汉语- input, input, input, ouput

fluent
It’s been about six months now since I’ve been studying Chinese and I must admit my aim of immersing myself in the language has really been enjoyable. It began with a priority of listening and reading. As I worked to unravel the grammar my own out-put became work on the tones. I think for any beginner of the language this must be the most difficult part. I can’t recommend enough the feedback and support I have had from the community of LingQ and Italki. I’ve managed to record my own versions of textbook dialogues and the LingQ community have given me feedback as to my errors and also recorded my transcripts when I’ve made a request. As for Italki I’ve made some really good friends who take so much time in helping my Chinese I feel I’ve become more confident in tackling the language. Yet, now I want to turn my attention to creating my own texts and gain recordings for these.

Any self-studier of any language will often complain of textbooks as they are often so geared towards the classroom environment – share with a partner this, role-play that. So, I’m going to try to use these opportunities not as a set-back but as a positive way for me to challenge my knowledge of the language.

Stage 1 
– Podcasts
– Pronunciation
– Vocabulary (iKnow app, Goldlist method)
Stage 2
– Assimil and Luca’s method
– My own recordings
– LingQ and Italki activities
Stage 3 (now)
– Own writing/scripts
– Yoyo Chinese to embed early skills and hopefully develop new ones.
– FluentU – great beginner material but I also enjoy the film trailers and advertisements (intermediate and advanced) as insights into the language and also for enjoyment
– Read and listen everyday for 15mins (LingQ)
– Maintain vocabulary and speaking practice.
I think if anything, I would like to spend more time just listening to the language be that through LingQ, watching films, news reports or TV shows. Though I’m naturally geared to improving my Hanzi practice, I really want to be able to speak the language. My goal now is to keep a strong input level but to drop it by 10%. This now means I’ll spend 70% of my time on input and 30% on output.

Chinese – Goal

I sort of started Chinese on the 20th June but really only dipped into it through podcasts at chineseclass101.com I didn’t do everyday.  It began with pure input. Listening, reading, listening, reading. Not really taking too much notice of grammar or trying to figure it out. Still I think this has been a useful process. Now, though, I’m going to follow a few principles outlined by a number of polyglots.
A. ‘Noticing’ – reading and listening
This has to be to follow Steve Kaufman’s idea of ‘noticing’. Since watching his videos and subscribing to Linq I do think my language studies have taken on a whole new progressive slant. Yet, whilst this may be true for my Japanese it’s tough for Chinese as I have so little knowledge of vocabulary – the process is arduous and time consuming. Nonetheless, I’m putting time aside now to do lots of review be that of the PDFs of podcasts or the Linq lessons – really grapple more with the structure.
B. Pronunciation and speaking
Embed the learning I have with my pronunciation books (review later) with actually recording myself speaking Chinese through audacity. I intend on putting this on LingQ for checking. This is big for me as I need pushing to do this kind of work. Mini-goal of doing this once a week.
C. Hanzi.
Continuing writing characters and following Heisig (via book and memrise.com). How many by December …
D. Grammar
Going to be doing some casual work on this. I will mainly exploring this through ‘noticing’ but I have a couple of books I’ll be exploring as well.
Throughout these focuses I will be evaluating and reviewing the resources I use. There is a lot to do with the Mandarin but I hope through my staggered schedule I will keep on track. Again, though, I want to be doing speaking practice every day.