02 July 2011

Between Semesters

Right now university is between semesters. I expect most students and lecturers are enjoying the winter break. I however, decided to keep learning Mandarin. Right now I have just finished lesson 11 in the New Practical Chinese Reader, Textbook Vol. 1 text that we use. I plan to move on to chapter 12 and 13 before the semester begins. As my course of study is distance and online learning there is an incentive for me to keep learning during my holidays. It makes up for the times I get too lazy  busy at work to do as much as I need to do during the semester. So I am going to keep going with my learn ahead study method. I know of at least one of my fellow students who is also studying Mandarin during the break. Her idea was to go back and translate the vocabulary and sentences for the first 10 chapters. Her plan is to translate from Chinese to English and then back to Chinese. Admirable and ambitious and I wish her well.

This would not suite me as a study method. I would soon get very bored trying to learn every word and sentence that we have already covered. It is unrealistic that students should be expected to learn every single word and sentence of the text.  I tend to be more eclectic in my learning I do not feel the need to learn words that I may not use (now or in the future) or sentences that I would have no need. Believe me there are a lot of them (well IMHO) in the text. So if you find yourself learning foreign languages choose carefully from vocab lists things that you think you will use. Pick and choose what you need from lists.  You will soon get a feel for what is core and what is supplementary in the lists of voc.  

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