese online and in one on one classes, and also in college classes (the usual hodgepodge for most adults), I've started to look at what grammar structures I have learned and can actually use, and how I did that.  The 把 structure was one that I can now use pretty easily.  I learned it, wrote sentences, then spoke the sentences to my one on one teacher in China.  Then sort of forgot it.  I relearned it and started to get a feel for it.  When I was going to China I left my passport in the security area and managed a 把 sentence when talking to the security guard who found it for me.  The thing was, I'd practiced that exact sentence to myself, just in case I lost something, or put it down and couldn't find it.  So, repetition and time and determination seem to be key.  And as someone wrote, prioritizing.  I really wanted to use that construct.  I have lists of them, like we all do, and I've prioritized them and make sure to learn and use the top one or two, then work down the list.  I've also found that finally going to a night class in college has helped my grammar because all of my previous studies were in only Chinese or from a book.  I learn much better by ear, and in English, for basic understanding of grammar.  Then I need to use it, and use it, and.......

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I am a Learner

 

 

I've been learning a heap of new grammar structures and uses of characters etc. through my textbook/Italki lessons/Chinesepod/just generally reading.

Currently my approach to learning new structures has been to write them down, write out an example or two, then write out my own examples and upload them to Lang-8, find relevant sentences of a similar structure online (either on Chinesepod or I'll bring it up in an Italki lesson) and then add it into flashcards on Anki.

 

Hi, have you uploaded your flashcards on anki or other sites? I mean the ones you wrote the grammar structures. I am having trouble with grammar structures and it would be great to look at your cards as reference.

Thanks.

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