HELP! Struggling to move from Intermediate to Upper Intermediate.
Hello Fellow Poddies!
I NEED YOUR HELP! I have recently struggling with making the jump from the intermediate lessons to upper intermediate. I'm not sure about everyone else but I feel like there is a much larger jump than from elementary to intermediate.
I have been using Chinesepod for well over a year now and started in the Newbie lessons so I am seeing some progress but I just feel stuck. For those of you who have pushed past intermediate lessons into upper intermediate or above, I would love hearing your thoughts and recommendations on how I should alter my studying.
Currently this is routine for reviewing a lesson:
1) I listen to the podcast lesson several times on my phone during the day to see what works I know or don't know. Anything interesting that catches my ear I immediately look up in Pleco to save for later.
2)In the evening after work I go through the PDF of the lesson and pull out all the vocabulary I am interested in and put them into my Anki deck.
3) I then review my anki deck with the new words.
4)I listen to the lesson one or two more times to see if I can pick up the new words in the dialogue that I missed the first time.
5) Keep reviewing flash cards.
For whatever reason I find the upper intermediate lessons much hard to follow along with using the method above. Perhaps it is because the dialogue is more complex and also longer, but there also seems to be a lot of new words that I am not familiar with.
One thing I should mention is that I haven't focused much on learning characters until recently so my recognition is not up to the same level as my speaking. I'm slowing working on it using Memrise and typing in WeChat but it's slow.
Other than my daily Chinesepod studying I also try to talk with some of my Chinese friends but the discussiosn are relatively general . I also try and watch shows like 非诚勿扰 on the weekends.
I just feel stuck and thought I would approach you all to see if you could help.
Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
taylorarmstrong168December 13, 2014, 08:16 AM
I was in the same boat you are now in for quite a long time, however after some time and hours of practice I was finally able to make the transition. The newer upper immediate lessons, however are a little harder than the older ones because John is no longer at Chinese pod. So there is no longer a foreigner in the mix, only Jenny and David. I might suggest start with the older Upper Intermediate Lessons with John, then when you feel comfortable move on to the newer ones. I also found reading the dialogue first and then listening to the lesson is more productive and easier to understand. I hope this helps!
Thanks for the tip Taylor, I will try starting out with the older lessons and reading the dialogue first. Perhaps I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the new vocabulary. I will just keep going slow and reviewing the lessons and hope that I keep developing.
Matt_TDecember 14, 2014, 02:55 AM
Thanks for the advice Mark. I have been studying Chinese for a little over 2 and a half years, but about 1.5 of those years have been with Chinesepod.
I am so extrememly happy and fourtuneate that I came across Chinesepod because I feel that my mandarin would not be nearly as good without it. That's why I always recommend it to anyone I speak to who is also learning mandarin.
babyeggplantDecember 14, 2014, 05:18 AM
I would second what Mark said above. Seems like you have a pretty good system down, and I think you should keep it up. Things will start coming together as you keep picking up more and more vocabulary.
If you don't already, I would recommend that you listen to the lesson dialogues many times over, where you almost have them memorized. After that I would keep them in a playlist and spend a few minutes each day listening to your studied lessons. That really helped me cement the vocabulary and sentence patterns into my brain.
Also, how are you formatting your anki cards? When I added new vocab to anki, I input the entire sentence with the new word/phrase on the front then added the meaning/pinyin on the back as well as the audio of the entire sentence. I used audacity to grab the audio. This definitely takes a lot of time, but I found I really retained a lot more using this format. Not only would I see the word in context, but hearing the audio really helped things stick.
Keep at what you are doing and you are definitely going to see results!
Matt_TDecember 15, 2014, 03:06 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, I will try out the dialogues and listen to them a lot.
Currently I am formatting my cards with the Hanzi and Pinyin on the front and on the back I have the definition and an example sentence from the Chinesepod lesson with the hanzi, pinyin and english. Your idea to use audacity to add an audio portion to the card is fantastic, I will definitely do this going forward.
James, before there were very convenient and useful things called tags: grammar and vocabulary ones. Is there a place where they are now ? If it doesn't exist, is it possible to have them back ?
Each lesson gets tagged with a topic and function tag. You can see the tags under the lesson artwork, for example, here is the tag for sports: http://chinesepod.com/library/tag/sports
You can view a tag cloud here: http://chinesepod.com/library/tags/
Is that the kind of thing you were talking about, and how would you like to see this improved in the future?
Thank you so much, Gwilym ! It was precisely what I was talking about but couldn't find on the site. If I can make a Christmas father list, it would be wonderful to have a special page with some exercices related to the grammar tags. But it's just a suggestion, I'm glad to be able to see the tags cloud anyway ! Thanks again ! Véronique