Welcome to this update on my 90 days speak Chinese challenge. I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly!
Now the title says ‘final’ update but that is a dirty lie. The study of Chinese has only really begun for me so I will continue to update on my progress, lets give it 6 months. But the official challenge is now over.
Not everything has gone to plan as you will read below but first lets look at the video.
What did you think? Noticeable improvement or not? Be brutally honest and let me know in the comments below.
In case you missed previous posts:
This third and final month has been a tough one as I mention in the video. For the first and second month I felt a constant progression, new words, new sentence structures. But in month 3 this has slowed down.
My days have been busier with other projects and though I was sticking to my regular Chinese practice times, they have not been as focused.
Add to this it seems like where I am now in my learning is that I know a whole lot more and I am recognizing more and more my tonal mistakes. Pretty much every day is realizing more mistakes and cringing at what it must have sounded like to those I was speaking with.
So though I know in the long run this is a good thing, still here in the moment it shatters the idea of getting better as I see now some of my perceived improvement is only because I don’t know how bad I am getting it wrong 🙂
The confidence of a beginner!
So now at the end of this challenge I know for sure that I have instilled a daily habit to study of Chinese. This in itself makes this whole process worthwhile with all the time and effort as habits make or break us.
This habit has been continued after the challenge and I believe in 6-12 months maintaining this habit of study my speaking and understanding can y come together far more impressively.
Really what this time has given me is to be able to identify the requirements of the language, at least at this level. For example I knew of course the importance of tones etc and had studied it.
But now due to the sheer volume of practice I really know what people are getting at. More importantly with the help of my language partners I know how to address this weak part of my speaking.
What Is Next?
Well originally I had planned a mini documentary of my study….I took lots of video and spoke with awesome people all over Taiwan. But…..I just don’t feel good enough yet to release it all.
As you can see from my video with Fiona, my level is still extremely basic.
So now for the next 5 months I am going to go through Glossikas new released 5 month schedule. Glossika typically released their new scheduler just after I finished my challenge 🙂
Using Glossika for this challenge really showed me that it is a method that suits my personality and with the right planning I should be able to get far more out of the method over the next year
I also need to go through Chinese Pods Newbie, Elementary and Intermediate lessons to expose myself to new words and voices as it is easy to get over confident just using one method and growing accustom to one voice
Add to that and most importantly I need to find new people willing to speak to me. I still need to have conversations every day slowly bringing in new subjects.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped me on this challenge. So many people to remember so apologies if I forget anyone.
Firstly Fiona, Gwilym and Constance of Chinesepod.com have been so nice and helpful. Really they are just like you see on the videos so really recommend using their resources as their lessons are really helpful for understanding the details for everyday life stuff, the little details, plus as people they are awesome.
Teacher Scott – Scott is the poor friend of mine I would contact on Line Messenger everyday for a Chinese conversation. He is an American who used to train Martial Arts with me here in Taiwan. But has since returned to America, his speaking is really good and as a foreigner he understands many of the problems I am having in my learning. So massive thanks as he gave me the chance to have a daily conversation even when my other partners were too busy.
Language Partners, big thanks to Ginger, Peggy, Darren, Andrea and a super special thanks to Sunny for showing me around Hualien while breaking the sound barrier on her scooter!
Would I Do Anything Different?
Yes! I would have structured my learning a lot more like Glossika has arranged it in their new scheduler, typical timing that they released that AFTER I finished my challenge 🙂
I found it hard to balance learning new material while getting enough exposure, repetitions of things I knew but didn’t yet own.
This is where the experience of someone who has learned and managed multiple languages would have been very useful.
Add in the time I had to allocate to use the language as the learning and usage have very different mental process.
So yes if I did it again I would seek more assistance from those who had done similar using their experience to try not to reinvent the wheel.
If budget allowed I would also have a daily tutor and perhaps even language partner pre booked or paid for the entire project.
Lastly then I just want to say another thank you to everyone who has helped and also for the more harsh criticism I got in some forums as this also made me think and reassess my approach.
So all feedback is welcome.
As I mentioned earlier this is not the end of my Chinese study it is just the very tip of the iceberg.
I will come back with an update in 6 months and show you my level. Lets hope it is more noticeable!
Now I will bring this post to an end and invite you all to keep an eye on the blog to see what challenge comes next.
Resources For My Challenge
If you want to know more about the resources I used then check out the following list. Notice I have removed the resources that didn’t work for me and only included what I still use right now.
One thing I wanted to make clear is that regardless of the resource there is no progress without actually using the language everyday. So language exchange partners are vital.
Glossika Mass Sentence Training – This is what has made all the difference for me. Using mass sentences allows me to learn lots of new words and easily remember the vocab and the usage. Absolutely ground breaking program from Mike the founder. See my review here.
Chinese Pod – These guys are super awesome. Not only are they as nice and friendly in real life as they appear on their videos but the material is really useful and fills in many of the gaps discovered in daily life. Excellent for understanding how to put it all together.