Method:”active listen in down time + fun Hanzi

This method tries to go for easy/fun/usefulness

usefulness aspect: finding a way to do somthing useful through your L2 studies, this gives a pleasurable feeling so its kinda like fun but not so giddy.

For listening/Speaking

When ever you are doing something that does not require your ears and eyes like eating a meal or washing dishes or walking or waiting in line for something. Anything that on its own is boring, find a way to have L2 video/audio playing at the same time. And it doesn’t have to be the coolest thing ever, it just has to be more interesting that the boring thing you have to do anyway. I noticed that when I got home form studying one day I was eating lunch and didn’t really feel like doing anything at that exact moment. Like I didn’t feel like surfing the net or anything, I was just eating and relaxing so I through on a random Chinese drama and it held my attention for 10 min without being a strain. If I can do this for three meals a day that’s 30min minimum of semi-active listening that took little out of me. If I was at school and was talking a break from studying I would probably get another 10min in at least before getting bored. After a workout when I just want to chill, maybe another 10 -15 min there. These are times in the day, spaced out so the frequency rule from ajatt would apply as well. As long as the video has some kinda story you can follow it should hold your attention for a bit, once it can’t or you feel like doing something else stop watching and just keep it on in the background.

Add to this memorize a few set phrases you can say to any L2 natives you come across or find through skype for some speaking practice that should be kind of fun.

For Reading/Writing

My biggest mistake in learning Chinese may have been to try to do 50 Hanzi per day. It was an awful experience and left my motivation scarred. However I learned from it and now I think I have a better Idea of how to go about this part of the langauge. Someone on the Ajatt website commented that when learning Kanji its best to forget about the number of kanji you need and find a way to enjoy the journey. Sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t like to get the things you really like or need. Learning a language for the soul purpose of liking how it sounds or liking the culture is not one of those times where you should sacrifice present enjoyment. This is because the goal of the language is enjoyment of the language itsself and so its hard to do it in an unenjoyable way for 2 years and then say ok now I can enjoy it. You have to enjoy it from the get go. You have to make small mini winnable games out of it so your always enjoying it and never being discouraged. So I do kinda think RTK can be a good way to learn it IF you do it the way Ajatt describes and use crayons to draw some of them or make some of them rhyme and make the stories outrageous. AND I will add to that, don’t try to do to much to fast. Even the funnest video game will become a pain if you try to play it for hours upon hours. Also most cheesy games are fun if you play them just once. I will try 20 Hanzi per day doing them all in really fun ways and trying to enjoy them for what they are and maybe even doing extra research on each one or taking a look at the calligraphy. I’ll just make sure I enjoy every second I’m doing them.

At the same time I might start getting some Chinese language manga.

Once I have enough Hanzi I will start adding personal development and philosophy quotes translated into Chinese or from Chinese writers into my SRS. This is the usefulness aspect of the method and it is discussed in more detail in AJATT “why the way we read sucks posts” Aswell I will start reading the subtitles on any Chinese video I watch.

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