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Say It Right Series

Need Advice on Learning New Words - Newspaper, or Not?

Posted by eupnea63355 February 1, 2010 in the Group General Discussion.

I went to dinner with a Chinese friend yesterday and she told me that in China, children would have to learn 20 new words a day, writing each 50 times for homework. Now, I could have misunderstood, as neither of us are fully bi-lingual, however, it did inspire me to try to learn more "words."

After hearing this, and because my Chinese is going nowhere, I am inspired to make a commitment to try to learn 5 new words a day, besides my usual study, for the month of February alone, and see how it goes. I was thinking of pulling words out of the newspaper, since one goal I have is to be able to read the paper.

What is a good way to choose the new words? Is the newspaper a good idea? I was thinking the newspaper might be good since I'd come across those words again and again in the future. Or, should I be using an HSK list or something like that? I fear that just memorizing words (from HSK) will become too difficult to retain, without context and meaning. My Chinese study is unguided and I feel like I'm going nowhere for all of my effort.

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