I'm new to this group. Could you give me some help please. I'm struggling with my Chinese listening. Could you give me any tips how you guys have managed this aspect of learning.
pretzellogicApril 28, 2010, 01:47 PM
I listened to dialogues only. I recorded cpod mp3s onto CDs and then played the CDs on my 1 hour-each-way commute. I did that for about 6 months. I got used to the tones and pronunciation that way. Then the hard part was going to China, and hearing people speak Chinese at normal speed, with slang, bad speech impediments, mumbling, and all sorts of other inhibitors to understanding. My favorite normal speed lesson is "when the taxi takes the long way". Listen to that for about 200 times. Its an upper intermediate that separates the contenders from the pretenders.
cassiApril 30, 2010, 05:12 PM
Really, I find it just takes time. When I first started using Chinesepod, what I found most helped me was making flashcards of all of the expansion sentences and memorizing them (make sure that when you are memorizing them you say the sentences out loud-helps with speaking as well). I would also memorize the dialogues. This really helps with remembering tones, and vocubulary. Somehow when you memorize things it seems to imprint them in your memory so when you hear it you can understand it. Really, I think the most important thing is frequency. The more you hear something after a while you start to comprehend the meaning without having to translate each word in your head. It's so much easier when you're actually living there because things are constantly being reinforced. At least for now Chinesepod has brought the learning experience back to me. Hope this helps!
aisiniMay 01, 2010, 11:53 AM
Thanks a lot Pretzellogic and Cassi for you helpful comments.
I am actually working in China as an English teacher. But I have found it really difficult to become a competent listener. As you mentioned, one listens to Chinesepod with the Beijing and Shanghai accents but when one ventures onto the streets, the accent is quite different. Maybe I haven't been as diligent as you both and also need to give a lot more time to it.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
cassiMay 02, 2010, 03:00 PM
That's a whole different situation. It's definitely difficult to listen to someone speaking with a different accent. You would need to listen to podcasts in that accent to be able to start 'hearing' the language. Perhaps you can find a teacher in the town that you are living in that has the same accent, or perhaps a language partner. Actually, I think it really helps to take a class as well. Right now I take two classes to help with learning-too difficult to do it on my own.
pretzellogicMay 03, 2010, 02:14 PM
I neglected to mention that shadowing (saying the Cpod lesson dialogue the lesson out loud as the lesson plays) helps a lot. Listening is important, but speaking is as important. What I learned in trying to shadow a lesson is that I didn't hear sounds as effectively as I might have, or that I flat out repeated them wrong. Of course, this helps your pronunciation as well.