New Exercises Launched

August 04, 2009, 04:03 AM posted in General Discussion

New Exercises Launched

Hey Poddies, CPod has a new set of exercises. A lot of work went into designing new exercises, they are more comprehensive and help you practise reading, writing and listening.

There are four parts in the new exercises:
1. Matching-match words to the closest meaning
2. Sentence Re-ordering-Move sentences into correct order
3. Dictation-listen to the audio and type out what you hear
4. Multiple Choice-choose the best answer

One of the major changes in the new exercises is no more Flash. This gives you a lot more control, allowing you to copy/paste, and also to control character size using your browser's text size controls.

The new exercises are available from lesson Amusement Park. (

We highly encourage you to try them out and tell us what you think.
Let us know!

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August 04, 2009, 03:20 PM

The new exercises are great.  The old format was too easy and not enough practice.  I like that supplementary words are included.  I completely missed the listening part (0 for 3) because I tried to input the pinyin and didn't know what to do with the 字 that had no tones or whether to add a period or space at the end of sentences.  Now I know I can use 汉字 so I'll try again.  Still tones are my weakest ability so I'd like an exercise that would push me to remember the tones the way the old single 词ones did.  I still always missed those with no tones.

Thanks, Cpod for all the work on the new exercises.

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August 04, 2009, 06:03 PM

Besides being nice, interestion and amazing from a technical viewpoint (I sneaked into the source code), I have a small problem with the "moving the sentences around" exercise with my Opera (Version 9.64 Build 10487 and 10 beta): When moving the sentences around, they appear two screens down right in the grey area. On Chrome it works fine. IE too. :(

But for the rest, I really like the excerises and appreachiate the effort.

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August 05, 2009, 02:45 AM

@luobinzhenmei and matthiask,

Thanks for the feedback! Very much appreciated. Making these exercises comes down to striking a balance between achieving learning outcomes and technological feasibility. So that's why we can't always have earth shatteringly new exercise for a different lesson. With this new exercise, a great benefit is that your ChinesePod teacher can actually go to the AMS and change the questions to make them more suitable for you. For example, the word choices in multiple choices can be switched to include ones you have learned. More on the new exercises in this week's News and Features. Thanks for your feedback again!

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August 05, 2009, 03:31 AM

Good job cpod! Work like this to improve the site and its ability to teach us is why I continue to be a fan of cpod. 

I think the next set of exercise improvements can focus on the sentences.  I think that breaking down the sentences into "moving words to form the grammatically correct Chinese sentence" would be one way to go.  In other words, cpod has had intermediate lessons that tell us in english:

You speak as smoothly as a Chinese person (from c0906pdf)

It would be helpful to have an exercise that tells us the equivalent, correct, Chinese sentence order is:

You Chinese speak with Chinese person same smooth

Ken periodically did this with some of the lessons i've heard. One lesson on "wake up call"

English: what can I help you with?

Correct Chinese: have what can help you?

I think this type of approach might eliminate guessing to get the correct answer and a  high score wthout actually learning anything.  If you guess, and get it right, you should have learned something in this particular process.  Hope that helps.

CPOD, again, great job for tackling thorny pedagogical issues! Keep up the hard work. 


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August 15, 2009, 03:24 PM

Having had a bit more time to both play with the exercises and also think about it,I'd have to say I'm even more impressed.When I read luobinzhenmei's comment above I thought it was absolutely right.While I enjoyed both imputting the whole sentence and also using hanzi to do this,on reflection I realised that in the old exercises,entering the pinyin in the audio exercise 3 was one time I really had to focus on recalling the tones and I knew thus how important it was to be tested on this.However I see at the top of the new exercises one can toggle between simplified,traditional and pinyin...awesome.Also I hear and see that you can enlarge the page [to very large if necessary] ...thus much better than the old flash where you couldn't enlarge it all.Having cleared up a couple of minor initial reservations I find myself with nothing picky to say.十全十美 ! Great job guys.感谢。

btw A couple of things I noticed about entering pinyin for the audio exercises.Firstly I tried entering with the numbers to indicate tones.Previously one had to use a 5 to indicate neutral tone.However when I tried this it marked my sentence wrong.So I though maybe you have to enter the tone marks..which I did using pinyin imput and that solved that problem.But I thought I'd go back and give it a shot without a 5 for neutral and it worked second time around.I noticed though that it gave the answers under the sentence when the page was submitted...another great improvement I'd say [especially considering one is now entering a whole sentence thus increasing the chance of some minor error and ensuing frustration if one was to play around guessing where the error blank for neutral instead of 5]

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August 15, 2009, 03:30 PM

The blocky font style for exercises was impossible to read using traditional characters.  Being able to enlarge the type has really helped!

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August 15, 2009, 09:19 PM

This is such an enormous improvement. I had difficulties with the flash exercises on my Ubuntu machine (they messed up horribly when scrolling), but these new exercises work like a dream. They also seem to cover the material much more systematically, they are prettier, and they are more flexible. I'm delighted with the changes. Thanks, all.