Sunday, November 4, 2018

10/15/18 ALESN Mandarin I class -- welcome back after a 2 week Federal Holiday break -- see everyone tonight...

ALESN Mandarin I class -- welcome back after a 2 week Federal Holiday break -- see everyone tonight...

Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 10:50 AM

Hi Gang,

A few things:
  1. Just checking in -- making sure that you have been reviewing the material from the handout we covered 2 weeks ago. Also hoping that each of you has been and will continue to be proactive, exploring various free and low cost independent studies resources online, on YT, checking out Pimsleur Mandarin, etc.
  2. Reminder: RECORD YOUR CLASSES FROM YOUR DESK! Every year I ask my students plainly and simply: HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO LEARN TO SPEAK A BRAND NEW LANGUAGE PROPERLY IF YOU CANNOT LISTEN BACK TO YOURSELF, HEAR WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT AND KEEP THAT, HEAR WHAT YOU ARE DOING WRONG AND FIX THAT, AND IN GENERAL BE ABLE TO CHART YOUR PROGRESS WITH THE WAY THAT THE LANGUAGE SOUNDS? Every year, I ask people this and my students mostly mumble in response -- something to the effect of, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whateverzzzzz." Then, 9 months later, these same students have really, really SHITTY pronunciation -- the kind of pronunciation that a native speaker would need charades or an English translation to understand. Please, for the love of everything that is holy, take me seriously and record your lessons. RECORD YOUR OWN VOICE MAKING MISTAKES EVERY SINGLE WEEK, and then listen back to each lesson, preferably several times, so that you can fix those mistakes. I am really going to drill pronunciation and tones this year, and I am going to seem like an asshole to some of you. Those of you who feel this way will wind up quitting if you don't do whatever you need to do to sound "Chinesey" when you speak Chinese. For the next few weeks, I am going to ask you all over and over AND OVER again to please record your classes. If any of you is not recording and listening back to your lessons and yet is struggling with pronunciation and tones as the weeks go by, you might as well quit my class, because you will be wasting your time and mine. If you are recording and listening back to all of your lessons and STILL struggling with your pronunciation and tones, you will ALWAYS be welcome in my classes, no matter how long it takes you to learn to pronounce Mandarin accurately. Cool? Cool.
  3. In tonight's lesson, we are going to review some basic phrases, maybe repeat the self introductions around the room since it has been 2 weeks, and then begin looking at pronunciation and tones from a general overview perspective, I am also going to take a few minutes to discuss some additional resources that you can all use to supplement your Chinese learning. This is related to # 1 above:
  • Pimsleur Mandarin, Popup Chinese and similar audio and podcast resources
  • Disney and other children's DVDs dubbed into Mandarin with English language subtitles.
  • Researching and finding one or more fun Youtube videos specifically on the bo po mo fo table as well as additional compound final sounds in standard spoken Mandarin Chinese.

Please print out and bring with you the attached documents (the Word doc is from last class). We will be working from the Word document again tonight, and will also touch on the second document as an intro to the more systematic pronunciation approach presented in your actual textbook. I will have copies of these handouts with me tonight, but I need everyone who attended the first class to please bring the handout that you got last time if possible, so we can save paper. Thanks in advance.

Please also either purchase the textbook or confer with your classmates and find a downloadable version by next week. I can tell you that there are multiple sources online of free downloads for the textbook, the audio and even the video that is available for the textbook. I am NOT going to tell you where or how to get a free PDF textbook, but once we are ready to start lesson 1 dialogue 1, I AM going to give you all a link for the University of Rhode Island's Chinese Department's website, where you can download and stream both the audio and complete DVD video for our textbook.

See everyone tonight.


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