Week #4 Progress Report

on Feb 12, 2015

Left-footed Driver

Well, it’s been an interesting week, and as I’m posting this progress report for Week #4 on Thursday of Week #5, you can probably guess that I’m behind yet again. It took all day Saturday to catch up all of the tasks I had left incomplete for the week.  And now this week, I seem to have made life even a bit more complicated with an ankle injury. Of course, I guess the injury will give me more time for Chinese since I can’t exercise as much, and it also allowed me to renew my love of left-footed driving. I wonder how you say left-footed driver in Chinese.  Anyway, onto Week #4’s Progress Report…

Study 5 Podcasts Per Week

I studied the following podcasts during Week #4, or more correctly, on Saturday of Week #4:

As I said last week, I’m trying to pick more immediately relevant content or content that I think may be important to me during my trip to China this Summer.

Diet Coke should be self-explanatory. Sometimes I need a caffeine fix without all of the stomach churning fructose in a non-diet drink.

I don’t want it? I was amazed at the persistence of local vendors in both Beijing and Hong Kong, and I want to make sure that I reject them firmly but politely.

Hungry Traveler? I’ve eaten chicken’s feet, and once was enough. I’m drilling fèngzhǎo/凤爪 frequently.

The Mobile Repair Man lesson just had some really great, high frequency sentences, and Airplane Arrival involved a lot of language and scenarios Emma and I have been working on the past two weeks.

Daily Reading

I am ashamed to say I failed to do my Daily Reading. It’s time to move my schedule around to fit it in at a better time. When I first devised my study schedule, I spaced some Chinese practice throughout the day, and it seems to be very easy to overlook my Daily Reading time due to it being scheduled after I pick the kids up from school. I think I need to move it to the morning with my flashcard and podcast study time.

Conversation Practice

Noah and I had the chance to speak for a couple of hours in two calls during Week #4. We chatted back and forth about Episode #4 of IPartment, and though I still struggle to speak coherently (who needs grammar anyway), I’m understanding more and more of what Noah is telling me.

Chinese with Emma

Emma and I continued our weekly classes with reviews of Airport and Hotel conversations and expanded a bit into giving and receiving directions. Directions are challenging to me because I usually don’t remember what I’ve been told even in English. It takes a lot of focus not only to understand the Chinese directions but hold onto them long enough to prove I know what they meant.

Spaced Repetition Flashcards

DianHua Flashcard Settings

I added a ton of vocabulary to my list last week by seeding all 5 podcast’s vocabulary along with vocabulary and sentences from Emma all at once. By seeding, I mean that I am forcing DianHua Dictionary to add all of the vocabulary to my spaced repetition study, in one batch. Normally, the number of new vocabulary words is governed by the Max New Per Study Session setting which I would recommend you set between 2 and 10. However, you can increase this number to add a large amount of vocabulary in one study session. So I set it to 1,000, selected the new Intermediate podcast folders (you are using folders, aren’t you), and studied some 200 new entries (sentences and words) in one session. As soon as you’ve seen an entry at least once, DianHua will keep it in your rotation if that folder is selected.

Keep in mind that studying using the Random algorithm will not accomplish the same thing. The statistics for each algorithm are tracked separately so that your SRS learning is not interrupted by a global vocabulary review with the Random option.

Progress Videos

You didn’t think there would actually be anything here, did you?