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TonganRambo

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TonganRambo
3 hours ago, abcdefg said:
On 6/16/2017 at 0:42 PM, TonganRambo said:

I took debate/public speaking classes in University in Chinese and that really helped cement and activate a lot of what I had memorized and it really pushed me toward a higher advanced level.

 

That sounds like an excellent thing to do. Challenging and bold.

My university does quite well in producing advanced language speakers probably because these type of classes are required for a chinese major/minor. Before I took these classes I realized that one problem I often ran into was that I could understand 90-95% of most conversations but sometimes I missed an important detail (a date, a name, etc.) During the debate classes you have to listen VERY closely in order to make a coherent reply so that really helped me there. 

 

3 hours ago, abcdefg said:

And welcome to this forum! We are top-heavy with beginners, many of whom drop out after about a year. So it's good to see advanced learners showing up in these pages. We can learn a lot from you. Appreciate your contributions.

 Thanks! I actually started browsing this forum when I first started studying in 2014 and it has been a huge help. I think my situation might be helpful for those who can't feasibly go to China/Taiwan, etc. in the near future. I was able to get to a fairly advanced level in 2-3 years (I still have gaps, my grammar sometimes comes out a bit clunky, not always sure which words are spoken and which words are mainly used in books, especially because nowadays I practice reading way more than speaking/listening) while staying in America/England. I'll soon make a post about my study schedule/resources/thoughts on Chinese that allowed me to reach a fairly respectable intermediate (OPI Intermediate-mid) level after 3 months of concentrated study in England. 

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abcdefg
6 hours ago, TonganRambo said:

My university does quite well in producing advanced language speakers probably because these type of classes are required for a chinese major/minor.

 

May I ask what university that is? Or at least where it is (what country?)

 

6 hours ago, TonganRambo said:

I still have gaps, my grammar sometimes comes out a bit clunky, not always sure which words are spoken and which words are mainly used in books, especially because nowadays I practice reading way more than speaking/listening

 

Have you had a chance to come to China yet? These issues you mention are things that being immersed can help a lot, even if it's only for a few weeks or months. Becoming able to distinguish 书面 bookish words and phrases from more natural conversation choices at full speed and on the fly is something that really requires practice with native speakers. When they chuckle and correct me as I do it wrong, I tend to remember and do it right the next time.

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TonganRambo
15 hours ago, abcdefg said:

May I ask what university that is? Or at least where it is (what country?)

Brigham Young University, Utah, USA

 

15 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Have you had a chance to come to China yet? These issues you mention are things that being immersed can help a lot, even if it's only for a few weeks or months. Becoming able to distinguish 书面 bookish words and phrases from more natural conversation choices at full speed and on the fly is something that really requires practice with native speakers. When they chuckle and correct me as I do it wrong, I tend to remember and do it right the next time.

Unfortunately no :( I reached Advanced Low (OPI, sorry, only way I really know to quantify my level) after a year and a half of self-study in England, came to America and then took some classes in Uni and then took OPI again at Advanced High. Hopefully next summer I can spend a month or two there. I'm pretty good with most things, but alot of the new words I learn come from literary sources and so I always have to check it with my native professors/friends, definitely have had that experience though! haha 

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Lu
On 16-6-2017 at 8:42 PM, TonganRambo said:

I still read a ton in Chinese (most of my news I get from the Chinese New York Times) and keep up with my Chinese friends on social media in addition to sporadic weekly practice when I meet Chinese people.

I think all of this should go a long way in maintaining your level. You could try and find a way of also keeping up with writing, for example by keeping a blog or by corresponding (by email or letter) with Chinese-speaking friends. If you stop studying intensively (which it sounds like you've been doing), your level will sag a bit, but if you keep using the language, it won't sag much and you can get back to your previous level without much effort once the circumstances are right again.

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