speak chinese like a native

suggestions for 'The Fix'

Posted by foleadu July 31, 2007 in the Group General Discussion .

There have been many useful additions to Chinesepod over the past few months, and 'the fix' is one that I especially appreciate.  I've been quite busy these days and haven't it used it too often, but I can see the value of it.  Reminds me a lot of what I liked about Pimsleur - the interaction with the student is incorporated in the design.  

I just used it for the recent Intermediate lesson 'Free Association'.   After having completed the online lesson and review in the morning, doing the Fix in the evening was a useful refresher and consolidation. As I see it, it is made up of three phases:

(1) vocab drill slowly

(2) random vocab drill faster

(3) randomized sentence making,  using sentences from Expansion

I have a few suggestions (which I'm really only basing off of my experience with intermediate level Fixes)

- During Phase 2:

All of the words from Phase 1 need to be tested.  However, in 'Free Association', 求神拜佛 was not tested in Phase 2.  Also, it seems odd that certain words are tested significantly more than others - maybe just a result of your randomization function?  For example, in this lesson 烧香,悲伤,状态,and 万万 were tested 3-4 times, while others were tested 1-2 times.  I can say I won't forget  how to say 'burn incense' anytime soon.  Anyway, testing each word twice seems sufficient.

-During Phase 3:

Reduce the pause between English and Chinese sentences.  At the current speed you have to pause the file anyway in order to collect your thoughts and form the sentences.

It seems that one sentence or so for every new word should be included, rather than repeating any sentences (if file size is an issue).  In this lesson, 'Omnipotent God, please bless us.' was tested twice and two sentences with 烧香 were tested, but none with 联想 and 奖励 were tested.  What's with all the incense-burning?  

-Other suggestions

Is file size a big problem?  I'd prefer longer review with more sentences.  Or, put the vocab in one file and the sentences in another file.

I think the emphasis in the Fix should be on fairly useful sentences, while more diverse sentences showing the varied uses of words should be left to the online expansion. 


What do others think?  Do you use the Fix and how do you incorporate it into your overall study?  


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