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Months 13 to 18 – Study 8000 Chinese Sentences
CHINESE IN 18 MONTHS
For intermediate learners with at least 12 months experience of focused and continuous Mandarin Chinese study, break free from the dull textbooks and monotonous flashcards and blast your Chinese to the next level. No matter if you have been following the PAVC series as described in the Speak Mandarin Chinese in 18 Months course or have studied Chinese using different material over a period of time, you will have build up a strong foundation of thousands of Traditional Chinese characters and more than 3000 Chinese sentences that you use in your daily communication with Chinese speakers. With this solid basis in mind, I aim to show you how you can stop using your textbooks, pass on your old flashcards to beginner learners, and significantly improve your Chinese in just 6 months using the enormous amount of sentences found in a small inexpensive book. By reading this article and applying the techniques found within you cannot fail but: improve your speaking skills quicker than simply studying from a textbook in class, learn more useful everyday common phrases than those often found in textbooks or made up on your own, enhance your ability to understand Chinese and be able to swiftly translate Chinese sentences to English and vice versa, and develop your time-management skills to make the most of your study periods.
This 6 Month Chinese Program is Ideal for Students who…
- Have already studied or been studying Mandarin Chinese for at least 12 months: a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Chinese, such as understanding and correctly using the four tones as well as other speaking rules, is essential. Therefore, this 10,000 sentence method is not suitable for beginners.
- Can write or at least recognize more than 2,000 Traditional Chinese characters: this sounds like a lot but is normal after a year of studying and is essential for studying this book otherwise you will be constantly looking up words in a dictionary.
- Can easily understand and put basic sentence patterns into practice: it is enough to understand basic sentence patterns and be able to think of their English equivalent. It is even better if you are able to take an English sentence and come up with more than one way to translate into Chinese while conveying the same tone and meaning.
- Is able to spend at least 2 hours every day for purposeful practice: without daily practice, this method will not be effective. Try to set aside a few hours each day for purposeful Chinese practice, especially speaking, to give yourself the best chance of improving your Chinese.
- Is confident enough to record and listen back to their own voice: this method requires the daily use of a voice recorder. Don’t worry if you hate the sound of your own voice because this will pass over time and you will be glad that you got over this fear due to the confidence you now have to speak in public.
- Wants to make a real effort to become proficient at speaking Chinese: a strong desire to learn is necessary if you are to stay motivated throughout the 6 months. There will be times you don’t feel like practicing so it’s important to always have your reasons for learning and sense of achievement it will bring in the back of your mind.
10,000 Chinese Sentences
8000 Chinese Sentences
Brian Foden, a professional ESL teacher with more than ten years experience of teaching English in Taiwan, released this book called 史上最強的英語會話8000, and is aimed at teaching Taiwanese English students 8000 of the most commonly used English phrases. For around $10, you get a small yet thick 720-page book plus a handy audio CD of the entire book split up into separate MP3 files and totals around 14 hours playing time. The book includes 16 units altogether, covering a variety of life situations and scenarios as well as offering varying degrees of sentence length and difficulty.
This is a useful book for learning Mandarin Chinese because:
- the Chinese sentences use up-to-date terms and phrases
- it contains the English translation for every sentence
- the audio CD uses a native Chinese speaker for the Mandarin sentences
- it’s easy to carry. The audio files are even easier to carry!
- it’s easy to find specific phrases for each situation you find yourself in
Learning Chinese Study Plan
To complete the book within 6 months, you will aim to complete 45 sentences per day on average. Since each chapter does not contain exactly 45 sentences, you can balance this out by doing more or less each day so that you get an average of 45. On days when you study less than 45 sentences, you can occupy your free time with some other practice, for example listening to your recordings or the audio CD. Reading 45 sentences to yourself or out loud will probably take less than 10 minutes, including time for you to search any new characters in your dictionary. Therefore, you have plenty of time to go back through and reinforce each sentence several times.
Recording Your Voice
It is essential that you record yourself speaking Chinese. Recording your own voice not only gives you more practice at speaking Chinese and helps to improve recall for all that you have learned. Don’t worry about speaking too slowly or making mistakes. When you get better, you can always go back and rerecord the lessons at a more fluent speed if necessary. This is a fantastic way to measure your progress and gives you that extra bit of motivation needed to continue your studies. With your sentence book in hand, grab your voice recorder or use a smartphone app and begin recording.
Recall Chinese Easily
You should listen and practice with your new recording within two days of making the audio file. This gives your brain the best chance of making lasting connections for easy recall later. It will also better prepare you for the next lesson.
Daily Chinese Writing Practice
Writing Chinese sentences every morning helps reinforce the sentences that you have just recently learned. Additional benefits of writing Chinese include:
- improved hand muscle memory so that writing becomes second nature
- improved speaking, listening, understanding, typing, and reading skills
- improved concentration, which helps with memorization and recall
- improved health and well-being
If you are following the 45 sentences per day rule above then it’s possible that you will be able to complete all 45 sentences in less than 2 hours, depending on the sentence length, the number of new characters you need to look up, and how fast you can write. This means that if you are practicing every day, by the end of the year you will have completed all 8000 sentences. Keep a dry erase roll handy just in case I need it. Even native Chinese speakers forget characters sometimes.
Included Audio CD
The audio CD that accompanies this book is incredibly useful. It contains all the sentences from every chapter split up into the convenient bite-sized topics. For each sentence, the English part is spoken first followed by the Chinese translation. This is good for Chinese learners because you can pause the CD once the English has been said and try to think of the Chinese translation. Then simply play the CD again to check your answer as well as your pronunciation. What’s more the native speaker uses Chinese at a natural pace, giving you many hours of real-world practice. The CD can be listened to on its own or while reading the sentences in the book.
Summary of 6 Months Learning 8000 Chinese Sentences
Dear fellow Chinese students, I wish to congratulate you for congratulate you for your efforts in becoming a skillful user of the Mandarin Chinese language. This tough yet rewarding 6 month journey, or 18 months if you are following the full 18 month course, has given you the expertise necessary to handle any situation that forces you to use Chinese, and even be able to add some humor. Continuing the habit of daily practice is helping to embed in your mind all that you learn, which allows you to speak, read, write, and understand naturally with no mental blocks. I urge you to continue practicing Chinese in all forms so that you will become a confident, fluent Chinese speaker.
18 Month Chinese Study Plan & Timescales
Months 1 to 6
PAVC books 1 & 2
1 lesson per week
Months 7 to 12
PAVC book 3
1 lesson per fortnight
Months 13 to 18
8000 sentences book
45 sentences per day