2010 study goals/resolutions?

January 04, 2010, 02:27 AM posted in General Discussion


A few days into the new year, it seems like a propitious time to have a discussion about plans and goals for Mandarin learning in 2010. Hopefully we can bring about a mass motivation boost to see us all through until December!

So, the question is: Have you made any resolutions relating to your Chinese studies in 2010 or set any kind of plan for progress in the coming months?

To improve my spoken Chinese in 2010 is the main aim for me. My flatmate and I have recently discovered a penchant for Chinese soap operas, and I think regular bumper viewing sessions of these will go a long way in improving my listening skills (alongside ChinesePod dialogues of course!). But spoken Chinese is another skill set altogether so I am hopeful that starting the Executive Plan will help a lot (I'm starting very soon).

I also hope to spend more time with Lu Jiaojie in our informal English-Chinese language exchanges (I am very lucky to have her as my teacher!).

Through bringing speaking practice into my everyday life in a more substantial way, rather than just settling with the usual daily life exchanges, I think I can make the step up from Intermediate, where I've been sitting too comfortably for too long, to Upper Intermediate... I'll keep you posted on that!!

So, how about you? What have you set out to achieve this year? Do you want to make the step up from Newbie to Elementary on ChinesePod? Work up to having a conversation with your Chinese inlaws? Please share!!

FYI: Current lesson discussions relating to this matter include "New Year's Wishes" and "What have you done in 2009?"

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January 04, 2010, 03:28 AM


I actually did mine a few days ago, nearly forgotten already!, but I will re-post them here as a reminder. (I better get working, the year is slipping by.)   

1. Post photos of signs in Chinese - lets say 1 per week 

2. Learn names of everyone I talk to and use them; write them up and explore the characters. (That is a big ask as I may have more than 100 students - the semester just gone I could recall maybe 20% of 150 names accurately and write maybe 5% from memory.) 

3. Read a scrappy story book from the 2块 shop; say 1 per month.  These 'books' have a 总定价 zǒngdìngjià of 300 RMB, marked down to 6 RMB, then marked down again to 2 RMB. They claim to be from 北京师范大学出版社 chūbǎnshè (Beijing Normal University Publishing House) - is that possible?  Morality tales mainly.  

4. Write a script for each topic I teach; about 20 over say five months.  Wow, that is a lot. I'll halve that to 10.  

5. Do one Chinesepod lesson per week, any level.  

That's way to much, but I never keep my resolutions anyway.  

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January 05, 2010, 12:33 PM


wayne198719@hotmail.com  Good luck~!

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January 04, 2010, 04:30 AM

I have been with CPOD since its inception, but I have focused my learning 100% on listening and speaking. And so my reading / writing skills are quite deficient. And I have realized I'm not making the most of my subscription by not using all the useful tools (ie: skritter, flashcards etc).

For 2010, I have resolved to make more use of the tools on CPOD to help me with learning Hanzi and reduce my reliance on pinyin. 



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January 04, 2010, 05:53 AM


I'm actually doing the same.  I'm starting from 0 with the characters.  I bought a copy of "Remembering the Hanzi" and I've also got an account with skritter.  After 4 days I'm up to 34 characters. 

Good luck. 

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January 04, 2010, 05:57 AM


Thanks for the reference...I'll have to get that book too.

Looks like you already know 33 more characters than I do :)

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January 04, 2010, 06:08 AM


haha. Actually, I'm practicing writing now.  I'll private mail you some more details about what got me started.  Don't want to take this off topic.

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January 04, 2010, 08:38 AM

1) Improve active language skills (writing + speaking)

2) HSK Intermediate (*pray* for level 6 :-P)

3) Watching Narrow Dwellings and understanding it :-)

4) Move to Advanced by the end of 2010!

5) Meet more poddies irl.

6) Eat more fruit +veggies, less snacks.

Edit: need to add 7) insult people more haha and not only learn *nice* Chinese.

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January 04, 2010, 08:54 AM

Getting my daily dose of Chinese in a busy year that doesn't have much respect for this hobby.

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January 04, 2010, 08:55 AM

I forget nothing more quickly than resolutions. But by the end of the year I'm hoping

i) to get myself to China for a month or two (giving me some much needed speaking practice)

ii) to work through the NPCR textbooks no. 4 & 5

ii) to start getting to grips with Classical Chinese (yikes!)

iv) just noticed that I've put "i, ii, ii" above, so I should add to learn to count (in any language)

v) to make local connections with Chinese speakers here in the UK.

That's all.


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January 04, 2010, 10:08 AM

Wow, it's interesting to read the diverse range of goals.

Please add yours if you have any. They're inspiring to read, though I find a few are more than a little intimidating :-)

Will you be posting the Chinese signs on ChinesePod? Promises to be useful for everyone!

