Assignments

In general, topics within a unit are introduced in class, using typical exchanges. They are studied in more detail out of class, using lesson material, working with the flashCube program, and checking progress with the exercises, until they can form the basis of class practice and further review. Most units culminate in a long dialogue that incorporates many of the points of grammar and usage. Students internalize these so they can re-enact them in class, and eventually use them as the basis for personalized dialogues. Unit lessons alternate with character lessons, so that while one is being introduced, the other is being consolidated. With the character lessons, students practice the readings and exercises at home so that they can perform them with suitable fluency when they come to class.


ses # homeworks
Material for Practice Test
1-2 In class, in addition to curricular and administrative matters (calendar, syllabus, flashCube, etc.), you will encounter your first conversational material 'sight unseen': topics such as names and titles, simple questions and responses (from Unit 1). In addition, you will be introduced to the tones and initials of Chinese and the pinyin system of transcription used to write them (from the lesson on Sounds and Symbols). You should start to read the introductory chapters: Background through section 2; and Sounds and Symbols up to the end of 3 (initial consonants), doing exercises 1, 2, 3 as you go. Skip ahead to the beginning of Unit 1 and read up to the end of the section on pronouns (1.6). This first assignment should help you consolidate some of what you have been practicing sight unseen, in class.
3 Read to the end of Background. Review through 3 in Sounds and Symbols, re-doing the exercises. You should be able to list the 12 surnames in 2.4, and recite from memory the chart of initials in 3.1. Continue with 4 on the rhymes, focusing on those issues covered in exercises 4, 5, 6. Unit 1: Review through 1.6 and do exercise 1. Skip to 1.10.1 (tones) and learn to recite from memory the first six 'tone combos'. Preview the two nursery rhymes in 1.12.
4 Review Background, and Sounds and Symbols so far. Then continue with Sounds and Symbols from 5 to the end, doing the eight parts of exercise 7. Unit 1: Consolidate through 1.6, then continue through 1.7 (action verbs), including the mini conversations (1.7.5).

