November 01, 2011, 09:48 PM posted in General Discussion

I have been a member of chinese pod for 6 months. I just love it, but am really struggling with all the tools available and how to utalize and get a good study pattern for my busy lifestyle(commuting,small kids,job etc...). Anyways anything would be helpful. I have been studying chinese for over 1 year now, and am passoniate and have made so many chinese friends, but just having trouble balancing it in. xie xie!!!

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November 02, 2011, 01:40 AM

I do much of my studying while commuting.  What is possible varies with the mode of commute.  Lately, I've been taking a subway.  So, in the mornings, I can read the lesson dialogs on my computer, write short essays, etc.  When I was commuting by car, I was able to repeat the dialogs out loud.

The other way that I know to make time for studying requires more discipline.  It is simply to give up something that I want to do less than I want to study Chinese.  There were some games that I used to play that suffered this fate.  I also gave up watching TV long ago in favor of doing things that were more important to me.

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November 02, 2011, 02:48 AM

If you are doing spaced reptition (anki for example) or even just regularly reviewing the flash cards on this site, I heard the best way to retain the information is to break it up over the day and only do it for short periods (around 15 minutes). The best part is it fits naturally with downtime. 

For example

-15 minutes in the morning - breakfast or commute

-15 minutes at lunch time

-15 mintes before you actually try to fall asleep.

Other than that, I would say convenience is the key. Anything that will allow you to study in those unexpected periods of downtime.

maybe carrying some transcripts along with your work documents? Or buying an mp3 player for studing on the move.

If you listent to the radio while working go to to listen to a radio service from China or Taiwan. (ICRT in Taiwan can be good - It is mainly an English focused station but a lot of the presenters will speak both. When this is the case it is excellent because they will say something in English and immediately follow with the Chinese.

Finally how about getting the family involved for extra study time? Small kids will pickup the language in no time and probably catch up to your level quickly.