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Say It Right Series

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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