I've been at 上海外国语大学 for 3 weeks now. Everyone knows each other quite well, and my Korean classmates don't just look at me blankly when I try out my Korean on them (they laugh loudly, slap me on the back, and say "what the hell are you talking about").
My favourite subject is definitely 报刊 (newspapers?). We learn about some of the things unique to Chinese newspapers. This subject is about language as it is used in contemporary China. A lot of "study" is about passing tests, learning what some bloke thought of a midsummer's night four hundred years ago... Newspaper (i don't know how else to translate the name of this course) just seems more real, in the present.
My least favourite subject would have to be 听力 (listening). All we do in listening is listen to tapes and complete exams, stopping to explain answers. The exams are terrible. It's not that they are difficult, it's just that they test you on skills that aren't useful.
Usually a long passage is read to us. Then a question is read about the passage and we have to answer it. The questions refer to a single 词 in a passage of perhaps 5 paragraphs.
By one of our teachers‘ own admission, unless you take shorthand notes while the passage is being read, you won't be able to complete the exercise successfully. My question is that why have we got a language test where being able to write shorthand is required???!!!
I understand what's being said in these passages. I can read each of the multiple choice answers. But retaining the entire passage in my memory until a question is asked about it is beyond me.
Maybe I'm just not good at listening, and need a chance to whinge about it!
My question is this:
What can I do to improve my listening skills?
No hang on, I'm quite happy with my listening skills. My question should be:
What can I do to get better at listening tests?
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