Time per lesson?

August 02, 2012, 11:19 PM posted in General Discussion

How long to people generally take to "finish a lesson and move on to the next one"?  I put it in quotes because I know people can go back and forth, only do part of a lesson, don't use all the resources, etc...

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August 03, 2012, 01:25 AM

when i was in the groove:

Newbies took 10 minutes or so to go through the dialog about 5 times with 90% comprehension at the end.  Shadowing the dialog took another 20 minutes to where I was nearly ok with much of dialog. I didn't try learning the characters in those days, and pretty much bypassed whatever Jenny/John/Ken were saying in the lesson. Factor in some error, and the net result was a total of maybe about 45 minutes to an hour for a lesson. I could review it and remember about 80% of the lesson today (4 years later) with minimal problem.

Fast forward to upper intermediate:

upper inter took about 1 hour to go through the dialog about 10 times with 20% comprehension at the end.  I started writing out the characters to improve comprehension, which took approx 2 hours.  I tried shadowing the dialogues to facilitate learning and review.  This was an ordeal that took 2 hours with 25% comprehension at the end.  I would at some point for some upper inters review the lesson, which might take 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much listening to John/Jenny I did. Factor in error, and maybe a total of 7 hours per lesson.  I could review the lesson today (2 years later) and remember about 20% of the lesson with minimal problem. 

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August 03, 2012, 02:35 AM

I think the way you've worded part of the the question "before you finish and move on to the next one" suggests a very specific study strategy in itself: just working on one lesson at a time. I'm not sure if you actually meant that. I've always got between 8 and 12 lessons in my active queue. They're all in different stages:

2 or 3 New Lessons: I've just scanned the vocab lists to check for any unfamiliar words I want to add to my SRS flashcard deck, just listened to the lesson once, probably haven't reviewed the expansion yet. From this stage, there can be a pause of a week or so before the next stage ....

2 or 3 In Process Lessons: I'm working on my second or third review of the full lesson audio. I've reviewed the dialogue very carefully to see if there aren't any more vocabulary words I've missed. I'm picking the sentences apart for new grammar patterns. I'm giving the expansion serious attention. I'm taking a whirl at the audio review. I might be collaborating on a lesson transcript if one's a-going. This stage last about two weeks.

2 or 3 On Hold Lessons: By this time I've already reviewed the lesson audio at least 3 times and I've copied out the expansion sentences longhand, but I'm not working on the lesson right now: that lesson is getting a break for up to a week. I might listen to the dialogue only, but probably not. Any new words that were added to my SRS flashcards have been seen multiple times by now.

2 Finishing Up Lessons: One last listen to the lesson, and I take a bang at the exercises to satisfy myself that I haven't forgotten anything critical.

So overall, time spent with a lesson is going to be heavily dependant on how many times you re-visit the material. Overall I'd say that each lesson gets about 5-6 hours from me total, broken up into many smaller time chunks over a 4 week period.
















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August 03, 2012, 02:50 AM

I have a pipeline approach.  I listen to each lesson as it is published, then I have activities I do with each week's lessons for the next three weeks.

Week 1: Download the lessons to my smart phone and try to get as much as I can out of them just by listening.  I extract the dialogs from CPod's Web site, and make a list of the words and phrases that are new to me.

Week 2: I study the advanced or media lesson in the set enough that I can read it out loud.  This includes listening to the expansion sentences and doing the matching and multiple choice sections of the excercises.  I also, replace the full lessons on my phone with just the lesson dialogs.

Week 3: I discuss the lesson content and vocabulary with a few native speakers.  A couple of them correct my reading of the Advanced/Media lesson.

Week 4 and beyond, I occasionally put my phone into shuffle mode and listen to random lesson dialogs.

Overall, I spend about 15 hours a week on all of these activites.  So, I think that works out to about three hours a lesson, minus some, because I spend some time writing an essay in Chinese, correcting the previous week's essay, and discussing random topics with my teachers, listening to Qing Wen and BST, studying non-CPod Chinese materials, etc. 

At this point, I make pretty short shrift of the newbie and elementary lessons.  I listen to the dialog once to check if there is any unfamiliar vocabulary.  I usually get the intermediates on the first hearing, and the upper intermediates after two or three hearings and reading the transcript.  So, most of this time is spent on the advanced/media lesson.  Maybe six hours a lesson.

Since, CPod is only producing one advanced/media lesson every other week, on off weeks, I get a an old Media lesson from the archive.  I estimate that in about six months, I will have caught up to where I started studying media lessons as they came out.  I already did that a couple years ago with the advanced lessons.  I'm still working on a plan for what to swap in at that point.