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Weyland

Could we have a sub-forum for Post-HSK discussions?

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Weyland

Personally, I think what this forum needs is a subsection for POST-HSK discussions. Like @imron wrote in his article "HSK 6 gets you halfway" I think that there isn't enough focus on how HSK6 isn't the end goal of studying Chinese, yet when it resources on the internet and discussions online it does seem like HSK6 is the end-goal. 

While I appreciate the A Short List of Resources for Studying Chinese posted by 艾墨本, it is quite lacking when it comes to Advanced resources, all while there certainly is enough on the Chinese web to whet your appetite. (I'm working on a list which I'll post soon™)

While it might only be helpful/relevant to a small subset of these forum's users, I do think that in the long run it can help in sustaining attention of advanced users. I can't exactly make a case for that, as my post about the 普通话水平测试, didn't get the attention I expected (3 people did download it and use my referral link! Silent minority!). Still, I think it's kind of annoying to start talking about HSK6 getting you halfway and then not having at least some recommendations as how to continue (especially for those that don't have the privilege of living in China atm or attending a Chinese taught course). 

Also, for so far I know, this Forum would be the first to make an attempt at getting Post-HSK6 discussion a proper home. That still counts for something right? 

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Tomsima

Can we call it the HSK 7 SUBFORUM and then maybe it'll get some hits and then hanban will be like damn foreigners really do want to actually reach C2 level, and then they'll add an actual HSK 7........

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imron

As the person who wrote "HSK 6 gets your halfway", my personal recommendation is to jump in to native material - books, TV, film, podcasts - there's a wealth of content available as long as you have access to the internet (living in China or attending a Chinese course is not required).   At that level, I think there's very little that makes sense course-wise, except maybe the IUP and/or the ICLP.

 

1 hour ago, Tomsima said:

and then they'll add an actual HSK 7........

You just need to start studying for the TOCFL. 

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Weyland
7 minutes ago, imron said:

t that level, I think there's very little that makes sense course-wise, except maybe the IUP and/or the ICLP.


I don't believe so. As the HSK6 won't get your Chinese to a point where you can sit in on the Gaokao. There will still be appropriate study materials. It's just that it's an awkward fit. 


 

 

9 minutes ago, imron said:

You just need to start studying for the TOCFL. 


If you're planning on going to Taiwan. It won't make much sense otherwise. There are other tests on the Mainland that could be a nice goal to strive towards, even as a foreigner. What dissuades me looking at any TOCFL material is that I'm rather unfamiliar with Traditional characters. If only there was a Pleco/Anki list that singled out the words with traditional characters from HSK6 and a list of words that don't overlap with the TOCFL which are premade.

 

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imron
55 minutes ago, Weyland said:

There will still be appropriate study materials. It's just that it's an awkward fit. 

There may be, but at some point the goal has to be to transition off study materials and on to native materials, and after HSK6 is probably a good time to do it (if not earlier).

 

Yes it will be awkward initially, but that will always be true when you first transition to native content, even if you find study materials appropriate for post-HSK6, there's nothing that will fully prepare you native content except native content.

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feihong
4 hours ago, Weyland said:

What dissuades me looking at any TOCFL material is that I'm rather unfamiliar with Traditional characters. If only there was a Pleco/Anki list that singled out the words with traditional characters from HSK6 and a list of words that don't overlap with the TOCFL which are premade.

If you’ve gotten to HSK6 then you probably are ready to take the plunge into traditional characters by simply reading material that contains traditional characters. Actually a lot of reading material is only available in traditional characters, which is how I ended up learning traditional. And I don’t have any immediate plans to go to Taiwan.

 

If you already know most of the characters you need to read the newspaper in simplified, then you don’t really need pre-made flashcards for traditional. You can guess what most traditional characters are if you already know the simplified version. At most there might be a few hundred that are different enough to stump you, and for those you can quickly add flashcards from inside Pleco Reader.

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realmayo

Is there an assumption here that most people won't have looked at native materials until they've passed HSK6? I'm sure that's true for some, but equally sure it's false for others.

I completely agree that for anyone who has passed HSK6 without looking at native materials, it's almost certainly a good idea to start. That may hold true for passing HSK5, too.

 

But for people who have recently passed HSK6 and have also watched lots of TV, read novels and magazines - don't neglect advanced level textbooks! If they're advanced enough, they'll contain only native materials (plus glosses for proper nouns), but they're native materials that experts in teaching advanced Chinese to foreigners believe are particularly useful for advanced learners to read and study.

 

As for novels, a couple of years ago I started a page with links to novels I and others had read, but then - I think this is just coincidence - I gave up Chinese.

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53547-book-list/

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Jan Finster
1 hour ago, realmayo said:

Is there an assumption here that most people won't have looked at native materials until they've passed HSK6? I'm sure that's true for some, but equally sure it's false for others.

 

I agree. Unless you need the pressure of an exam deadline to keep yourself motivated, I would suggest you go into native content ASAP. I switched to native content after HSK 3 (never sat the test) since I hate textbooks and their stupid excercises. If I had not switched to native, I would probably have stopped studying Mandarin altogether.

 

I am using Lingq (premium version) and I am reading books, blog posts, movie transcripts/subtitles, etc.  

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realmayo

Worth emphasing that advanced textbooks are native content.

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Weyland
11 hours ago, feihong said:

If you already know most of the characters you need to read the newspaper in simplified, then you don’t really need pre-made flashcards for traditional.

I pride myself on the fact that I know how to write most of the characters in my Chinese (personal) vocabulary. While your advice would work for the majority of people, I'm a bit more difficult in that I want to start and finish something. So having a nice list of things to do and then finish in a certain span of time gives me peace of mind. Just picking up a word now and then doesn't sit well with me. Especially when it concerns words I already know the definition to. I admit I'm being more difficult that anyone should be.
 

