MY SUBSCRIPTION'S ENDING THIS MONTH
No doubt Cpod has the biggest text book of practical lessons around. However, what with work and the chores of day to day living, I had no time to study the lessons properly. And the text book keeps gets bigger and bigger each week.
I have been listening to most of the Elementary and Intermediate lessons and I think my listening comprehension has improved but it seems to me I should now study what materials I have instead of continuing on the non-stop thread mill constantly scrambling to keep up with the new lessons.
Those of you who have stayed continuously with Cpod for two or three years, wouldn't you had been better off ( know more Mandarin than now) if you had come off the thread mill to really study the sentences, memorize the vocabulary, instead of scrambling with the new lessons week after week? Is there something missing in my logic to lapse my subscription till I'm ready for more new stuff?
Not having to deal with new lessons constantly will also allow me more time to look for informal ways to practise speaking Chinese and see if listener(s) understand what I'm saying.
And too, I like to find a language exchange arrangement where a Chinese native can correct the occasional Chinese sentences I write, in exchange of my assistance in correcting English sentences.
I'm just throwing my thoughts out for any feedback.
TalJanuary 03, 2010, 11:56 PM
I've been pretty busy myself the last few weeks (it's a time of year thing) and haven't had time to study the latest lessons properly. But ordinarily I like to study (most of) the new lessons pitched at my level as and when they come out. And I find that if I go through them 3 to 5 times without being too obsessive about remembering every word, I do retain most of it and the learning kind of builds up.
It seems to me the lesson authors find a way to repeat and review so many words and 'lexical chunks' in other contexts and situations, and I think that's an important part of learning a language.
The day may well come when I feel CPod is no further help to me, but that day isn't here just yet.
simonpetterssonJanuary 04, 2010, 04:10 AM
Haha, I had the opposite experience. One new lesson a week at my level wasn't enough. Rather I constantly searched the archives for more. That said, I often didn't study the new lessons when they arrived. With a huge archive, there's no reason to keep studying the new ones if there are more interesting old lessons out there.
JohnJanuary 04, 2010, 04:29 AM
This "treadmill" concept is interesting. I wonder how many ChinesePod users see their subscription this way.
Before, we used to think of ChinesePod as an ever-expanding library of lessons, kind of like an encyclopedia that keeps updating. You use what you need, and content is plentiful.
Later, we realized that the new content is a huge part of the subscription for many users, making it something closer to a magazine subscription, where the emphasis is on the new.
Clearly, it's different for every learner. We're definitely paying close attention to these comments, though.
xiaophilJanuary 04, 2010, 04:41 AM
What you said is exactly true. New lessons feel exciting. Old ones feel the opposite. I think part of the reason is that feeling of everybody looking at the same lesson at the same time and being able to have a real time discussion about it. In general, we don't want to feel like a loner hanging out in a classroom by ourselves. It is a completely psychological need rather than a concrete need. I still think there are ways to let some of those old lessons to get the attention they deserve, but probably not with the current system.
matthiaskJanuary 04, 2010, 04:50 AM
somewhere else, I mentioned that maybe a "class-of-2010" could have a positive result, especially for the newbie lessons.
Instead of stopping the itunes feed and leaving the field unharvested, it might be good to have a yearly or half-yearly repeat of the introduction lessons + 20 to 40 newbie lessons for free out there in the loop and mask/hide the old comments for those lessons. In this sence, newbies would come freshly together, share their thoughts and jump up the ladder. It would also avoid newbies from studying the whole archive, feeling lost with all those lessons.
About the original question: I'm as well on the "lets study the new content" but I wanna change my habbits to make the vocab stick better. Looking forward to the SRS flashcards ;)
pcheneryJanuary 04, 2010, 05:20 AM
Sometimes I have actually fallen into the "treadmill" trap, thinking that there was no way I could possibly keep up with all the new lessons. But then I realized this was counter-productive (for my learning style anyway).
Ieventually gave up on trying to perfect every lesson and thenjust focused on studying the lesson topics that I thought were fun and relevant to me (learning on my own terms).
If I ever got to the point where learning Chinese was a "treadmill", I would certainly quit it forever, since it would cease to become an enjoyable experience.
RJJanuary 03, 2010, 10:53 PM
I have certainly had the same thoughts but, If I stick with a lesson until I know it 100% I get pretty sick of it. I would rather hit 100 fresh lessons keeping up with new releases and absorb 50% of each, than study 50 lessons until I know them 100%. The new lessons offer new contexts and some vocab repeats so I find the end result is the same but the road there is more plesant. Periodic review of favorites also bears fruit. Does this make any sense?
pcheneryJanuary 04, 2010, 05:38 AM
Yes, that's right. But I think "treadmill" in this discussion is being used more symbolically as "stuck in a rut". Or perhaps imagine a hamster in a cage endlessly running on the wheel, trying to keep up.
pcheneryJanuary 04, 2010, 05:55 AM
I run on the treadmill sometimes and I run outside in the cold (more often). Just like language learning, there is more than one path to success.
People ask me "Why do you force yourself run?" I answer the same way when someone asks me why I study Chinese. I do it, not because I'm forced to, rather, it is because I like to do it.
ThisSiteIsAJokeJanuary 04, 2010, 06:49 AM
... and the fruitless discussion continues. It seems some people here spend more time talking about learning Mandarin than actually learning. I see one dude has made 3000 "contributions" in 16 months. That really is scary. Instead, he could have had at least 300 more hours of learning Mandarin (and that is ultra-conservative)
Xiao Phil talks of everybody discussing a lesson at the same time. If the number of people I see entering into discussions is everybody, this site is in trouble. Either that, or the vast majority of users have no problem with "feeling like a loner hanging out in a classroom by themselves". I've noticed this on other sites: The people who waste time chatting, talk as though they are representative of the typical (silent) user.
For gods sake people, why don't you stop trying to show each other who is the best debater, cut the BS and the complaining about what is on offer here, and get on with your learning.
xiaophilJanuary 04, 2010, 07:04 AM
I have studied Chinese for over 5 hours today. Sorry if I took time out to leave some comments. As far as I know, there is a difference between complaining and offering insight and advice. I don't see how anyone above falls into the category of complaining. At any rate, we are being civil.
xiaophilJanuary 04, 2010, 07:11 AM
Oh man, I just realize it is over 4.5 hours. I'm studying Chinese and not maths, haha! (I added the s to math just for you.) 3 hours class and 1.5 hours 阅读. Nap time now and then back at it.