Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Ari’s Chinesepod method

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
19 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4721 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 1 of 19
24 October 2011 at 6:11pm | IP Logged 
So jondesousa asked me in a private message a long time ago about my Chinesepod method. I've been yapping
about how I think Chinesepod is awesome but never really explained my method in detail. CPod is pretty great,
but it's very open and it's not easy to know how to use it. Since I've been away from HTLAL and language learning
for many months, I didn't read the message until now, but here goes, I'm posting my CPod method. Maybe it can
be useful for people other than jondesousa, so I'll post it here for all to see.

Okay, my very first CPod method was strictly listening. Lots and lots of listening to lots and lots of lessons. No
active study at all. This wasn't very efficient, but it was effortless. Progress was slow, but I was in no hurry. It took
me a long time to get to feel comfortable in CPod's Elementary level, which is when I started to get really intense.
Actually, what happened was that CPod stopped giving out the audio for free so I stopped learning Mandarin
completely. Maybe six months later I took it up again, registered and started my intensive period. That's the
method I'm going to describe now. During this period, I went through a new lesson every day, in this way:

* In the evening, at home, I'd go through the new lesson. I'd listen to it a couple of times and read the transcript.
I made sure I understood it perfectly. If there was some grammar or vocab point I didn't get, I'd ask about it in
the comments section or on the CPod forums. I needed a perfect, if slow, understanding of what was being said
and how.

* I added all words that were unknown to me before I started the lesson into Anki. All of them. The amount of
words would be quite big every time I gained a level, and would then gradually decrease. When they got down to
quite few (something like one word every sentence), I'd start including more and more lessons from the next level
up. This way I could keep a steady stream of new words (like 30 a day or so). I'd work on my Anki deck
throughout the day, mostly during breaks at work.

* The next stage was on the walk to work. I had a 15 minute walk to and from work, which I'd use to do
shadowing. Playing the dialogue-only audio file on a loop, I'd work through it something like 10-15 times during
that walk. After having listened some more at work, I'd do it again on the walk back and usually this would be
enough for me to accurately shadow the entire dialogue and understand what I was saying, as I was saying it. The
feeling of speaking accurate Mandarin at native speed and understanding exactly what I was saying was a pretty
big motivation boost. By the time I got back home, I'd internalised the dialogue and was ready to start the next
lesson. Many lessons had really difficult parts that took a lot of effort to get through. I got through them by
doing a lot of rewinding and replaying the audio many times while shadowing, and by memorising the difficult
parts and going through them again and again in my head while at work. I can still quote several CPod dialogues
from memory now, two years later.

The above was pretty much the core of my method. Listen through, make sure you understand completely, add
all unknown words into Anki, shadow until you can follow along without mistakes. But that's not the entirety of it.
There was also a supplementary practice. Here's how that went:

* After a lesson was done, I'd add it to my "Completed CPod" playlist. This playlist would grow larger and larger
and I'd listen to it throughout the day. Besides that 15 minute walk, I had a 45 minute bus commute. I'd spend
some of it working through my Anki deck and a lot of it just listening to the old CPod dialogues. I'd actually have
two playlists: one with the dialogue-only audio and another with the entire lesson. I'd switch around between
them, but most of the time was probably spent listening to the dialogue-only audio.

* During work I'd also listen to that playlist a lot, but I'd make sure to get a couple of listens to the next lesson I
was going to start when I got home. Getting five or six "pre-listenings" like this was good, because some of the
stuff had time to sink in before I really sank my teeth in the lesson.

* At home, when not going through lessons, I'd watch a sh*tload of Mandarin kung fu dramas. In the beginning
I'd watch them with English subs but concentrate to try to pick up words I recognise. After a while I switched over
to Mandarin subs.

* Oh, and I did more listening as I was falling asleep, by using a sleep timer on my computer.

So, to arrange this chronologically, here's my typical day during my intense CPod period:

* Wake up. Bus ride. Listen to old dialogues and lessons, often half-asleep. Also get a couple of listens to the
lesson begun yesterday.

* 15 minute walk. Shadowing the lesson begun yesterday, rewinding to work through difficult areas.

* At work: During breaks I'd work through my Anki decks (yay for bathroom breaks!). Whilst working I'd listen to
old dialogues and also start listening to today's new lesson.

* 15 minute walk. Again shadow yesterday's lesson. Often make a first attempt at shadowing today's lesson once
or twice.

* 45 minute bus ride. Work through Anki. Listen a bit to old lessons.

