Strategy for Upper Intermed
iaingJune 27, 2013, 02:37 AM
Cpod's biggest failing is the jump from Inter to UI/Adv, and critiques of cpod are still valid in this regard (I have made many, so no point rehashing).
You are better off looking at resources external to cpod (until they address fundamental failings of the product to provide for learners that are past intermediate).
What worked for me, was lots of reading of varied content followed by moderate amounts of listening and then conversation practice.
Sites I used included;
-talk shows with transcripts
-intersting current affairs sites with transcripts
-watching lots of Chinese tv shows and tunein radio
-switching reading of news and weather reports to Chinese
I do agree that I feel a little lost now, the jump to upper is a bit overwhelming. My main other resource is Pleco for reference and flashcards, but it sounds like I need to find new sources of content as well. Thanks for the links, they look very cool.
adam_p_laxJune 27, 2013, 07:15 AM
I agree that after intermediate you have to start seeking out supplementary material to help boost your Chinese.
I find that just focusing on one upper intermediate lesson for at least two weeks is really necessary. Its tougher and there are longer sentences and more complex sentence structure so it takes more time to figure them out and let them sink in mentally. In that span, I usually listen to the show a few times at first, read the dialogue and then listen to it over and over gain on a daily or every other day. I try to memorize chunks of the dialogue and recite them to myself. Then I do the review audio to polish it off.
It's slow but I think it helps you learn the material on a deeper level so you won't have to constantly go back and review (which slows you down in other ways).
I am still hopeful to maintain the pace of 3-4 lessons per week, like I did with lower intermediate. The recommended study term is 160 lessons, and I want this to be done by next summer so I can take HSK 4 for my job. I tried a few upper lessons already, and it does look like it's going to be tough without changing my routine. Every upper lesson introduces about 20 new words, as compared to 4-5 for lower. Concentrating on each lesson for a couple of weeks does make sense, i will try to arrange like you said. But still need to start a new lesson every other day... How to address this spear-shield? I am hoping to find a new study technique that can handle 80 new words per week, you guys think this can be done?
I've found from teaching ESL in China and studying Chinese on my own for the past 3 yrs that 80 new words a week just isn't possible. Maybe if you just want to pass the HSK it's ok but if you want to thoroughly learn, understand and be able to use and incorporate words into your active vocabulary, you would have to lessen that amount. I think at most 40-50 a month is realistic. It's so easy to forget words if you keep at such a rapid pace of learning.
Also I think focusing on individual words and not phrases and sentence structure is not that good either. Thinking about sentence structure and phrases helps you to be able to use vocabulary and learn them more deeply.
Just my two cents. good luck!
I think it depends on what you mean by 'a month' and 'a week' - It is trivial to thoroughly learn 100 new words 'a day', and still have time to review and practice the words from previous days, if you spend 12 hours studying. I think hours is a better measure...
I would recommend a different approach - learn many lessons quickly, but only focus on the dialogue and transcript (the podcast and any expansion can be ignored). As you learn each dialogue, put it in a playlist, and listen to that playlist every day. If you spend a weekend you should be able to get 50 or so cpod dialogues mastered without much trouble at all, do that a few times and you have exhausted the archives (much of the vocab and grammar repeat so it's actually easy to get going). Then just listen to your playlist, again and again, then start repeating after it. Pretty soon, you'll have absorbed all the vocab and grammar, and will use it naturally in speech (as long as you are also doing a bit of conversation practice also, even if it is talking to yourself).
That was my experience at least. I think doing 'exercises' and intensive studying of material is far too time consuming...A rapid pace through the lessons means you will see the same vocab and grammar again and again, deep understanding will come naturally.
rootJune 30, 2013, 12:00 PM
heh, well, I need to finish 160 uppers in a calendar year, while doing normal things like work and friends.. So.. that means can spare about 1 hr per day, during morning commute.
Now, based on a quick estimation of 2.5 words per day without even trying (from Foreign test-takers learn 2.5 new words a day while living in an English-speaking country, http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2013/05/vocabulary-size) I would think that 10 words per day with a concentrated study program AND living in the country should be possible... I am hoping
jennyzhuJuly 01, 2013, 12:57 AM
I highly encourgae higher level students to use third party Chinese media resources to broaden their learning. Wide exposure and connecting to the real Chinese speaking world is key if you are at this level. You should step out of the comfort zone of ChinesePod and other learning materials and throw youself into the wild as much as possible. Ways of doing that: 1) find a few Chinese media outlets to get your regular exposure: portals like sina.com is really helpful as they provide a variety of media content about what's happening in China 2) use ChinesePod lesson topics as anchors to help you find other resources on the same topic, whether from media or use it as conversational material with your Chinese friends. 3) Push yourself to listen, speak and read.
The gernal plan of watching tv shows, music and movies I feel can start at the advanced level, at least for me. Do you think Upper Intermediates should be included in the "higher levels", Jenny?
I do feel that perhaps it will be useful once I am well into the upper intermediate level and beyond. Just not immediately after graduating from lower intermediate. For now I have progressed to turning off the "Show translation" by default for the expansion sentences. Feeling pretty good that I can usually get the meaning. Still need the training wheels of the popup, but less and less.