"Expansion" Sentence Database
I've been going to the expansion sentences in each lesson more often to study vocab in in different sentence structure. I think it could be useful to aggregate all the sentences in one place and perhaps even given a "flashcard" like treatment by which we could save sentences we as users deem more valuable. Much like flashcards we could then flip through sentences for study and memorization. Sentences would have to be grouped by some logic, perhaps the by the level of lesson where they first originate from (newbie, intermediate,..etc).
henningJanuary 03, 2011, 07:45 AM
First of all, a Happy 2011 everybody!
Actually, I use the tests for exactly that.
The tests do nothing else than selecting randomized Excercise questions from the entire set of lessons. And the Exercises are all based on the Expansion sentences. For me, those tests seem to have a really good consolidation effect.
If only my dictation would be graded irregardless of punctuation (;
SF_RachelJanuary 11, 2011, 04:20 AM
A couple of months ago I started making a habit of copying out the expansion sentences longhand. (As many times as necessary until I am able to produce each sentence correctly at least once without "peeking"). I found that this was helpful in a number of ways:
- Instead of just learning new characters, I am constantly reinforcing the truly high-frequency characters. This was my original intent.
- Duh! Producing the characters is making me better at recognizing characters!
- It makes me spend more time with the expansion, which as you point out gives me a better chance to see multiple instances of a pattern.
- Writing hanzi is still painfully difficult, which slows me down. The forced extra time with each sentence gives me a more reasonable chance to really think about the sentence pattern. I'm much more likely to "notice" details -- a 了 here and a 得 there. Just reading and listening to the sentences, in the past I was apparently all too ready to be satisfied with comprehension.
I too wish we'd get closer to printable expansion. It's not the end of the world, but I end up doing a 5 minute cut and paste exercise getting it into a word processor, running a couple of macros to remove the code clutter, standardizing the font for the hanzi and increasing its size, etc. to get it to a printable state I can work with.
Good idea. You should also post this in the study strategies threads. When you say, "as many times as necessary", approximately how many times is that? And about how many minutes does it take? I'm thinking of doing something similar.
At first it took me about 3X per sentence. After doing this for a few months, I can now get each sentence in 1 or 2 times usually (I'm primarily doing these at the Intermediate level), but I most often still go for the 3rd time as a confidence-builder. If I can work with reasonable focus (minimal interruptions) it takes less than one hour per lesson. If I'm *very* focused, 30 minutes.
It's made a big difference for me. Still, it's not for everyone -- I am one of those people who find the execution of mindless drills rather satisfying. (That being said, the set of people who share that characteristic probably overlaps a lot with the set of people who enjoy adult language learning).
pretzellogic -- that's the million dollar question, isn't it? It's frankly not a great way to pick up and retain new characters, as the point is more to solidify highest-frequency characters. At the speed I'm going (about 2 Intermediates a week these days) there's not enough frequency with newer characters to lock them down.
I'll just say that I moved into Intermediate back in October, and I now find that when I encounter a new Intermediate lesson, with some mental struggle I can usually 看得懂 most of the new lesson without cheating (i.e., rolling over to see the pinyin or translation), not always recognizing new vocabulary unless it's using characters I've also seen and learned before.
I'm not keeping track of my character counts anymore, but I'll guess that I can read/understand maybe 750 characters, and I can probably quickly and accurately produce about half that. If I weren't copying out the sentences my production to reading ratio would be much worse.
For learning new vocabulary I use SRS via Anki, and go for 10 new words (not characters) every day, and this actually sets my pace for cPod lessons. But I'm still presenting both hanzi and pinyin for the "recognition" cards. So the tradeoff there is that I'm building vocab at a solid and consistent pace, but not always locking in the hanzi. The latest version of Anki seems to have some potentially interesting test filtering possibilities, so I'm tempted to try and figure out a method to selectively hide the pinyin in my deck for some but not all of the recognition cards to up my game some.
refocus88January 12, 2011, 04:55 AM
Any ideas on how to take the html docs and build a set of expansion sentences for each level? I've tried copy and past into a word file but they have square boxes around each individual sentence. Would be nice to have a clean scrolling page of sentences for each level I could add on to.