Saturday, January 30, 2010

students of AUA Thai use ALG method

While I have searched for blogs or experiences of students at AUA, I could not find any good ones through my own Google searches. But they do exist! And finally a good one has turned up. It was there all along but still it does not come up in my searches. Shame on Google! Searches always turn up with so many results that have very little to do with what you searched on. Google is not magic. Google doesn't have all the answers, and it certainly doesn't always give you the best results.

Thankfully we do have a nicely documented case of an AUA Thai student who progressed through 1500 hours in the ALG course. His name is Dan. Every month he wrote one post to document his progress and describe his level. If you are interested, you should read it. I'm going to quote some of the most interesting things he wrote. Outside of class he would speak Thai only when he knew how to speak without making up sentences. He started out attending about 5 hours a day (25 hours per week).

He attended from the end of August 2006 until March 2008.

-- Begin Quoted Text --

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

China is bigger than you think

The global recovery has only just begun and China is already nearing the top of some categories. With a population 10 times bigger than Japan's, China must have not reached even a quarter of its potential.

China Dethrones Germany as Top Goods Exporter JANUARY 6, 2010
China took over the mantle of the world's top merchandise exporter from Germany in 2009, according to the latest figures, aided by a global economic crisis that has taken a greater toll on other trading powers. 
China in 2007 overtook Germany as the world's third-largest national economy, and is on track to soon surpass Japan to become the second-largest economy after the U.S.

And today from this article, Japan's exports grow for first time in 15 months, 27 January 2010
The Japanese finance ministry said China had now overtaken the US as Japan's largest overseas market.
China is also on the verge of overtaking Japan as the world's second largest economy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

how many hours does it take to learn a language?

Did you ask yourself that question? Did you even stop to think about it before you jumped into learning Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or whatever language you are learning? How many hours is it going to take to learn a new language?

There are more people who know WHEN they want to be able to speak a second language than those who know how long it takes to reach that point. They want to speak NOW.  Or they say want to reach basic fluency by New Years. But they haven't even researched how much time it takes.

If you don't know how much time is required to reach your goal, how do you know if you are putting in enough time each week to reach it by your desired date?

Do not most language learners underestimate the amount of time necessary to learn a language? After all, it is not an endless process. Not being able to see the end in sight is a sure way to lose your passion. It leads to lost motivation and time spent away from doing what it is you need to do to learn that language.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

perfect pronunciation in Japanese

I just found this video on YouTube of a Chinese-speaker introducing herself in Japanese. She says she started learning Japanese in Jr. High and she has lived in Japan for over 12 years.

Friday, January 15, 2010

the ultimate Japanese language test

There is a Japanese test for Japanese people that has 7 different levels. 3 are elementary levels, and 2 each of intermediate and advanced levels. The elementary levels are at elementary school level. The intermediate levels are junior high and high school level. The two advanced levels are college and adult level. See the embedded spreadsheet below for a summary. I created it from one of their documents.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

800 hours TV method Chinese

I am writing this post to mark the point of 800 hours viewing Chinese TV dramas. All this means is that I have watched eight hundred hours of made-for-TV dramas in the Chinese Mandarin language.

And is it working? Yes, I am increasingly getting better at following the language and understanding more and more of what is actually being said. I am picking up more vocabulary as well.

Where was I a year ago? Well, let's see...

Friday, January 01, 2010

happy new year

Well, it's a new year, so happy new year! And it's a new decade, so happy new decade! Let's take a look at what the future holds for this language extremist.

I'm starting the year off with over 750 TV method hours under my belt. Those are hours watching Chinese TV dramas. I shall continue this method for the entire year at a rate of about 3 hours per day. When possible, I try to squeeze in an extra hour. My target is to reach 2,000 hours. I probably won't make that by the end of the year, but then again, it is possible. I will begin speaking Chinese when I feel I am ready. Whether that actually happens before the 2,000 hour mark or after, I don't know...