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Moshen

Online course for HSK 4?

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Moshen

Hello,

I just passed the Coursera HSK 3 course (nice and challenging, especially Part 2) and am looking for an online HSK 4 course - or, if none exists, a good book for studying for the HSK 4 level.  I am learning on my own. Thank you!

Moshen

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mungouk

The guys at Chinese Zero to Hero appear to be working their way through the HSK levels with 3, 1, 2 and now 4 (maybe more).  They're video-based and structured according to the "Standard Course" textbook chapters, with links to Quizlet decks for vocabulary.

 

I'm currently using their Level 3 course (for free, with a voucher) on and off alongside working through the textbook with my teacher.  I find the dialogues a bit clunky but the rest is useful (especially when I'm feeling lazy), and in bite-sized chunks.  Since Level 3 was their first attempt I'm hoping the production values of the videos will have increased with the more recent content.

 

Level 4 course 'A': https://www.udemy.com/intermediate-mandarin-chinese-hsk-4-course-a/

HSK 4 intensive reading: https://www.udemy.com/learn-chinese-hsk-4-intensive-reading-course-h41001/

 

Hope this helps!

 

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JNobbi

There is a  course Chinese Zero To Hero which has a few free preview videos on YouTube and focuses on HSK 4 grammar and refers to the HSK 4 standard course so that there are additional costs for those books. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ3IlLg5VGeydxtswBoyt6A

 The course is divided into four parts which cost 9 $ each. https://courses.chinesezerotohero.com/p/intermediate-mandarin-chinese-course-hsk-4-a
The YouTube channel Mandarin Corner offers free videos regarding example sentences for the HSK4 vocabulary https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fAiRQHRQT9aj9P_ijYeow with free flascards, transcrips and audio files on their web site http://www.mandarincorner.org/
To download all of those materials vou have to sign up. However, a Chinese friend from Xi'An told me that the presenter of the videos, Eileen, has a strong accent, but maybe that's not so important, because HSK 4 is no oral exam.

Xiao Min offers a few preview videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/XiaoMiMandarin
Xiao Mins course for HSK 4 vocabulary costs 49 $. https://xmmandarinonline.com/shop/hsk-level-4-600-new-words-semesterⅠ-Ⅱ/
 

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tinafun

you need a comprehensive textbook and the past paper from the official site.

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Moshen

It's time for me to report back on my attempts to use online courses for HSK 4 level study.

 

As mentioned, I  very much liked the Coursera HSK3 course, which included original videos, explanations in English or easily understood Chinese, and lots of self-testing quizzes.  Unfortunately, there is no HSK4 course in that series (yet).

 

1)David Yao's HSK 4 course on Udemy https://www.udemy.com/learn-chinese-hsk-4-intensive-reading-course-h41001/learn/v4/overview.  He teaches thelevel 4  vocabulary and both listening and reading comprehension by taking you through a long series of reading and listening lessons taken from actual HSK 4 exams. 

 

Good points:

He explains both the texts and the answers relatively well.  The course is complete in the sense that it covers all the types of questions in the HSK 4 exam and prepares you to answer them, and as far as I can tell, it covers all the HSK 4 vocabulary.

 

Bad points:

His accent in English is so horrible that it is not only constantly distracting but also gets in the way of understanding sometimes, because you have to guess what he is saying in English.  In addition, he has way too many advertisements for himself and his other stuff within the course.  And finally, there are no quizzes you can use to test how well you are retaining things, so the best you can do is to take the whole course over again (which costs nothing).

 

2)Mandarin Corner's vocabulary videos and related resources.  http://www.mandarincorner.org/ Highly recommended!  The videos take you through all the HSK 4 vocabulary, each word with an example sentence (which helps).  Eileen's English is about 500% better than David Yao's.  After you view a video, you can download the PDF text or audio of it to review and then review and/or test yourself with lesson-by-lesson Quizlet self-testing quizzes, which are very convenient.

 

I should have done this one prior to David Yao's course, and will do it that way for HSK 5, if I get that far.

 

3)Zero to Hero HSK 4 courses, in four parts.  Very cheap - and disappointing.  He asks you to get both the HSK textbooks and workbooks, but in his course he does nothing with the workbooks.  With the textbooks, what he does is provide videos where he teaches the vocabulary (and these are done well) and videos where he explains the grammar points in the textbook.  Then you use the textbook print book and audios lesson by lesson. 

 

He also provides a video where he explains one or two "hard points" in each of the Hanban textbook lessons, but I'm finding these are never the points that actually give me trouble!  His English is excellent, but I am not sure he is experienced in teaching English-speaking Chinese learners because his concept of the "hard points" is way off, in my view.  For me, the hard part in studying these texts on my own is that sometimes I can understand every single word and all the grammar and still not really grasp the meaning of parts of the passage, because often the connection between one part of a sentence and another is implicit.  I am used to languages where the connection between ideas is more spelled out, and Zero to Hero doesn't help with this problem in the slightest.

