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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/12/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    PC, I want to tell you about the best private-lesson student I ever had. This guy was not the smartest student I ever had, but he knew how to study. He even taught me how to study. He was my student at a school that specialized in private lessons. This was at a school that had its own textbook, and that textbook was used for all lessons. (It was not a situation where the student controlled the curriculum or could bring in their own materials.) The first thing was that he recorded all of his lessons (which got me recording my lessons I was taking as a language student too). Most students at that school would try to take notes during lessons. This caused a lot of wasted time, as I would say something, but then I would have to stop and wait as the student wrote it down. (I learned a long time ago to stop talking whenever a student is writing something down.) I have given lessons where 30% to 40% of the lessons are wasted in this way. My best-ever student never made this mistake, instead he concentrated on understanding, and relied on his recordings to write everything down later. And write he did. He would bring in his notebook every class and I could see how he had written down everything in detail from our previous lesson. Very impressive. He also had detailed notes in the margins, which again were very impressive. Another big thing about this student was that he had everything down cold from the previous lesson Most students forget a lot from the previous lesson. As a result, it is common in this kind of teaching to waste a lot of time reviewing the previous lesson, going over what they had forgot (or never learned in the first place) which can be up to 40% of the next lesson's time. Not this guy. Another important thing. He would take a lesson, but he would not take another lesson until he had completely mastered everything in the previous lesson. Very smart. Biggest bang for the buck. Of course this guy progressed a lot faster than the average student. I started using his method for my own language study, and it made a big difference for me too. I like your idea of sending a word doc ahead of time. Great idea.
  2. 3 points
    Just so everyone knows, i managed to fix the issue with wechat support on there facebook page :)
  3. 2 points
    I have studied the HSK2,3,4 Standard Course books with the same teacher, reading dialogues together and me reading the texts. Before we continue with the next texts at the beginning of the class I would read out my homework (the grammar/vocabulary exercises). Any questions I have about vocabulary while reading the text I would ask right away and questions about the homework I would ask in the beginning. What I really liked is her focus on my tones and generally focus on very correct grammar. I believe you need a teacher like that especially in the earlier phases. I am now doing the HSK5 Standard Course book in the same way. After finishing HSK4 I switched focus to free talking and had lessons with various teachers, switching around 3 regular teachers. It is helpful to go in with a few topics on your mind, but I think the better teachers bring up fitting topics themselves. So I now settled with basically one main teacher for free talk and we always discuss what I have been up to during the week and the naturally shift to some other topics. What I find important is to be corrected after I say things wrong and go through a few examples on how to better use a word, structure or expression. From the 10 teachers I studied with, only 2 really did this, so I think you should try out various teachers before settling on one, especially if you are after free talking lessons.
  4. 1 point
    Not sure where to start with grammar?? I made this video explaining the FUNDAMENTALS of making sentences in Chinese! Go check it out and let me know if you're still confused. 😉 https://youtu.be/9E3j28pAETk
  5. 1 point
    Great observation, and true from my experience at least. When I first started learning Chinese I often used to try to pun based on the phoneme element of a word. I would think 老板 and 老伴 was hilarious because they were so similar sounding to me. Yet I would have no idea how 脑公 was meant to sound so similar to 老公. It took many years to realise that puns are usually based first on an identical tone pattern, then a close phoneme resemblance (rather than the other way round).
  6. 1 point
    I think I've made these points before, but so what: "For example, imagine a movie character with a distinct voice such as Darth Vader or Yoda." It's really really useful if you can find a Chinese tutor who has a distinctive memorable voice you feel comfortable imitating. Listen to an actor like 葛优: you can never forget the voice. "Once you have internalized the different tones as different sounds on a handful of mandarin sounds, you can then apply that across all sounds without much effort." Do this in pairs, and place names are the perfect models since you hear them all the time. Even if you've been in China only a few months, your ears should hurt if you try to say 中国 、 北京 、 上海 、 西安 all the same. But try, since saying things wrong is one way to start saying things right: zhong1guo1, bei1jing1, shang1hai1: OUCH! But xi1an1: AH!
  7. 1 point
    Here's the corresponding characters with dictionary links that include an audio file (little red icon to right of main character): Chu 诸 https://www.zdic.net/hans/诸 Kuei 刿 https://www.zdic.net/hans/刿 Yueh 越 https://www.zdic.net/hans/越 shuai-jan 率然 https://www.zdic.net/hans/率然 Ch'ang (as in the Ch'ang Mountains) 常 https://www.zdic.net/hans/常 Yin (as in Yin Dynasty) 殷 this has a couple of readings, you want yīn with a high level tone, first audio button: https://www.zdic.net/hans/殷 I Chih 伊挚 https://www.zdic.net/hans/伊 https://www.zdic.net/hans/挚 Hsia 夏 https://www.zdic.net/hans/夏 Chou (as in Chou Dynasty) 周 https://www.zdic.net/hans/周 Lu Ya 吕牙 https://www.zdic.net/hans/吕牙
  8. 1 point
    I actually did this, throughout the week wrote down everything I'd encountered in my week of Chinese study/TV watching/language exchanges that I couldn't wrap my head around, sent it to her in a word doc, and we spent about 30 minutes going over it all this week. It was FANTASTIC, best and most helpful tutoring session I've had yet. And I do think worth the time, even if it's only once per week.
  9. 1 point
    I've noticed that to native Chinese speakers the tone is probably more important than the phoneme. e.g. In a restaurant, a foreign girl raised her hand and said "mai3dan4", very clearly pronouncing the second syllable incorrectly as a falling tone, but to me of course it was obvious what she meant. And the fuwuyuan replied I think (sadly I don't remember the exact word) "leng3dan4?!" For the OP, the only thing I can add to what has been said here is to test whether you remember tones. What I mean is, when I need to learn a new vocabulary list, I add the new words as a set in Pleco, and test myself. (I recommend testing yourself immediately, as well as days later: trying to recall words that you only just studied minutes ago really helps squeezing those words into your brain in the first place IME). And when I test myself, I must get the all the tones and phonemes right, no exceptions. A 成语 where I knew all the characters and pinyin and just said one of the four tones wrong? Mark it wrong. My Chinese has plenty of problems but not remembering what the tones are for a given word I wouldn't consider to be one of them -- it rarely happens.
  10. 1 point
    I agree that this is important. When I am teaching a private lesson, I have my student give a short speech (which I have explained above) that they have already prepared for. During the speech and subsequent questions-and-answers, I do not correct anything, but I take notes. It is only after the speech and questions-and-answers that I start looking at my notes and point out and correct mistakes. Unfortunately, pointing out and correcting mistakes can take a long time and can also be very embarrassing for the student, so sometimes I don't get through all of their mistakes.
  11. 1 point
    I tried so many teachers before i found one i feel is effective. I now have one who knows exactly how to get me to talk, using what we're learning. She is always asking me questions rather than “telling me” things, so I need to focus and listen closely as well as speaking. She corrects me just the right amount on pron/grammar/vocab. Not so much that it kills my confidence, but she consistently corrects me. I asked her once how long shes been teaching, she said several years. Ive only come across a couple other good teachers so far. This one is a diamond in the rough, and I wont let her go. I was also given the advice by an advanced Chinese learner that 3 hours a week is pretty much the minimum to get any real value.
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