strategies for review

November 03, 2012, 10:34 AM posted in General Discussion

Hi all,


I was wondering if anyone had any good strategies for reviewing Chinesepod material already learned. I try to go back every once in a while to old material but it can be pretty haphazard. 


After a while I find that I've gone through so many lessons that going back could take longer than learning new material.



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November 03, 2012, 10:52 AM

You can use a program like Anki ( to help review vocabulary. That is one method I use. Hope it can help you as well.

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December 24, 2012, 08:07 AM

I had previously made PowerPoint vocabulary slides.  More recently, I've been using PowerPoint to help with studying sentence construction.

PowerPoint allows you a lot of flexibility via colors, fonts, and animations.  I feel like setting bright colors on dark backgrounds makes it easier for me to concentrate on the subject material.

Additionally, you can also find various macros online which can randomize the slides.  I use this one...

Hope this helps!

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December 24, 2012, 08:32 AM

I have around 1200 flashcards from cpod. Another 1200 or so through Pleco.  Yes, reviewing them all takes more time than I have.  My failure to review is also why my Chinese improves and degrades over the year.  I'm taking a new approach for the coming year.  

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December 25, 2012, 02:54 AM

Skritter is spaced repetion based, and is well integrated with Chinese Pod.  However, I would only recommend it for studying vocabulary.  I have not found a system (or the discipline)  to review old CPod lessons on an optimal schedule.  I have seen others here describe their regimen, and from the persepctive of educational psychology a regular and well organized review schedule would probably enhance learning several fold. 

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December 25, 2012, 03:18 AM

I've made the argument a few times before (so I won't annoy everyone by repeating it in detail), but I think flashcards are far too slow to be a useful method of review (initial learning perhaps useful though). Listen to Cpod dialogues back to back in a playlist from your learned lessons, and read level appropriate material for review of written characters, and things should progress more efficiently than looking at cards one by one (and with more skills trained)

As far as playlist order and frequency, I don't think there's that much added value to being completely scientific about it - review more often at beginning, less often later when its contents are near mastered, naturally settle into a pattern that has you reviewing a lesson a little before you would have forgotten (just have your playlist ordered by date studied and decide how far back to review seems to work). When the playlist comes to a lesson you are fairly familiar with and don't need much review, just speak along with it or practice using the constructions in it adapted for new situations until it goes to the next one.

If your level isn't quite where you can find much level appropriate reading material, there's always reading cpod dialogues, though better would be to purchase something like the 'elementary Chinese readers' series from amazon, or just google search, it seems there is good material even for beginners.

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I agree, I've found that reviewing words individually out of context just doesn't help me remember them that well. That's what is so great about the dialogues. I try to memorize bits of dialogue as well as the sentences in the review part of the lesson.

Reading is also very helpful which I try to do everyday being in China reading signs, flyers, pamphlets and Chinese subtitles of English movies (which is surprisingly useful). Learning to read the characters in the dialogues is very helpful as well.

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April 17, 2013, 02:32 AM

It doesn't appear that academia is interested in EFFECTIVE study strategies for the great unwashed. But at least I can refer later to these sites for my own personal enrichment and spiritual edification:

Journal of Second Language Teaching and Research

Second Language Research

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June 07, 2013, 02:17 PM

Yea, review of old material is a problem I've been struggling with, too, for a few years.  I had a system that would make playlists out of review mp3s, but the overhead of putting the playlists together was too high.  

I still find review mp3s very useful, but now I just get them through the phone app.  It's much more random, not on a good schedule, but at least allows me to get 3 or 4 in during my morning drive, better than nothing. 

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June 21, 2013, 05:52 AM

This is what I do

Once a month:

-I pick a day to spend a few hours listening to all the elementary dialogues, mixed in with all of popupchinese beginner and ellie dialogues, mixed in with some of the useful newbie dialogues, all in one go.

The folder I use for this has about 850 dialogues (and I know many of them by heart). I run a script to skip Jenny's "" intro.

-On a seperate day, I spend an hour or two listening to a mix of cpod and popupchinese intermediate dialogues.

I find there is no need to listen to all of the inter dialogue folder all the way through, just stick on random for an hour or two. Then I spend another hour or two reading through random inter dialogue texts.

The rest of the month, I spend listening and reading to UI, advanced and native materials, mixed altogether in another file. The main resources I use for this folder are: cpod, fluentU, visual mandarin, and lingq.

When bored, I just watch tv shows. Just finished the box set of 先结婚后恋爱. Fun, in an oddly painful way (^_^)

Agree with Tim's comment that flashcards are not particularly useful (and would add that review files and main podcast files aren't useful, either).