2 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

I switched to native content after HSK 3

I switched to HSK4-5 after a year of native content. So, my assumptions to what is "regular" should be taken with a pinch of salt.

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feihong
33 minutes ago, Weyland said:

While your advice would work for the majority of people, I'm a bit more difficult in that I want to start and finish something. So having a nice list of things to do and then finish in a certain span of time gives me peace of mind. Just picking up a word now and then doesn't sit well with me. Especially when it concerns words I already know the definition to. I admit I'm being more difficult that anyone should be.

I don’t want to imply this isn’t a valid approach to learning, especially if the task is big. But maybe it’s not so hard to make your own set of flashcards? The word list for TOCFL’s level 5 and 6 is only 36 pages: http://www.tw.org/top/word_adv.pdf

 

That’s like an evening of work to copy and paste that into a spreadsheet, delete the rows you don’t need, and then import into Anki.

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Weyland
8 minutes ago, feihong said:

But maybe it’s not so hard to make your own set of flashcards?

It isn't. But I have other word lists I'm adding to Pleco.  Like the content of the 普通话水平测试, it's just that I'm assuming such a wordlist/flashcard has been made in the past. Learning traditional characters isn't a priority for me.

 

You're right though. I'm just waiting for something to land on my lap.

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PerpetualChange

As someone who never even looked at HSK stuff but has been studying for over 6 years I wonder where I'd fit.

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Weyland
22 minutes ago, PerpetualChange said:

As someone who never even looked at HSK stuff but has been studying for over 6 years I wonder where I'd fit.


If you know over 5000 words and can find your way around literary Chinese then you could consider yourself post-HSK. Just using a benchmark most language learners are used to.Though, I've always found telling someone how long I've studied Chinese somewhat of a misnomer. As I can easily point out a few months in those years of studying Chinese where almost no progress was made, or you might even argue that within that time my Chinese degraded. 

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abcdefg
15 hours ago, realmayo said:

As for novels, a couple of years ago I started a page with links to novels I and others had read, but then - I think this is just coincidence - I gave up Chinese.

 

I don't want to get off topic, but this caught my eye. For a long time you were so enthusiastic about Chinese; I considered you a role model  好榜样。Was wondering what led to your decision. (Feel free to ignore the question. I'm not trying to be nosy if it's a private matter.) Or, if so inclined, you can start another thread. 

  • Good question! 1

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imron
13 hours ago, Weyland said:

But I have other word lists I'm adding to Pleco.

At HSK6 and above (and actually, even HSK4 and above), learning from word lists is one of the most inefficient ways to study new vocabulary (in terms of increased understanding of text) and you'll have much better results learning words from what you are reading.

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abcdefg
4 hours ago, imron said:

At HSK6 and above (and actually, even HSK4 and above), learning from word lists is one of the most inefficient ways to study new vocabulary (in terms of increased understanding of text) and you'll have much better results learning words from what you are reading.

 

Or from what you are doing. Activities, hobbies, sports, intellectual pursuits. (At least in my opinion.) That might just be a rationalization because I don't read much in the sense of just sitting down to read a book for fun. (I mean not in Chinese; my pleasure reading is in English.)

 

What I do a lot of is to "look stuff up." This involves smaller bits of task-focused reading. I'm sure it's not ideal because it's not ever likely to give me a truly broad vocabulary. Still, it's something I do every single day and I do it not because of a specific educational goal, but because it's fun to find stuff out, to figure stuff out, to learn by digging into subjects of personal interest. I research topics about which I need to know more or want to know more. And I do that in Chinese. I review the new words acquired and take the necessary steps to add the most useful of them to the appropriate gyrus of my old gray, worn-out brain. 

 

------------------- 

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not promoting my way as the best way. Just explaining. I wish I were better at reading Chinese novels. I just don't wish it strongly enough to do much about it. 

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imron
31 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

Or from what you are doing

Yes.  I said reading, but it applies generally to consumption of any content and/or usage of the language.

 

The main point is that at higher levels of learning the set of words that are useful and relevant to you will be highly dependent on how you are using the language, and what your interests are.

 

Something that is frequent or useful in one context is rare and irrelevant in another.  Eventually *all* words will be useful, but prioritizing by things that are directly relevant to you at the current point in time will help maximise comprehension, which leads to better learning outcomes.

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realmayo
5 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Was wondering what led to your decision.

 

Nice that you're curious!

 

I was just making extremely slow progress by trying to fit an hour or so of studying into the end of a busy day, living and working outside China. I figured I could use that time better, on other things - especially when a friend pointed out I'd studied nothing new, apart from Chinese stuff, in the 20 years since leaving university.

 

Also if I spend time in China again, I know I'd make enough progress in six months to equal maybe three years or more of what I could do right now. And if I don't get to spend time in China again, then it won't bother me that I never make that progress.

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imron
19 hours ago, realmayo said:

Worth emphasing that advanced textbooks are native content.

Correct, but as mentioned, it comes back to finding things that are relevant to how you wish to use the language.

 

Lets say a textbook has 500 new words in it.

 

If you know 5,000 words (HSK6), then learning an extra 500 words could result in a 20% increase in comprehension of the things you are interested in, or it could lead to a 1% increase in comprehension of things you are interested in - depending on how relevant those 500 words are to what you are interested in.

 

If the textbook aligns 100% with your interests, then great.  If however it is general, with a bit from this topic/genre and a bit from that topic/genre, you'd be better off choosing material that is of more direct interest to you and learning words from that, because you'll see a greater increase in understanding for effort put in.

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