2011 introspection on Chinesepod
I have made it my habit to publicly introspect about Chinesepod on the anniverssary of my first subscription. I'm afraid this year's introspection will be a little terse, because I have become a bit busier in other aspects of my life. I am starting my sixth year as a podie.
I have still managed to keep up with Chinesepod's lessons. So, I can still claim that I have studied every single last one. While I do supplement Chinesepod with other materials, it is still my primary study program. So, the rest of you might be curious how my progress has been.
Good points: Last fall I passed the level 4 new HSK with relative ease. There are a lot of movies I can watch without subtitles, and I have had lots of conversations with Chinese people in Chinese. Except for media lessons without a written transcript, no level of Chinesepod lessons is particularly difficult for me.
Not so good points: There are still lots of advanced level dialogs, in real life as well as Cpod, that I don't understand on the first listening. My memory is imperfect. So, there is always lots of stuff from old lessons that I can't recall. I could read a newspaper, if I had to, but it is still an awful lot of work to look up the words and characters I don't recognize. I still struggle with tones.
Interesting notes: Cpod often includes some low frequency vocabulary even in elementary lessons. So, sometimes I still learn a tidbit from the lower level lessons. It used to be Jenny who was in danger of being the most over-used person at Cpod. Now, I think that it might be David or John. Don't burn out, guys.
Well, I'll keep plugging away. I still want to become completely fluent in Chinese before I leave this life, but I have to admit, it is a real horse race. I should have started when I was much younger, but I didn't have the interest then.
bodaweiApril 01, 2011, 05:33 AM
Appreciate your 'introspection' very much.. thanks. The thing I am most surprised about is that you complete every lesson - this is a remarkable achievement. I would be lucky to do one a week, although I listen to most at least once unless I'm particularly busy with something else. (I obviously spend way too much time writing on the boards.)
Do you think that ChinesePod has helped you read newspapers? I made some comments once that I would like some 'reading' lessons but no-one took up the conversation. I do a fair bit of reading but I don't see a direct connection with what I learn at ChinesePod.
I am also interested in what you tick off as progress - watching films is one that resonates with me; I watch a fair bit of TV, mainly films, but I would rate my comprehension fairly low.
I think it is useful to think of being functional in different settings - I still have a long way to go. I keep adding bits of everyday functionality - that is one way I measure my progress.
I also find that there is something to learn from every lesson - the beauty of ChinesePod.
Thanks again for your thoughts.
In regard to studying every lesson, I should clarify that for the lower levels, if I listen once and know all the material in the lesson dialog, I count it as "studied". I do find the expansion sentences and exercises on the advanced and media lessons very helpful, though.
In regard to reading, the lesson transcripts help my reading quite a bit. I make sure I can 朗诵 the dialogs from the transcript. I basically, don't read the pinyin version or the English translations. I've also found exchanging IM with Chinese net friends to be a helpful supplement.
bibiibjornSeptember 22, 2011, 08:22 PM
When you study, do you also study writing? Or do you just want to be able to read the characters?
I want to be able to both read and write, but I still find it is a lot easier to write with computer assistance; the IME provides some choices, and I can pick which is right, is a lot easier than facing a blank piece of paper, armed with only a primitive writing implement. Usually, the blank paper wins.