* Home again. Get the final few reps of Anki. Work through today's new lesson. Add all the new vocab into Anki.
Make sure I understand the lesson completely. Post a bit on the CPod message boards. Watch kung fu soap
operas until my eyes bleed. Go to bed. Listen to more CPod dialogues as I fall asleep.

Edited by Ari on 25 October 2011 at 4:10pm

38 persons have voted this message useful



jasoninchina
Senior Member
China
Joined 3370 days ago

221 posts - 306 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 19
25 October 2011 at 4:35am | IP Logged 
Thanks for sharing. And welcome back!
1 person has voted this message useful



hkboy
Groupie
Hong Kong
Joined 3815 days ago

65 posts - 86 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Cantonese, Mandarin

 
 Message 3 of 19
25 October 2011 at 4:54am | IP Logged 
Thanks and welcome back Simon! I've missed your posts. Where have you been?

I've been spending a lot of time with Cantonese and really nothing with Mandarin. However, I've still got my subscription to Chinesepod and I'm going to start back at it soon.

Thanks again for the post. How long did you spend at this before you moved up to the Intermediate lessons?


1 person has voted this message useful



Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4721 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 4 of 19
25 October 2011 at 6:32am | IP Logged 
hkboy wrote:
Thanks and welcome back Simon! I've missed your posts. Where have you been?

Playing and designing roleplaying games, and training martial arts, mostly. I can't focus on too many things at once, so when I get a surge in one hobby, another tends to fade out. I haven't been studying languages for many months.

Quote:
Thanks again for the post. How long did you spend at this before you moved up to the Intermediate lessons?

Well, I was pretty comfortable with the Elementary level when I started this, so I got to Intermediate pretty quickly. Then it took me a couple of months before I started adding Upper Intermediate lessons.
1 person has voted this message useful



Elsinore13
Groupie
United States
Joined 3115 days ago

41 posts - 53 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Mandarin

 
 Message 5 of 19
25 October 2011 at 12:48pm | IP Logged 
This post could have come at a better time! I was thinking of dropping C-pod, because (I thought) I wasn't getting enough. Now I realize that I need to dig much deeper into each lesson. I'm anxious to try work some of your tips with my schedule.

Thanks for sharing this!

(I will be sending you a PM)
1 person has voted this message useful



jondesousa
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/Zgg3nRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4403 days ago

227 posts - 297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

 
 Message 6 of 19
25 October 2011 at 3:27pm | IP Logged 
Hi Ari,

Welcome back and thank you so much for this excellent post. This is exactly what I needed. I went through the newbie lessons just listening and reviewing the dialogues and didn't feel much connection with some of the new words here and there.

I'm going to use your method as I think it makes much more sense than how I was using it. It looks like you took a very deep dive at 1 lesson per day. I'm hoping that I can get through 2 a day with as careful an examination but if not, I'll stick to one a day for now.

I sincerely appreciate your help and guidance and it looks like I'm not the only one so hopefully it was time well spent for you.
1 person has voted this message useful



Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4721 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 7 of 19
25 October 2011 at 4:21pm | IP Logged 
jondesousa wrote:
It looks like you took a very deep dive at 1 lesson per day. I'm hoping that I can get through
2 a day with as careful an examination but if not, I'll stick to one a day for now.

Working through one lesson a day was pretty intense for me, but I was mostly working at the Intermediate and
Upper Intermediate levels, where lessons are quite a bit longer. With Newbie lessons two a day should be feasible,
though I never actually used this method when I was there.

Quote:
I sincerely appreciate your help and guidance and it looks like I'm not the only one so hopefully it was time
well spent for you.

Time spent helping is time well spent. :) Just glad my experiences could be of some use to others.
1 person has voted this message useful



jondesousa
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/Zgg3nRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4403 days ago

227 posts - 297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

 
 Message 8 of 19
25 October 2011 at 7:32pm | IP Logged 
Hi Ari,

Much thanks again. I finished about 60 of the Newbie lessons and have only been learning 1-2 new words per lesson now so I am going to jump into the Elementary level now. According to Chinesepod.com, they say that after about 80 lessons at the Elementary level one should start to transition to Intermediate. Since I've been working hard at NPCR on the side, I'm hoping to get through the elementary in about 1-2 months so I can really start the new year in Intermediate and above.

I really appreciate all your help and support and I'm sure others do too.


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 19 messages over 3 pages: 2 3  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.4219 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.