Sunday, February 12, 2012

Update on China Preparations

So, the kids are doing great with the Fluenz program.  There are a total of 75 lessons (Mandarin Levels 1, 2, 3) and they have almost completed all of them.  Plus, they seem to be retaining it well and their pronunciation is very good.  Stacie and I are in the twenties somewhere, so we have a lot of work to do, but we are having a great time with it.  For myself, I am plugging away at the Beginning Mandarin class here at SUU.  Professor Xiao is such a great teacher and her enthusiasm is unmatched.  As a foreign speaker, she says many things that I find incredibly endearing.  For example, after a student answers a question well, she will say "Ah, you are so clever!"  Also, when calling on people, she'll say "Yes, you the beautiful girl in the front."  Just a really sweet lady.  She is apparently going back to Changsha at the same time I will be arriving, so it will be nice to have my lǎoshì (teacher) with me while I am there.  The pinyin is going fine.  I have no trouble with remembering the pinyin words that I am learning and the pronunciation seems to be going ok.  The real difficulty is remembering the simplified Chinese characters.  Professor Xiao will write things on the board and we are supposed to remember what they mean, but honestly I don't.  I've made flash cards and hopefully that will help.

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