Hello, I'm Carmel.

Learn Chinese Online Forums Member Introductions Hello, I'm Carmel.

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    I live in an isolated rural area in Australia. In 2006 I was invited to tag along on a business trip to China. After sitting through hours of meetings that were all in Mandarin, I decided it would be an amazing language to learn!
    I started with the Pimsleur course which I really enjoyed. I then did 5 semesters as an external student at a university. I did a lot of reading and writing, some listening, and almost no speaking while at uni, so I gave that up and didn’t go back to complete the 3 year course. Instead, I found ChineseLearnOnline. Of course I was able to rush through the first 100 or more lessons, but they then became very challenging. I have been doing them now for more than 3 years, and they have really helped my listening and speaking skills. I do a lot of shadow talking with the dialogues. I’m up to lesson 397, but I don’t have much time to study at the moment, so it takes me ages to do each lesson. However I really love having it there to do whenever I have a spare moment, and I will get to lesson 420! I think I will then move onto Chinese newspapers. I also like reading easy Mandarin novels, and talking with Chinese friends on Skype.

    Adam (Admin)

    Thanks! Pimsleur was one of the influences for the CLO course, as I really liked their progressive method.

    Wow, that’s very impressive that you’ve almost made your way through the entire course!

    What is the approach you take for each CLO lesson? Do you follow along with the transcript as you listen, or listen only?

    Do you do all activities for each lesson?


    Hello Adam.
    Over the years that I’ve been learning from CLO I’ve changed my methods of working through each lesson. There are so many options!
    I decide that I have finished with a lesson when I can listen to the dialogue and pretty much understand it all from just listening. It takes a lot of work to get that far though. I work with the printed characters in front of me, and the pinyin on the screen where I can quickly see the English with the mouse over. And from the pinyin page it’s only one click to look up a whole word.
    I use Audacity to listen to the script, and I can scroll the browser page with the lesson that shows behind Audacity’s window, so it works quite well. I listen to small snippets at a time until I can say it along with the dialogue (shadowing). I try to learn the phrases off by heart, but I find them difficult to remember of course. I really should take the opportunity you offer to speak to teachers, but I don’t have a good enough internet connection 🙁
    I used to do all the activities at the end of each lesson, and found them very helpful for checking I hadn’t missed any thing. Now I usually only do the sentence building activity, but only because I don’t have as much time, and I can’t wait to get onto the next lesson.

    Adam (Admin)

    Thanks Carmel,

    You mentioned looking at the characters. Have you learned to read characters from the course as well?

    Does your reading ability match your listening ability?


    Because of the uni work I did, my reading and writing skills of characters is way better than my ability to listen and talk.
    I practise all the characters on the ‘new’ and ‘all’ sheets. Even the ones I have previously learnt, I needed to revise.
    For the first few hundred lessons, I used to take dictation from each of the CLO dialogues. Back then, I felt I hadn’t finished a lesson until I could write it out from the audio. I loved doing that, it was a great way to make sure I hadn’t missed a thing in the lesson. However, it takes a lot of time, and I realised that I needed to listen to more, and leave the writing until my listening skills had improved. Of course I read all the time, and I read out aloud when I can. As I said, speaking along with the dialouge is really helping.
    Another feature I use a lot is the line order animations, because I’m always clicking on a word that takes me to the dictionary, and from there I can see the character being written.

    Adam (Admin)

    Thanks Carmel – very helpful to see how people like yourself are using the resources on the site.

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