Memorizing Dialogues

February 12, 2010, 08:27 PM posted in General Discussion

I've been using chinesepod for a few years now, and while my listening skills have improved tremendously, recalling and using what I've learned in past lessons has been a challenge. This is mainly because after I've gotten to the point where I understand a lesson, I shelve it and move on to the next one.

A friend recommended to me a while back to learn by memorizing dialogues (and understanding their structure).  A person in a video I found recently on You-Tube really seems to have made good progress using this approach: ( ).

This has inspired me to do a "reboot", start back at the beginning of Elementary, and start memorizing all the dialogues in the lessons that I already completed. Also, making sure to understand all grammar points and vocab found in the dialog.

So my open question to everyone is:

Do you currently memorize the dialogs so that you can recite them from memory? Why or why not?

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February 12, 2010, 09:12 PM

I've only just graduated to Lower Intermediate a few months ago, so I don't know how much store can be put in what I do, but I don't memorise dialogues. I do, however, memorise sentence patterns and structures because these are very versatile. Memorising hundreds, even dozens of dialogues and maintaining them in my long-term memory would be too time-consuming for me. Just think of all the time spent on Anki keeping a thousand new WORDS in your long-term memory.

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February 12, 2010, 10:49 PM

I study a lot, and seem to be getting nowhere. However, the "somewhere" I've gotten is with the dialogues I have memorized, mostly from Integrated Chinese CHI 101. When I have an opportunity to say something I had learned from that text, it just flows out automatically, so that tells me that there must be something to memorizing the dialogues.

With the dialogues, of course, are the patterns. Sure, when I memorized "Wo3 hen3 xi3huan1 chi1 Zhong1guo2 fan4." I also practiced and can effortlessly use "Wo3 hen3 xi3huan1 chi1 Tai4guo2 (Mei3guo2, fa3gou2 etc.) fan4."

I know I too cannot memorize all the dialogues, but here is what is helping me: I print out the dialogues and paste them in a notebook. Just a cheap spiral notebook. I carry it around to the gym and where ever, and pick it up and review. That helps me "use" it (although I really am not using my Chinese in real-life) and thus not "lose" it. Hopefully. So for me, it's memorize what I can, realistically, and just read/review the rest.

BTW, the new tests put me back in Newbie. I'm not going to take those test anymore and will continue studying the elem and inter levels!