One way to get exposed to natural spoken Chinese is to watch Chinese TV. Many of the shows is texted in Chinese so you can actually both practice your reading and your listening. If you are a newbie the childrens shows is exelent and for more advanced learners the news is very good. There are tons of Chinese soap operas and they are often focusing on the Chinese history. There are a few free channels that you can tune in to if you have satellite equipment at home. One nice channel is PCNE and another one is CCTV4. For CCTV4 you can also look at some of their programs on the net: http://www.cctv-4.com/2007/. CCT9 is an English speaking channel broadcasted form China and accessible in most countries. They have Chinese lessons most weekdays and lots of cultural points. CCTV (Chinese Central TV is also accessible on the net; http://english.cctv.com/. Naturally there is also a Chinese version;-) Some on line content from their shows to view.
There is also many music shows. One nice thing with many of them is that they have subtitles. This makes it easier when you try to get the words from the lyrics.
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