Saturday, July 07, 2007

Learning Chinese

Well, my Language Exchange girl dumped me... The funny thing is that I was so enthusiastic about it because I really didn't like her as a person, and I thought that was good because it meant we wouldn't be friends and she wouldn't be easy on me. Also she was always cancelling on the days we were supposed to do English. It was great for me. But apparently she didn't like me, either!

I've been trying to check out some schools for learning Chinese. It's been a little frustrating. I found one place that sounded so great- 2 hrs of class a day, and they use the book I use and have 9 different levels going so I would be sure to find a class that fit my level. I sat in on three different classes and what a mess- the first one used a different book and was well ahead of where I am, but the different book was kind of a self-published thing that didn't have as much of a grammar focus. Which is what I need. Because no matter how many words I learn my grammar is still rubbish. So she sent me across the hall where they were using my book, but I am in Chapter 9 and this class was in Chapter 22. A little ahead of me. So the person who runs the school was like, "Well, we do have a class that uses your book and is on the same chapter as you, so you could try that one..." hmm! But I went to that class and sure enough, it uses the other book. It was at about my level but I sat there for an hour and all we did was talk about out plans for the weekend (in Chinese, but still) and learn the seasons. Which I already knew.

I'm still checking out a few schools but I'm not sure. Some people have a brain that just absorbs language- like a lot of people in my congregation are like, "I went to classes for six months and I hated it; I just need to hear it" but my brain is not like that. I need a class with drills and tests and sentence structures. I like school! But it seems like the schools are not set up like that. In the classes I've seen it's like someone always has a question- how do you say this or that. Which is nice but for me, it can't just be bits and pieces of dialogue, I need a larger framework to fit everything into and that's what a good course would do. And I guess because I am with Chinese people so much it's easy for me to ask how do you say... some common everyday phrase so I don't need to do that in class.

Possibly I will start to do private lessons with the Chinese teacher I have now. If she has time and if she won't be so darn nice to me!

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