Archive for the ‘Listening’ Category

Out of the Blue Vocab Trap

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

In this post I offer some data, a little rant, and then three stories all meant to encourage us lǎowài-s 老外 not to give up on listening comprehension. I'm often asked, "Is it harder for you to learn Chinese or for a Chinese person to learn English?" Short answer: I don't know. ...

FluentU – My Review

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

I'm very excited to write about what I consider the coolest new listening and vocab resource on the Internet: FluentU The approach is brilliant in its simplicity: take authentic Chinese videos from YouTube (movie trailers, news stories, music videos, sit coms, etc.) and provide English, Pinyin, and Hanzi subtitles. They're basically answering ...

Eavesdropping is Too Hard

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

[audio:eavesdropping.mp3] One of the first things I noticed upon returning to the USA after my first year in China was: Wow! I can understand strangers' conversations! Many of my English major students get discouraged when they sat in front of two foreigners on the bus and couldn't understand what they were saying ...

Stuff You Might Be Hearing: On the Bus

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

If you've ever ridden on a gōngjiāo chē 公交车 in China, you've heard some variation on these announcements. Even though the audio quality of my cheapo, shānzhài 山寨 MP3 recorder is horrendous, the idea here is: One way to improve listening is to understand every word being said. In this case, that ...

Free Gifts

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Alright, pretend when you read the upcoming pinyin you're really listening to a shopkeeper in Guangzhou. I was shopping for Shèngdàn lǐwù 圣诞礼物 in a big shopping mall in Guangzhou. I found a little silk scarf I was considering and the shopkeeper came over to convince me it was exactly what ...