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A few modifications to the lesson Exercises


#1

First of all, I want to say great job on the exercises you make along with your lessons. I’m really a hands-on type of learner, so the exercises give me a place to apply any new knowledge the lesson taught me. After doing a few of the exercises, I feel like there’s some small changes that can be made in order for your students to get more out of them. I’m going to leave some here and hope this can spark some ideas from other users to help you make them even more awesome.

1.) I think the best part is Dictation. They are usually new sentences NOT from the dialogue that use new vocabulary and/or grammar learned from the lesson. However, it would be nice if those same sentences (that we literally transcribed just moments before) were NOT recycled in the Multiple Choice section.

2.) I feel like the Multiple Choice section sometimes has the same answers over and over. I understand if it’s a scenario where you have 2 grammar structures or something, and you are doing an “A vs B” style of teaching. If that’s the case, maybe that section can be titled as such (i.e. 才 vs 就,短 vs 低 vs 矮, or something) and only have those specific options as answers so we can pay attention to the fact that you’re teaching us their differences via these multiple choice questions. If there aren’t any contrasting words/grammar points in the lesson, I think multiple choice would be better off as just “random” things.

3.) Sentence Re-ordering… ok… here we go. This one I’m actually not fond of at all. I sometimes just skip it, and it makes me sad to look at my really bad score at the end. To me, the problem isn’t the activity itself, but the number of sentences or length of the chain we have to connect. I think this could be improved by breaking the dialogue down into groups of maybe 3 or 4 sentences. After all, I feel like the point of this exercise is to recognize the cohesion of grammar, vocabulary, emphasis, or simply the language as a whole. Like the Multiple Choice suggestion, I think breaking it down to smaller groups of sentences will help communicate to the learner “these go in this order, this is why, and why it’s important you notice “X” grammar point, “X” vocabulary used, etc”.

4.) Alternate Sentence Re-ording Activity- So instead of Re-ordering multiple sentences to make a paragraph, what about re-ordering words/phrases to make a sentence? This isn’t a terribly radical/new idea of an exercise, as I’ve seen it in plenty of other books and lesson materials for multiple languages. I find this kind of exercise very helpful to identify subjects, predicates, modifiers, etc., which is sometimes challenging in Chinese as the sentences get longer and longer. I personally would prefer this option in modifying the Sentence Re-ordering section over my previous suggestion above(#3).

@HelloChinesePod (I hope that’s the correct mention for ChinesePod as a whole) I think your lesson structure is great, and the teachers are top notch. I’m coming up at the end of my first month and think I’ll re-subscribe. Keep up the great work and I look forward to what you put out next.


#2

Hi @FangXu it’s great to hear from you and review your suggestions for the lesson exercises. I am pretty guilty of not utilizing the lesson exercises myself but I have gone over a few and it seems like it could be a good review. I’m in the process modifying my study routine to try and add the exercises, sadly I’m not a full-time student so my study time each day is pretty limited andI have to try and find the most efficient and effective methods.

One thing that I recently started was listening to the vocab review and found that the new sentences used were a nice change since they were not from the original dialogue. It’s great that it gives you time to try to think of how the example should be said in Mandarin before they provide the correct response.


#3

I think point 4 in FangXu’s points above is a great idea. individual sentence order is one of my biggest challenges and it would be great to get some practice where the examples are pitched specifically for the degree of lesson difficulty ie elementary examples for elementary lessons etc.