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Studying of chinese: Guide and Technique (Second Edition)

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  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Original Thread expired, so i have decided to revive it, change some and add new stuff...

       

      Ok i admit, for many of you, studying of chinese is hell, or even nightmare for some. When i was a sec sch or JC student, i have seen many students crying over it.


      Now i have produced a guide to make your studying of chinese better, more fun and maybe improve your results!

      For "all" (weaker/stronger) students

      Improve the basics of a language:vocabulary and understanding

      following extract taken from "H1 chinese" thread which i have suggested to one of our fellow forumnite:

      when i say "read" newspaper, not just read thru, flip it and forget abt it. at the end of the day, u will still forget. My suggestion is that, take a notepad and a pen with u, when u are reading newspaper and see a word that u nvr seen before or u dun understand, write it down in your notepad. do this for every article you read in your newspaper. when u finished reading the newspaper, take a chinese dictionary and check out all the words u do not know. rmb the hanyupinyin and zhao ju of the words (if ur dictionary has it), write down everything.

      Doing the above will help a lot. I myself have used this method and my chinese improved by leaps and bounds.

      As you all know that reading and understanding is the key to improving English language, same goes for chinese (Chinese is also a language!), reading more chinese books will help in your general overall understanding in chinese and you will find that you will not stumble that much when you read chinese passages and exam questions.

      For a start, read short stories ( or what u call, "散文 san3 wen2" ). These stories are actually short, but very interesting and yet easily understood. i recommend local chinese author books for a start.

      Common problem in chinese:

      For composition, with many years being a student, one of the major problem is "错别字 cuo4 bie2 zi4" (wrong words). Due to the little more "complexity" in chinese language, this problem is sometimes unavoidable, even for stronger students.

      One of the solution to address this problem, what i suggest is, greatly expand your "bank" of vocabulary in chinese words (see the above paragraph in red). With a greater bank of chinese words, you will be able to differentiate the different kind of words used for different things. Many students actually can write beautiful composition, but due to too much cuo4 bie2 zi4, many marks are lose and a A grade compo becomes a B grade compo.

      DONT RELY ON YOUR DICTIONARY DURING COMPOSITION EXAMS! (paper 1)

      you can ask me, then why the hell we are allowed to bring dictionary into the exam hall for?

      Bear in mind that, dictionary is there to help you with occasional " forgetfulness " , it is not your "literature" passage!

      Use the dictionary only after u have finished writing your composition. This will prevent you from losing your train of thoughts. Leave spaces for words that you do not know so that you can check them later, not flipping here and there duing the exams!

      Check your sentence structure, tell youself whether it makes sense or not. If not, change it! change to something which you understand. If you do not understand, then i dont think your teachers will understand it too!

      Use idioms in your chinese composition. I know weaker students may find it hard to do so, but chinese idioms are taught since primary school, so actually in my opinion, there is no excuse for you not to use. Use of idioms, even very simple ones, will improve your overall mark of your compositon.

      Choosing the topics to write:
      Generally, for secondary schools and Junior college (H1, H2 chinese), topics are generally classified into two types:

      1. Narrative topics
      2. Argumentative topics (Famously known as: 报章报道 Bao4 zhang1 bao2 dao3.......)

      So which one to choose and write?

      1. If you are full of imagination and your chinese writing skills is good (know how to use a lot of idioms and descriptive words), go for narrative type of questions. Narrative questions are easier to "go out of topic" so do be careful.

      2. If you read a lot of newspaper and is very well informed by current affairs and stuff, go for arugmentative topics.If you know how, you can also use a lot of idioms, descriptive words in arugmentative type of questions. Arugmentative essay are harder to go out of topic because you basically have to just deal with and debate about the topic thats all, unless you purposely write something out of point.

      I will recommend arugmentative essays for weaker students because it would be easier. Why? As you all know more China students are studying here, they are taking the same chinese paper as us (if we do not talk about higher chinese, even so they have to take the ordinary chinese paper first). (Most of us have to take O level chinese, they too). To them, our O level chinese is actually very, very simple for them (if you get a chance to look at the chinese papers they do, you will really understand why). As narrative essay requires huge amount of vocabulary to make it "shine", they certainly do have the required condition to excel well in this area and honestly not many local students can do this.

      So you can ask me, is it really that difficult to score As with China students around? Absoulely not. Remember, there is something called arugmentative essay. So far, topics that are set are all based on local affairs. As a Singaporean, you should be well informed and know a lot more on local affairs than a foreign student Wink. Thats where you can score.

      For formal and informal letter (Famously known as 公函 gong1 han2 and 私函si1 han2, applicable for secondary school):

      Informal letter: less memorisation of letter format but more creativity in content needed to score higher marks.

