November 18, 2012, 03:43 PM posted in General Discussion

A question about the lessons and when one is finished with a lesson.  I realize it is fairly subjective, but I am curious what others believe and what the Chinesepod staff believe. 

When one studies a lesson, do you consider the lesson finished when you know the dialogue, vocabulary, supplementary vocabulary, and expansion? 

I try to know all the sections of the lesson before I move on to the next lesson.  Am I spending too much time on a particular lesson before I move on or is this what is intended?

I have completed 48 Newbie lessons but don't feel that I am ready for the next level. Based on my trying to complete each and every lesson before moving on, I find the elementary lessons a bit intimidating.



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November 18, 2012, 10:57 PM

when I was at Newbie, I felt I "completed" a lesson when I knew the dialogue and vocab.  Supplementary vocabulary was nice, but not necessary for me, and expansion didn't make any pedagogical sense (for me, it was like saying, we're finished with matrix algebra, now lets study partial differential equations without having studied calculus).  

I think i got to around 20-70 newbie lessons before I moved up to elementary.  It helped that I was using Pimsleur I and attended Boston Language Institute (Basic course) and had also Living Language Mandarin (like the first 20 lessons or so) before I came to Cpod. Your mileage may vary. 

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November 19, 2012, 05:05 AM

I think it depends on your level.  A first focusing on one lesson at a time is probably pretty close  to overwhelming.  At some point it won't provide enough input for you to continue to progress, though. So, keep pushing yourself to go faster and process more material.  It's  ok to go in over your head.  You don't  need to understand  every word.

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November 19, 2012, 05:18 AM

My thoughts, ymmv.

At newbie/ele, I usually

1. listened to the lesson (twice when needed)

2. stored any vocab that struck me as being important (usually supplemental did not fall in that category)

3.  Read/listened to the expansion and jotted down any sentences that seemed novel or useful, mostly in pinyin

4.  Did the exercises

As long as I did well on that I considered the lesson studied.

The supplemental vocab is nice, but at that level there is so much lower hanging fruit you need to acquire so you can get out of Newbie.  At Intermediate+, a lot of the lesson explanation is in Chinese and often words they use to explain will show up in the supplemental vocab, which I find useful.

Lastly, the move up in level is always intimidating at first, so that's nothing unusual.  If you're persistent you will get used to it.