speak chinese like a native

Using Expansion for Writing Practice

Posted by SF_Rachel January 11, 2011 in the Group General Discussion .

Now that printable expansion sentences are here, here's one way to take advantage of that for offline study. Originally posted here, re-posting to this group at suggestion of Pretzellogic. (Oh, and chris just posted a message saying he follows a similar process).

A couple of months ago I started making a habit of copying out the expansion sentences longhand. (As many times as necessary until I am able to produce each sentence correctly at least once without "peeking"). I found that this was helpful in a number of ways:

  • Instead of just learning new characters, I am constantly reinforcing the truly high-frequency characters. This was my original intent.
  • Duh! Producing the characters is making me better at recognizing characters!
  • It makes me spend more time with the expansion, which gives me a better chance to absorb multiple instances of a pattern.
  • Writing hanzi is still painfully difficult for me, which slows me down. The forced extra time with each sentence gives me a more reasonable chance to really think about the sentence pattern. I'm much more likely to "notice" details -- a 了 here and a 得 there. Just reading and listening to the sentences, in the past I was apparently all too ready to be satisfied with comprehension.

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