      Formal letter: More memorisation of letter format but less emphasis in content (actually, if you ask me, the content are literally "dead" (means, all are about the same!))

      Weaker students, choose gong1 han2. It is "dead" stuff and you can score marks by memorising!!!

      For stronger students, you may want to choose si1 han2 if you are thinking of scoring "rocket high" marks for this section. However, as i say again, watch out for "out of topic" danger. It can make your "rocket" reach your destination or explode anytime.

      PAPER 2:

      I am not very sure how has chinese exam's format changed now but i am pretty sure that for secondary school chinese, no more memorising of "汉字 han4 zi4" is needed. i will just touch on the techniques for cloze passage and comprehension.

      Cloze passage:
      (more to be added on)


      For Stronger students

      Keen to improve your chinese to the next level? Try these:

      If you listen to chinese pop songs, why not learn from the lyrics and how they write?
      Copy down the words or descriptive phrases that you think has made an impression on you.
      If you are not sure what that phrase means exactly, use a dictionary to help you!

      after copying, try to apply it in your everyday school work composition excerise! During my secondary school days, i copied down one of the phrases from Jay Chou's lyrics and applied it in my composition. My teacher was very impressed (probably he didnt listen jay chou's song) and got a good grade for it.

      If you read 四大名著 si4 da4 ming2 zhu4 (i will strongly recommend you to read at least one, with 西游记 xi1 you2 ji4 being one of the easier to understand), learn from their style of writing. True, sometimes the way it is written is very "chim" but do consult your teachers or friends if you do not know or understand any part. Or alternatively, read those 简化版 "jian3 hua4 ban3" (simplified version), it is easier to understand, after that then you proceed to read those written in original verse.

      If si da ming zhu bores you, why not try 武侠小说 wu3 xia2 xiao3 shuo4, especially by 金庸 jin1 yong1. Quite interesting, though i have not really finished reading one (i prefer san wen and short stories), and it will surely enriches your knowledge of chinese vocbulary.

      Edited by hiphop2009 19 Nov `08, 11:06PM
  • Moderator
    eagle's Avatar
    23,316 posts since Aug '01
    • ok... when I have time, I add to OnlineRevision blog...

      Btw, should I combine revision notes and solutions into one site, or split into two?

      Combining into one site can have a all-in-one, one-stop site for everything related to studies, but it makes the site much larger and harder to navigate as a information resource site

  • tinuviel07's Avatar
    4,066 posts since Oct '07
    • i for one think it's very sad when students nowadays don't care about chinese anymore.. especially with the way they are teaching primary school kids.. no idea how chinese would be in the future

  • diablo4343's Avatar
    277 posts since Jun '06
  • SBS n SMRT's Avatar
    4,506 posts since Mar '08
    • Possible domains of essay

      1. Argumentative essay

      Do not try to attemp this type of questions except that you had a form of exceptional mastery of the various way to state your thesis and you had enough statistics to back up your points. However, a well attemped essay will score high grades.

      2. Narrative essay

      A "can do" type of essay, must had strong vocabulary, if you could use terms like 种豆得豆,种瓜得瓜 OR 三人行必有我师焉, it is a go ahead. However, if your linkages or volcabulary is superficial, do not try to attemp this type. Also, if a well attemp essay is given, high scoring is possible.

      3. Newspaper report.

      For this domain, it is the format that counts, contents could be not so professional, but an overall well structured essay would have a good impression in the examiner, thus, for weaker students, this is what you should attemp.

  • Maith's Avatar
    3,082 posts since Dec '07
    • sigh..sian,my chinese oso get B4,tmr retaking. Anyway,what's the format for newspaper report? And how the qn is usually like?

  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Originally posted by tinuviel07:

      i for one think it's very sad when students nowadays don't care about chinese anymore.. especially with the way they are teaching primary school kids.. no idea how chinese would be in the future


      Till date (ok, maybe i old fashion thinking), i still think memorising is still a good way to learn chinese.

      The solution and method that is used to teach chinese in primary school now, i think is evolved in such a way that it is to get kids to be interested in chinese first, then you learn it.

      no choice la, you no have ang moh, u cannot pass. u no have chinese, still have chinese B. HAHA.

       

  • validation's Avatar
    47 posts since Jan '08
    • higher chinese paper 2 cloze passage

      is crazy!

       

      syllabus has changed tremendously.

      last time there was tien3xie2han4zi4,

      at least that one can memorise

      and get guarenteed marks.

       

      now, you can't really memorise.

      it's all base on how much u read

      and how much u know.

