Hacking Chinese (my new favorite Chinese website) launched a challenge that I’ve decided to participate in.
I’m usually pretty good with challenges like these because there are people holding me accountable and if I have a clear goal I can stay on track. Since I’m home, without a lot of money, and waiting for my visa to go back to China, this seemed like a perfect time for a challenge.
In one month I will review all the words on HSK Lists 1 to 3. This is a total of 568 words. I want to spend at least an hour everyday studying. I want to make sure I follow Olle’s rules for the challenge. Especially rule #1 - ‘If you fail a review, you’re not allowed to review that card again until you’ve dealt with it actively. You have two options: either you stop reviewing and deal with the failed card immediately or you remove the card from the review card and deal with it later’. In the past I have moved cards I’ve forgotten to new lists. What I didn’t do was try to learn it again by thinking up a new mnemonic device or learn the component parts. I’m excited about trying this method.
Is this realistic?
During my semester at Jiao Tong University I learned these characters. Unfortunately many have disappeared. I was trying to learn too many at one time. Sometimes I had 30 new words to learn every night. We moved quickly and as a beginner it took longer for the characters and strokes to stick. Now I’m able to learn new characters much quicker. I also haven’t used them or reviewed them very often since the semester ended.
I will continue to try Skritter for 2 weeks but even with the discount I’m not sure I want to pay $10 / month. I do see some benefits to Skritter and since I’ve only used it for a couple days I shouldn’t judge it yet. Stay tuned….
Before I start I’m going to go through the lists on Pleco and delete ones I absolutely, 100% use and remember. 你，我，八，是，etc.
Why is writing important to me?
I get this question a lot. ‘Isn’t speaking more important?’ Sure, speaking is important and one of my biggest weaknesses (I am in desperate need of a grammar challenge). But I really like writing. It’s enjoyable, relaxing, and provides immediate rewards. It feels amazing to be able to write a character I couldn’t write when I started. It also helps my reading. I’ve noticed that I can read the characters much better that I’ve learned to write than the ones I don’t know how to write. Many characters have only a small difference from one to another. If you’ve never studied Chinese you probably wouldn’t be able to recognize the differences.
Other ways I’ll be studying
I won’t only be concentrating on writing for the next month. I will still have my tutor every week. I would also like to go back and review grammar basics. For listening I’ll be watching movies (especially short ones on FluentU) and listening to Pop Up Chinese.
After this month
I’d like to start on the HSK 4 list but I need to see where I’m at with my studying first. During this challenge I will still be working with my tutor every week and learning new words with her. After this challenge I hope to be back at University and I’ll probably need to focus on all the new vocabulary since it moves so quickly.
I’m excited about this challenge. This is just the push I need to get back into it! 加油！