I have decided to write a weekly (or thereabouts) post to give an update on how my studies are going. I must say that, overall, I am pleased with this week's study. I have written flashcards for 198 terms, obtained acquisition on about 170 terms, and proficiency on about 100 or so. The explanation on how I am using these terms follows;
Acquisition - This means that I have been able to recall this term at least once. I have not mastered the term yet, and I may mix it up with terms I learned earlier.
Proficiency - I can typically identify these terms immediately, or with short delay. I might mix these up with newer terms, but I am able to discriminate quickly. I would say that I know these terms.
I read in an article that a well educated Chinese person can understand between 6000-7000 characters, and that a person needs to understand between 2000 and 3000 to read a Chinese newspaper. With that being said, I also understand that simply understanding the characters is not the goal. I also need to understand the grammar and the actual usage of the language in order to understand what I read. On the other hand, 100 words is 5% of 2000.
The verbal side is an area where I wish I were doing better. I have achieved acquisition on about 8 lessons, and proficiency on about 5. I am having difficulty with the spoken part, some of the sounds are difficult for me to make, i.e. the term for very 'hen'.
My curve seems a bit slow; however I must juggle these studies with my part time job, and full time enrollment in college. In a few weeks or so, the semester will be over and I can devote more time.
As I remarked elsewhere, overall I am happy with my experience with Chinesepod so far. Some of the things I think are good are the lessons shows, dialogues, and fixes. Ken and Jenny do a good job. I agree with the idea that it is important to understand how the language is actually used, rather than just understanding the language without such specificity. I think that while the community isn’t very strong right now, this aspect could have real potential. I wish to be helpful in making a stronger Chinesepod community.
Some of the things I don’t like so much are the things like the interface. It is so cumbersome, and it is a bit awkward to navigate around the site. The vocabulary tab is nearly useless except to enlarge the characters while I transcribe them to flashcards. Sometimes, when I click on a word, it doesn’t get added to my vocabulary list. This can be annoying because this results in me having to return to the lesson and clicking on it again.
The good far outweigh the things I don’t like, so I plan to stick around. After all, I can’t expect everything to be the way I want them. I guess that requires a little giving on my part.
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