 

So based on my experience, I recommend the following for HSK 4 study.

 

A)Begin with the Mandarin Corner videos.  (Free, although I gave a donation because they deserve it.)

 

B)Then take David Yao's Udemy course.  (This is often discounted.  I think I paid $19.)

 

C)For further practice, get the HSK 4A and B workbooks along with the recording texts and answer key from Purple Culture and go through those on your own.

https://www.purpleculture.net/hsk-standard-course-4a-recording-script-and-reference-answers-for-workbook-in-pdf-p-22512/

https://www.purpleculture.net/hsk-standard-course-4b-recording-script-and-reference-answers-for-workbook-pdf-p-22513/

 

D)If Coursera comes out with an HSK 4 course, grab that as it would be undoubtedly the best of all.

 

Your comments?

 

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Moshen

Important update:  The Coursera HSK 4 course from Beijing University has been released, and it is excellent!  Highly recommended.  Much less of a struggle than the Zero to Hero course.

If you don't need an official course completion certificate, ithe Coursera course is even free.  This actually isn't apparent until you sign up.

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mungouk

Going from HSK 3 to HSK 4 in just 6 weeks (then 4 weeks of test preparation) is pretty intense — do they let you complete in up to 6 months even if you don't pay for the certificate?  

 

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Moshen

Another thumb down on the Zero to Hero HSK 4 course.  Although I breezed through the Coursera HSK 4 course and passed with flying colors, I am still struggling to finish the Zero to Hero HSK 4 series, which I had previously paid for.  On the one hand, many of its videos are tedious, and on the other hand, there are many points that I find unexplained, and when I have posted comments asking for clarification or explanation, the answers tend to be snotty and unhelpful.  When I read through what little background is posted about the course creators, it appears they have little to no language teaching experience, only IT experience, and it shows!  In one case, they replied (basically) "Don't worry, it won't be on the exam" and in another case, "Look it up in the dictionary."  Is that any way to treat students?  No.  I heartily dis-recommend their courses for serious learners.

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chinesemaddash
On 5/6/2018 at 6:57 PM, Moshen said:

Important update:  The Coursera HSK 4 course from Beijing University has been released, and it is excellent!  Highly recommended.  Much less of a struggle than the Zero to Hero course.

If you don't need an official course completion certificate, ithe Coursera course is even free.  This actually isn't apparent until you sign up.

 

This was incredibly helpful! Always thought u had to pay for it. Just signed up and it is really free.

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mungouk
On 5/6/2018 at 6:57 PM, Moshen said:

If you don't need an official course completion certificate, ithe Coursera course is even free. 

 

Hi @Moshen, did you complete the HSK 4 course?

 

The last Coursera MOOC I did kept nagging me to pay to upgrade and wouldn't even give you the marks for multiple-choice quizzes without paying.  So basically you could watch the videos and download the reading material but nothing else. 


Is the Beijing HSK 4 course the same?


I can't really see why anyone would pay for a completion certificate for an HSK prep course, since passing the test and getting the Hanban certificate is the goal anyway, so I guess that's why they might make these courses less accessible for free.

 

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Moshen
Quote

Hi @Moshen, did you complete the HSK 4 course?

Mungouk,

 

Yes, I completed both the Coursera HSK3 and HSK 4 courses without paying.  I got all the marks for multiple choice quizzes also - really a complete online course experience.  Strongly recommended.

 

Moshen

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mungouk

@Moshen thanks.  Just signed up.  I presume we're talking about the same one: https://www.coursera.org/learn/hsk-4/home/welcome

 

I see it's the same teachers as for the HSK 3 course. I found that quite useful when revising for level 3.

 

(Also the same kind of slides using a font that doesn't have the proper glyphs for the accented characters.  Ah well, děng děng... )

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 21.01.32.png

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Flickserve
On 3/9/2018 at 7:22 PM, JNobbi said:

Chinese friend from Xi'An told me that the presenter of the videos, Eileen, has a strong accent, but maybe that's not so important, because HSK 4 is no oral exam.

 

It's noticeable but strong?

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fabiothebest

I see 2 people complaining about the Zero to Hero course. While I might agree on some points, I love it overall. It's a great resource for those who self study and don't have a teacher.  I wish I started using it earlier. Yes it uses some books, so you have to buy them if you want to practice more, but I don't think it's a problem. If you don't buy the books you can still learn all the concepts thanks to their videos and then try some mock tests in order to prepare to the exam. The videos follow the study book. You have to do the workbook on your own, but the course prepares you for that and provides the correct answers so you can check if you did well.

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Moshen

Coursera is rolling out an HSK 5 course. That's great news! They're the best.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/chinese-for-hsk5

Right now, they have 4 weeks of the course posted and it looks like there's more to come.

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