Personal thoughts from what I've learned thus far
In my start I got lucky...I had a girl that knows about 6 words of English take a liking to me. We formed a good friendship and spent alot of time hanging out. The time was spent mostly her teaching me what the heck she was trying to get across and me using bad Chinese to practice what she just taught me.
My Chinese went from horrid in February 2007(5 months into my China experience) to slightly less horrid in May 2007. I had a slow steady improvement from then to December 2008 when an ex-girlfriend put Chinese input on my computer. I decided "why not try to turn it up a notch" and so I began concreting those crazy little pictures in my head.
I had a 6 month period back in the states and returned to China in June with a renewed spirit to learn. Now, inbetween a few books, daily conversations, and since last month a daily trip to c-pod I pick more and more words out each day.
Reading Ken's blog has given me some insight on this whole language learning process. Through my own learing I can push my students to make longer and better English sentences and I feel good about where my development is headed. More on that later I guess...
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