When am I ready for the next level?
Hi everyone... I just randomly heard an intermediate level podcast and realized that I barely understood any of it. Right now I am at mid-newbie level I would say. I was wondering that by the time I am done studying the newbie and elementary podcasts (thoroughly of course), will I be able to understand everything that Jenny says in chinese in the podcast? Also, in general, how do you know when you're ready for the next level? I know I can just check out a podcast of the level above to see if I'm ready for it, but what if I'm not? Do I just study random vocabulary till I am?
Wow those were more questions than I thought I would ask :)
BEBCJanuary 09, 2010, 08:13 PM
Keep plugging away at the newbies, and gradually introduce some elementaries untill you are studying mainly ele lessons. When you are comfortable with ele lessons (and you will be) try a few Intermeds.
On the community discussion sections ofmany of the older Intermeds some of the users have posted the words Jenny uses in the lesson commentaries. Also, there are at least 3 Qing Wens which cover the sort of words and phrases which she uses. By the time you are ready for Intermediate lessons, your listening skills will have improved to the extent that even if you don't understand the words she uses, you will be able to vocalise a lot of them with the correct tones, and look them up in a dictionary; better still, use MDBG online. That's what I do. Even if you don't hear some of the words correctly you will still be able to take an educated guess from the context in which they are used, and the suggestions which MDBG makes. I write down all the words in Jenny's commentary which I don't know; many of them keep cropping up repeatedly over the lessons, so gradually they stick.
I found the jump from Elementary to Intermediate quite intimidating, but after doing Intermeds for a few months I've got much more used to them. I now have the same problem as you - the Upper Intermediate lessons seem way beyond me. But I know that if I keep on with the Intermediates untill they become fairly easy, then I'll be ready to tackle the Uppers.
simonpetterssonJanuary 09, 2010, 08:36 PM
If you feel that you're ready to tackle the Intermediate lessons, you should have switched some time ago.
This probably depends on how you study the lessons, but in my experience, you should always feel that the level is just a bit too difficult. Once it starts to feel comfortable, go up a level (but keep studying the one you left until they feel easy).
As Hello there, Brick! rightly points out, you don't have to be in a single level all the time; you can mix it up: some lessons for the challenge and others for the confidence. :)
pretzellogicJanuary 10, 2010, 02:04 AM
I agree with hellotherebrick and simonpetterson, but I would have said jump to a level that forces you to learn about 10 new words/1 sentence pattern a lesson. If you're learning 1 new word/sentence pattern in every newbie lesson you're taking, that's too inefficient. You are also probably getting away with inefficient practices in your learning with only 1 new word or sentence pattern as well. You're not challenging yourself enough.
if you mean go through all the newbie dialogues, I would actually start with the elementary dialogues. Actually count the new words that you learn in the ele lessons. If it's about 8-12 or so, that's good. The good news is that many elementary lessons have similar words as the newbie lessons, but with a bit more complex sentences, especially the newer elementary lessons.