I am starting week 12 of my New Year’s Resolution to learn Mandarin Chinese and a lot has changed over the last 10 weeks since my last post.
Quick update on current status:
-currently studying lesson 10 (the last lesson) in the Integrated Chinese Level 1 book. I have been pacing at about 1 lesson per week which was aggressive, but comfortable given my time investment.
-by the end of lesson 10, I will know and be able to recognize over 600 Chinese words/characters
-in addition to individual words, I have learned many basic grammar structures and sentence patterns
Some reflection on the first three months of study:
-the biggest key is to find a rhythm and stick to the routine. my routine: wake up at 5:30am, study listening/pronunciation practice until 7:00am. before bed 30 min of practice listening and/or reading sentences from TCB app (more on that later)
-find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. for me, learning new vocab has been very easy, but becoming quick in translating English or fluid in speaking full sentences has taken more effort. this awareness has given me direction in what to focus on when I am practicing.
-reduce the noise. you can quickly become overwhelmed trying to learn every new word possible. stick with learning new vocab with context – this is why a good book/study course is invaluable. here’s what I’ve been using.
-find some way to practice what you are learning outside of your coursework, but make sure it is appropriate for your level. I do two things: every week participate in a meet up group that speaks Chinese for 2 hours, read Chinese news on The Chairman’s Bao (TCB) app. I absolutely love this app. It allows you to filter the news articles to just those written to your level, you can listen to someone speak the text and there is an easy way to search on characters your don’t know to look them up.