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Say It Right Series

01 year 11 weeks into study

Posted by Purrfecdizzo January 29, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: flashcards, words, terms, review, speaking, listening, learning,

Hello everyone,

The progress this week started off a bit bumpy, but the last few days have been average. I would say that the progress of this week, like last week, was either average or a little bit under average. Here are the specifics;

Currently, I have flashcards for 640 terms (more or less) and I have already selected 60 terms for next week. I have started the term selection for the following week, adding a handful of terms that are repeaters from words that I learned previously. This is a delicate way for me to admit that I had forgotton some of the terms that I had learned. My stack has gotton so large that I review only half the stack each Wednesday instead of the entire stack. This is after carefully shuffling the entire stack to attempt to get random terms, which can be quite the task.

Using the flashcards, I had a good week besides Friday. I am averaging 10 words or so getting added to the stack every day, which is good because I am adding 10 words to the pile of words that I am learning each day. This means that I am keeping pace. I find that when I add words, I learn them at roughly three times going through them, which is good. This means that I am normally done with the flashcards for the night within an hour. 

Speaking and listening started out a bit weak, but the last three or four days have been average to above average. On Wednesday, I did two podcasts instead of my normal one podcast. As I have pointed out in the past, the speaking and listening is more difficult for me than reading. I add 10 words to the flashcards everyday (except wednesday which is my review day), and the podcasts have about only 5 - 10 words each. Being that I do only one podcast per day, it is necessary to conclude that the speaking will continue to fall further behind the reading.

While speaking and listening are difficult, I have found one strategy that seems to help some. When listening to the audio review, and encountering a new term, I try to think of an english word, or sound that is similar to the term. Once I do that, I memorize the sounds and words instead of trying to memorize the word. On the next pass through, I focus on the sounds and words for the pronounciation. This ensures that I get the term correct. Soon, I don't have to remember the sounds and words anymore, and I acquire the new term in Chinese. Subsequently, I repeat the word to get as close to the model as possible.

I hope this is helpful, also please feel free to leave comments if you have any strategies for learning how to speak the language.

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