Listening from different ‘angles’ to raise your awareness

***Modified on Friday, May 27, 2011 to reflect new resources

To maximize your learning when interacting with any given text (referring to both the audio and the script), it’s important to listen to and read it a number of times, paying attention to different aspects of it each time.

To this end, when I listen to a dialogue from CSLPod, ChineseClass101, ChinesePOD, ChineseLearnOnline, or LingQ, I adhere to the following sequence:

1) I listen to the dialogue without reading to attune my brain to the text aurally first.

2) I listen to the text while reading along in English

3) I listen to the text while reading the pinyin and occasionally looking at the English translation

4) I listen to the text while only looking at the words in the vocabulary list

5) I listen to the text again without reading

6) *I repeat any of the above steps as necessary, time and interest permitting

Because the dialogues, as opposed to the full-length lessons, are relatively short in length (even at upper levels, depending on the site), you can do all of these steps in relatively little time. When you want to listen for a long time and simply expose yourself to a lot of vocab, you just load up your media player with a few hundred dialogues and listen without repeating while reading the English and pinyin script, which you can paste from the lesson notes on the website you’re using into iTunes (refer to

Once you’ve added the lyrics to the audio lessons, you can also view the lyrics on any Apple device (iPod, iPhone, iPad, iDon’tKnow) automatically, or on Android devices using Astro Player.

By following the above steps, you give your brain the chance to interact with the text from many different ‘angles’, thus greatly improving the learning experience.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 昏睡
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 12:47:58

    Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today……………………..


  2. Trackback: Don’t underestimate yourself – stop TRYING to learn and LET your brain do the work « Mandarin From Scratch
  3. Trackback: The Power of Perseverance, or Mind over Method « Mandarin From Scratch

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