Chinese Resources

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goals for 2012, both the long-term and short-term

With 2012 well underway I suppose it is time to solidify a few of my goals for the year and make them public. For those of you who don't know, I am currently doing a degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at National Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan. The program is very demanding on my time, which means I really need to spend my time outside of studying for my degree very wisely.

Many of my personal goals for Chinese this year are associated with teaching Chinese, so here are my teaching goals for the year.
  1. Find one more student to teach at least once a week, bring my total teaching hours to 6 hours a week outside of school.
  2. Review three grammar points a week from Jianhua Bai's Chinese Grammar Made Easy: 對外漢語語言點教學150例 and be able to comfortably teach all these grammar points to my students.
  3. Finish "studying" 今日台灣, writing one complete lesson plan a month that incorporates a minimum of three teaching methods, two large activities, and a comprehensive way to assess student performance (one lesson completed so far). 
  4. Publish one academic article (or academic review) in the field of CALL research. My research study and first draft should be completed before September 1st.
  5. Start an online Mandarin corner (still a bit fuzzy on how I want to proceed with this goal).
In addition to my goals as a teacher, my overall goal in Chinese is to pass the TOP 流利級 before the end of the year. However I need to have a plan for how to achieve that goal, so here are my goals broken down by the four aspects of language study.
  • Writing: This section is realistically broken into two large sections for me, those being: written Chinese (Chinese characters), and improving my Chinese writing as a whole. I'm a massive user of Skritter and this year I would like to break the 5000 individual Character mark. I plan on doing this by spending a minimum of 20 minutes a day on Skritter and a maximum of one hour on any given day. I'm currently at 3000 characters so I think that this goal should be very achievable. As for improving my Chinese writing this section is divided into literary Chinese and everyday Chinese. My literary Chinese goals are taken care of by school, with weekly reports and summaries of readings. As for everyday Chinese I started the year by telling myself that I would spend 15 minutes a day writing a Chinese journal that I post on my other blog, and also on ChinesePod, but after one month I only completed 15 posts. I've realized that writing about what I did that day is not interesting to me (at all) and I need to focus my efforts. Therefore, much like iLearnMandarn my goal instead is to complete one focused journal entry a week, either following things I'm learning in school, articles I'm reading, or telling a story in as much detail as possible. Given the amount of writing I do for school I'm going to limit this goal to one hour a week of solid writing, and then as many hours as it takes to edit and review my writing as necessary. 

  • Reading: Again school keeps me quite busy on this front. Using last semester as an indicator, on average, I read around 200 pages of academic writing a week. But I need something more in my life, something that feels a little more real and authentic. My long term goals are to read 20 articles pertaining to Computer Assisted Chinese Language Learning (for personal pleasure and not for homework), I've read one so far this year so only 19 to go. My current short-term goals are as follows:
  1. Finish 《安德的遊戲》by March 1st. I'm simply reading for pleasure, so I'm not checking a dictionary, and simply reading for general meaning and gaining understanding through context. As of right now I have 300 pages to go, which means I have to read 10 pages a day... very doable. 
  2. Finish 《大小雞婆》by March 1st. I have 55 pages left in this book, but my process in a little different. For this book I read a single chapter a day (around 5 pages) and look up every word that I don't understand (after an initial reading). This vocabulary is then added to a Skritter study deck with the purpose of committing everything to long-term retention. Once I've completed the entire study deck on Skritter I will re-read the book dictionary free at an undetermined time before year's end. 
  3. Complete 《讀報學華語(一)》by September 1st. Averaging two lessons a month.
  •  Listening: Listening is my strongest skill in Chinese, and my understanding of formal Chinese (in an academic setting) is actually better than my daily listening skills. Therefore, this year is about increasing my input of daily spoken Chinese. I'll be supplementing this process with 5 ChinesePod lessons a week (2 Intermediate, 1 Upper-Intermediate, 1 Advanced and 1 Media). I plan on fully studying the Upper-Intermediate and Advanced lessons, and using the Intermediate and Media lessons simply for listening practices. With all lessons I will be adding them into my Skritter study sessions (but not making them a focus). Whenever I have completed a particular lesson I will use that as a reminder to go back and review the audio once more to test how much I understand. When time permits I also watch the news and watch movies, but being a student this is often the last thing I'm able to do during any given week.
  • Speaking: To be honest I don't have any particular goals for increasing my speaking. I feel that the amount of interaction I have on any given day with my friends (most of which are Taiwanese) and my classmates is enough to further develop my Chinese speaking skills. When I am away from my computer, I very rarely speak English and I have no intention of changing that in the near future. 

Those are my goals for now. As an attempt to keep myself on task I'll be updating and checking in once a month.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see you've outlined a (very ambitious) plan for your time and energy while living in Taipei. It's inspiring to witness your progress.

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