@pchenery & hkboy
Good luck with taking the step into hanzi. Do let us know how you get on.

Good luck with the HSK - and with the quest for this native Chinese-speaking sci-fi dude, too!! China must have sci-fi conferences, no? I know there was an anime festival in Shanghai a little while ago...

I love resolution no. 7 (you know, the academic team are always open to lesson suggestions!)

It would be great to meet you if you come to Shanghai. Do stop by the office if possible :-)



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January 04, 2010, 03:56 AM

1. I will achieve at least level 8 in the HSK test.

2. I will read aloud every day until my fluency becomes buttery smooth (using CPod dialogs as my primary source of material).

3. I will thoroughly read at least three 阅读 textbooks.

4. I will learn to write out my basic thoughts without having to constantly consult a dictionary.

Dream: I will become friends with a Chinese dude who likes talking about sci-fi, fantasy, history and culture but has no interest in studying English.  (Yes, very selfish and unrealistic, but I can dream.)

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January 04, 2010, 10:18 AM

thanks suxiaoya,

After countless books and stuff, I've finally found a good system for learning the characters - at least for me.  Hopefully, I will be able to report back later with some progress.

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January 04, 2010, 10:24 AM

@Suxiaoya, maybe I should write some real life dialogues (if I find the time with all those ny resolutions :-) ), never a dull moment in Nanjing!

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January 04, 2010, 11:16 AM


Yes, the signs will be on ChinesePod (assuming Flickr cooperates).  I have done a couple already from a new construction site and we had fun with translations.  

I have always been fascinated by the general purpose 'red banner' signs - advising/advertising all kinds of things. A few I have seen recently: 

a new kind of credit card, 

calling for votes on new management in a 小区 

an upcoming basketball competition

40th anniversary of a TV station  

welcome to a delegation of experts from the United States 

a party for alumni of Suzhou University 

Happy New Year!  

They look so... Chinese! (We don't have anything remotely like this kind of sign in Australia.)  

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January 04, 2010, 02:51 PM

I resolve to use ChinesePod more purposefully this year! (Purposeful is going to be my 2010 buzzword.) I have been very lazy about studying the lessons online, and let nearly 400 accumulate in my "active" folder. So I've begun by taking out everything but the lessons I really want to study (bringing the total down to 81) and am going to try to keep up with new input. I am also going to unsub from the Upper Intermediate channel because it's really too hard for me - I'm going to consolidate my Elementary knowledge, but still use Intermediate as my "challenge" lessons because I love the English/Chinese mix.

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January 04, 2010, 11:17 PM

1) Ensure that Chinese Level II will actually exist--we don't have enough interest at my university so we fought for the chance to even have it next/this semester, so hopefully they will accept it as a class even though we don't have enough people. :(

2) Continue being a formidable foe in Chinese class. I'm very competitive in our games/translation exercises and that is most likely what keeps me studying Chinese daily to "beat" them, as corny or dramatic as that sounds.

3) Hopefully make the step up to Elementary. I've done one lesson and it seemed easy enough but the Newbie lessons still have so much content I don't feel ready to move on yet.

4) Use Skitter integration more. At first I loved it and would put on music and just write characters over and over for a couple hours but my motivation is waning and I just want to learn new stuff rather than completely learn what I know. Recognizing characters and saying them is easy for me, but actually writing them is what I struggle with and I need to grab it by the horns rather than just avoiding it.

5) Continue working on my Chinese knowledge database. I made a personal Wiki to consolidate all of the cool things I'm learning in one place and I want it to be huge by the end of this year. Going along with this, continue learning more about culture.

6) Solidify study abroad plans for 2011.

7) Learn 20 new characters per day/review the ones that come up and write them too.

8) Do one+ ChinesePod lesson per day.

9) As a side, go back and review French. I use it very rarely and I don't want to lose it after all the time I spent learning it.

That's all! I might do more depending on how much freetime I have. Or, I might do less if I get any of the jobs I applied for, but in this job market in the city I live in, it's highly unlikely...

Either way, my overall goal is to know three times as much as I do now, which is a statistically obtainable challenge since I've been studying less than four months as it is, and I'll have next summer.

Good luck to everyone, especially on the HSK exams. One day maybe I too will be able to take it!

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January 04, 2010, 11:41 PM


That is a great list!  I like how you said, "That's all," as if it is puny, haha.  You mentioned studying abroad.  If you mean studying abroad in China, you can far more than triple your ability if you set your mind to it.  Just sayin'...  Anyway, good luck!

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January 05, 2010, 03:23 AM



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January 05, 2010, 11:54 AM

1,000 new characters by end of June.

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January 04, 2010, 10:16 AM

@suxiaoya - I may well be coming that way! I'll let you know.