It’s time for the first update of my 100 Days of Chinese Challenge. In this post I will tell you what I have been doing and how I have survived these first 10 days. In general, the conclusion is that I have been practicing a lot of Chinese! Let’s see some numbers…
According to these totals I’ve spent an average of 40 minutes a day with my worst day only 2 minutes and my best day 1:48. Listening and reading make up most of my study time in an almost equal proportion. But how have I been spending this time?
My best day of these last 10 days looked like this:
My listening time is spent with a podcast. The podcast I’m working on is from my favorite podcast show called 新闻酸菜馆. I like it because it’s about current affairs and they speak fast, so it’s good practice. The first round of listening is just on the bus or on my bike. The other times are doing the transcription. My speaking time is one-on-one italki with either one of my two teachers.
The way I like to structure this speaking practice is to chat a bit, and then get some help correcting the transcription. After that, I we talk a bit about some of the vocab or phrases that I don’t quite understand. And also, if I have any questions about any of the reading I’ll also use some minutes of the class to ask about it. I’ve found that actually having material ready for the class makes a more efficient use of my time than what I used to do before, which was just chat about a random topic. That’s something that took some time to realize and put into action, but it makes for a more structured use of italki time. If you’ve been feeling like your classes with your teacher aren’t going where you want them to, it’s good to just focus on a material and use that as your class material.
Looking back to the days that I spent very little time on Chinese I notice that what kept me from not spending any time at all was having something available on my phone. In my case it was Skritter and a book on my Kindle app. The lesson to be learned here is that if you’re a busy person and still want to get language learning time into your schedule keep some material handy. Also, if you structure your classes around a material that you choose it’s more probable that you’ll actually study the material, that is, paid classes keep you honest and diligent 😉
Looking ahead I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, maybe schedule a few more classes. Any advice for the days ahead?