Vocab, Expansion, Exercises
billgloverJuly 25, 2010, 10:01 PM posted in General Discussion
This sounds like an unusual question, but how should I be using the vocab, expansion, and exercises sections. I'm finding I don't do too badly when following the audio lessons but when faced with the vocab, expansion and exercises, I'm lost. By lost, I mean I don't know where to start.
What does everyone do when they visit these sections? How should I be using them?
Step 5 is the part that I most enjoy, but yes it is also the part that (being last in the process) often gets skipped. What I really want to start doing more is working some of these sentences into short conversations. Trying to recognise the same structures/phrases out of context (the ChinesePod context) is often much much harder.
johnbJuly 26, 2010, 12:51 AM
I don't really do much with the vocab or exercises, but I *love* the expansion sentences. I've actually written a Chrome extension to scrape the expansion sentences into a more usable format, and then I import them, audio and all, into Anki. In Anki I just do straight recognition -- read the characters out loud, check my pronunciation against the pinyin and audio, and make sure that I understand everything inside the sentence. These days, for me, there's not all that much new vocab in each sentence, but if there is I might add definitions, etc. into the answer fields. From that point, they just enter my normal Anki workflow.
I definitely find the expansion sentences one of the best features. Also the ability to look up a word and see a list of example sentences is really helpful. Where I fall down is being able to read them, often having to lookup all but one or two characters in each sentence.
We have to walk before we can run I guess :)
fourmoredays2010July 26, 2010, 12:53 AM
Where is this Chrome extension? Have you made it available for download? Does it work with Mac OS X? Thanks!
fourmoredays2010, I made it for myself, but don't have any plans to distribute it (mostly because I have no interest in providing tech support if, for instance, the HTML of the expansion page changes and breaks my scraping, etc.). It should work in any modern version of Chrome running on any platform (I've actually only tested it on the latest development build on OSX, though, because that's what I'm using). If you message me with your e-mail address I can send it to you (this evening... it's on my laptop at home).
John, any chance I could pick up a copy as well? On condition that I never ask for tech support :)
I'd been working on doing a similar thing in curl but was being thwarted by the login process to the site.
xiao_liangJuly 26, 2010, 06:56 AM
I just read through them once or twice, save any vocab I like to the flashcards, then have a bash at the exercises. I usually listen to each lesson at least twice over the week, and if I've been listening properly (not usually), then I'll be able to do the exercise. If I don't, I give it a rest for a week, come back to it - read through everything again, and have another bash at the exercise.
If I get about 90% on the exercises, I mark it as studied and move on. Not worth worrying too much about, I figure there's enough repetition that if it's important it'll eventually sink in!
Having said that, I went to karaoke this weekend and couldn't remember any of the vocab from that lesson. I guess I need a bit more reviewing ;-)
go_manlyJuly 25, 2010, 11:40 PM
This is how I attack the Expansion sentences, in order.
1. Just read and listen at first, not worrying too much about understanding.
2. Copy them to word, then try to type the Pinyin myself underneath, only referring back to the mouseover Pinyin when I get stuck. I think this is the best way to learn to recognise characters without making the effort to learn how to write them.
3. Study the sentences thoroughly, looking up any vocabulary I don't know, making vocabulary lists in word, and trying to parse each sentence until I get it.
4. Then I listen to them again, hopefully understanding them better this time.
5. Finally, I try to make up similar sentences of my own - no great changes, just substituting other vocabulary for certain words. This is the part I often get lazy about doing.
I don't use the Exercises, so I can't comment there.