Curso First Certificate Exam



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Learning Chinese



ACTIVITY 21: Listen to Sandra, an English teacher, talking about her experience of learning Chinese. What aspect of this is she describing? Choose the best alternative from the menu and then check the correct answer.



Now listen again to Sandra while you check the transcription of her conversation below.


You were in China, I understand, and you had to learn Chinese ...




... which is obviously a very different language from English. Did you have any particular techniques or strategies that you used which helped you learn the language?


Yes. I used to underline vocabulary that I really felt I needed, for my needs, in, I had a. a book, so I'd underline that vocabulary and expression in red so that I could really focus on that.
And trying to maybe, with words, because Chinese is so different from English, thinking 'Ah, I'll remember that word because it's like this word in English', or making a strong image of the word.
And then the other thing that I really, really, helped me to teach my students better is that you cannot sit down and learn vocabulary, erm. like once a week, sitting down for half an hour with your vocabulary book. But that, in a sense, you have to do it a little bit and often, it's a little bit like doing a diet. If you're on a diet, and you kind of starve yourself and think 'I'll lose weight' and 'I've lost weight', it'll come back on again. Or doing exercises: you need to do it a little and often.
So, the way that I learnt vocabulary, erm, was by copying those words and expressions that I really needed. And also listening to conversations and copying down things that I remembered when I came back.


Wh-what do you mean when you say you copied ...


I put them ...


... the words.


... into my vocabulary book. I found out, in Chinese you have a pinyin which is like a sort of transliteration system, so it's the Roman alphabet. And, er, I'd sort of notice words that came up again and again, and I'd make a note of them and ask my Chinese friends what they meant, and put them in a special vocabulary book, which I, it was small so I could keep it in my pocket.
And I'd just read my vocabulary book three times a day, just for five minutes.
Erm, and then I'd do what I did last week because you forget terribly quickly. So a little bit and often, I think, is the rule for learning vocabulary. So that it becomes part of your routine and it doesn't become this awful slog of learning lots and lots of words.


Learning Chinese

ACTIVITY 22: Read again the transcription above and complete this summary of the methods Sandra used. It is written as seven points of advice on remembering new vocabulary in any foreign language. The first letter of each missing word is given. Then check the correct answers.


  the    in your textbook which you need


One way to    a word is to find a similar   
in your language; another way is to make a picture of it in your mind.


Learn your    not once a week but a    and  .


Copy words and    into a        
which is small enough to  
   in your   .


Also      into this book words which you hear people in       using again and a   .


Read your vocabulary book      times a     


Look over the words you learned      week so that you don't       them.

FELICITACIONES !!! Acabas de finalizar la
UNIT 1 - LESSON 3 del OM First Certificate Exam.
Antes de pasar a la siguiente lección, por favor asegúrate de repasar todo lo que has aprendido aquí.


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