       

      sigh, education system in singapore

      getting more and more jia lut...

       

      =(

  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Originally posted by validation:

      higher chinese paper 2 cloze passage

      is crazy!

       

      syllabus has changed tremendously.

      last time there was tien3xie2han4zi4,

      at least that one can memorise

      and get guarenteed marks.

       

      now, you can't really memorise.

      it's all base on how much u read

      and how much u know.

       

      sigh, education system in singapore

      getting more and more jia lut...

       

      =(

      i tot cloze passage is something that most pple prefer?

  • MrSean's Avatar
    186 posts since May '08
    • Originally posted by hiphop2009:

      i tot cloze passage is something that most pple prefer?


      You must be mad! The cloze passage is where the teachers are allowed to bombard students with unknown words! There is no recommended reading list, you just have to HOPE that you've read all the words before. (More often than not, you just have to guess your way through the cloze passage because many students simply do not have a vocabulary of a range wide enough to likely encompass all, if any, of the words. Even students highly skilled at Chinese often have to guess their way through a few words. Unless you're a Chinese national of course.)

  • SBS n SMRT's Avatar
    4,506 posts since Mar '08
    • Originally posted by MrSean:


      You must be mad! The cloze passage is where the teachers are allowed to bombard students with unknown words! There is no recommended reading list, you just have to HOPE that you've read all the words before. (More often than not, you just have to guess your way through the cloze passage because many students simply do not have a vocabulary of a range wide enough to likely encompass all, if any, of the words. Even students highly skilled at Chinese often have to guess their way through a few words. Unless you're a Chinese national of course.)

      There is a recommanded reading list, is just you do not know

  • syncopation_music's Avatar
    789 posts since Nov '05
    • i believe you have to start from other sources also

       

      get chinese newspaper and get them read to read and you explain

      forms part of chinese learning in depth

       

       

  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Originally posted by MrSean:


      You must be mad! The cloze passage is where the teachers are allowed to bombard students with unknown words! There is no recommended reading list, you just have to HOPE that you've read all the words before. (More often than not, you just have to guess your way through the cloze passage because many students simply do not have a vocabulary of a range wide enough to likely encompass all, if any, of the words. Even students highly skilled at Chinese often have to guess their way through a few words. Unless you're a Chinese national of course.)


      nah i am not a chinese national. As you said, not enough vocabulary is the key to getting stuck in cloze passage. Even chinese nationals would get stucked in some cloze passages. haha~ 

  • Moderator
    eagle's Avatar
    23,316 posts since Aug '01
  • Mospeada's Avatar
    46,919 posts since Feb '03
    • chinese?

       

      no need to study one lah...

      jut watch more tv programs can liao

       

      that was what i did

  • SBS n SMRT's Avatar
    4,506 posts since Mar '08
    • Originally posted by Mospeada:

      chinese?

       

      no need to study one lah...

      jut watch more tv programs can liao

       

      that was what i did

      U try not studying for ANYTHING and see what grades u will get, chinese need studying, trust me, newspapers and all other releated resources.....must

  • Mospeada's Avatar
    46,919 posts since Feb '03
    • Originally posted by SBS n SMRT:

      U try not studying for ANYTHING and see what grades u will get, chinese need studying, trust me, newspapers and all other releated resources.....must

      for my o level, i din study chinese...and i still scored A1 icon_redface.gif

  • biqi's Avatar
    68 posts since Jan '09
    • How about learning chinese in internet?? any suggestion which web can help me improve english??

  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Originally posted by Mospeada:

      for my o level, i din study chinese...and i still scored A1 icon_redface.gif


      different pple different method. All goes to the foundation and strength. If you built a strong foundation in the language, you watch chinese programme, do some genereal reading and writing will help you a lot. But if you are weaker in foundation, then all goes back to the basics of trying to get things right.

    • Originally posted by eagle:

      I put this in examworld Notes section hor


      okie!

  • PwnYou's Avatar
    116 posts since Sep '07
  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Originally posted by PwnYou:

      sian, a level chinese results just out, i only got C


      H1 chinese?

  • PwnYou's Avatar
    116 posts since Sep '07
  • SBS n SMRT's Avatar
    4,506 posts since Mar '08
    • Originally posted by Mospeada:

      for my o level, i din study chinese...and i still scored A1 icon_redface.gif

      HCL or CL, CL i also dun study much and get A1 with distinction in oral/aural

  • Moderator
    hiphop2009's Avatar
    6,606 posts since Jan '06
    • Originally posted by SBS n SMRT:

      HCL or CL, CL i also dun study much and get A1 with distinction in oral/aural


      probably you have a good foundation in it.

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