If flashCube is available, the pinyin exercises on (initials, rhymes, tones) provide useful contrasts and combinations for learning both the sound of Chinese and the pinyin symbols.
5 Review Sounds and Symbols well, redoing the exercises. You should be able to cite the examples of the tonal shift of bu in 5.3. Continue with Unit 1 sections 1.8 and 1.9. The 'closing phrases' under 1.9.5 need particular attention; practice them as you would a few difficult bars of music.
6-8 Review all of Background, Sounds and Symbols and Unit 1 (referring to 1.11, the summary) for the practice Test on Day 8. Make sure that you have learned how to write the material in pinyin with tones. The practice test will include listening and writing.
Material for Test 1
9 Read Chars 1 through 1.6; practice the strokes and stroke order, naming the strokes as you write. (Grid paper for writing characters can be downloaded from this site.) Learn to write the numbers in characters, and to recite the multiplication tables and telephone numbers (exercise 1 ab). Look ahead to Chars 1.7 and 1.8. Continue to consolidate Unit 1 material, which will also be practiced in class.
10 Study Chars 1.7, 1,8 and 1.9. Do the reading (1.9.1) and exercises 2, 3 and 4. (During this period, there will be instruction on word processing in characters, and occasional character writing exercises.)
11 Consolidate Chars 1 so far and practice writing with correct stroke order (following the numbered strokes on the supplementary character sheets). Continue with 1.10, doing the reading. Begin Unit 2, with 2.1 (pronunciation) and all the sections of 2.2. Preview the rhymes (2.13). (You will be given Chinese names about this time; once you have them, there will be daily practice using them.)
12 Chars 1.11 plus the phrases (1.11.1) and reading (1.11.2). Continue with Unit 2, section 2.3 (zěnmeyàng, etc.) Review and consolidate. Practice with names and titles.
13 Chars 1.12 and 1.13 (to the end of the lesson), doing phrases (1.12.1) and reading (1.12.2), plus exercise 5. Unit 2: section 2.4 and exercise 2. Review the tone combos from Unit 1 (1.10) and then practice Unit 2 tone combos (2.11.3). Practice tone combos daily so you can recite each table accurately.
14 Consolidate the first sections of Unit 2, and continue to though 2.7 (location), doing exercises 3, 4ab, 5. Review Chars 1 by redoing the 'phrases' and 'readings'. Look ahead to the culminating dialogue, in section 2.9 ('at the airport').
15 Unit 2: review location (2.7) and continue with 2.8 (with special attention to 'welcome' and 'praise'); then prepare the long dialogue in 2.9 (following the '3 steps') so as to be able to perform it in class with confidence. Do exercise 6ab.
16 Finish up Unit 2; keep practicing dialogue 2.9 until confident. Do exercise 7ab. Review pinyin, rhymes and longer phrases (welcome, thanks, praise, and transitions, etc.) Prepare for test 1 on day 18, which will cover up to the end of Unit 2 (including Chars 1).
17 Review unit and character material for test 11 on day 18.
18 Test 1 (Background, Sounds and Symbols, Unit 1, Chars 1, Unit 2). You will be asked to distinguish tone combos, identify initials and common rhymes, produce material from Units 1 and 2 (in correct pinyin), and read material composed with the characters from Unit 1. (No writing of characters.)
Material for Test 2
19 Chars 2, review (2.0) and set 1, including 2.1.1 and exercise 1; preview set 2. Work on producing the airport dialogue from Unit 2 more fluently.
20 Chars 2, learn set 2 and read through 2.2; do exercise 2. Spot review of Unit 2, especially location and existence and the main dialogue.
21 Chars 2, set 3 (2.3) including 2.3.1 and 2.3.2, plus exercise 3. Review Units 1 and 2 tone combos, and other pinyin material.
22 Chars 2, set 4 (2.4) with readings and exercise 4. Preview Unit 3, sections 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 (nationality), including V-guo 'have you ever'.
23 Unit 3 Practice rote material, eg money (3.9.1), days of the week (3.10.2) dates (3.10.3), and rhymes (3.15). Chars 2, read 2.5, do 2.6, and study 2.7 (On the street 2).
24 Unit 3, NSEW (3.2.3), with 3.4.1 (dialogues) and exercise 1. Keep practicing rote material, and add 3.10.4 (siblings).
25 Consolidate Unit 3 so far. Continue with 3.5 and 3.6 (thanks, refusal, don't, etc.). Pinyin practice (3.13). Continue to read and write characters regularly.
26 Unit 3, exercises 2, 3; study 3.7 (drinks), with focus on doing exercise 4 (ordering drinks) fluently.
27 Unit 3, sections 3.8 (why; a lot of), 3.9 (money) and 3.10 (other numbered sets), plus review Unit 3 so far. (Character writing exercises.)
28 Unit 3, consolidate so far, especially 3.8 and 3.10 (other numbered sets). Last 3 tone combos (3.13.1). Character writing exercises.
29 Unit 2, section 3.11 (courses and classes), and then begin the main dialogue (3.12). Do exercises 10, 11, and 12. Chars 1 and 2. All 15 tone combos.
30 Review all of Unit 3, as well as Chars 1 and 2 for test 2 on day 31
31 Review again, focusing on dialogues 3.4.1, 3.7 and 3.12. Test 2 covers everything so far, including Unit 3 and Chars 2.
Material for Test 3
32 Begin Chars 3 with the review section (3.0). Practice naming the radicals (refer the first section in the previous character lesson, Chars 2.) Review earlier dialogues for better fluency, beginning with the one in Unit 3 - courses and classes. Earlier dialogues will form the basis of some of the conversational practice in the next few classes.
33 Chars 3, first set, reading the phrases and the short descriptions, and doing exercise 1. Continue to consolidate Units 3, 2, and 1.
34 Chars 3, review the first set. Preview Unit 4 material: 4.1 and 4.2 (existence and location) - especially the new words for locations.
35 Chars 3, second set, reading and phrases, plus exercise 2. Study Unit 4, sections 4.3.1 and 4.3.2 to get familiar with clock time, then preview the mini dialogues in 4.3.3 (times of meals).
36 Chars 3, third set (3.3), including exercise 3; review Chars 3 so far. Unit 4: consolidate clock time, meal times, and do exercises 1and 2. Review your 15 tone combos.
37 Chars 3, fourth set (3.4) and exercise 4. Unit 4: continue with 4.4 (de) and 4.5 (names). Look ahead to titles (4.8.3) and professional titles (4.8.5).
38 Chars 3, review the four sets and accompanying exercises. Unit 4: focus on 4.6 and 4.7 (studying and working), along with exercise 4. Preview the long dialogue (4.10).
39 Unit 4: Look ahead to the rhymes (4.14); study all of 4.8 (forms of address), and do exercise 5. Daily practice greeting people with titles, eg managers, CEOs, film directors. Pinyin practice with the exercises in 4.12 (exercise 7abc). More work on dialogue 4.10.
40 Unit 4: Introductions (4.9) and the long dialogue (4.10). Follow the three steps to try to internalize this dialogue so you can perform at least the first half in class.
41 Unit 4: work on improved fluency for the dialogue (4.10). Study the section on food (4.11), and listen to the short narratives until you can follow easily. Review Chars 3 and earlier.
42-44 Consolidate for test 3 on day 44, which includes Unit 4 and Chars 3.
Material for the Oral Interview
45 Practice the main dialogues to improve fluency, beginning with 4.10 (bus to Mianyang). Practice reading pinyin accurately, and fluently.
46 Review the main dialogues from Units 2 and 1. Prepare class presentations.
47 Miscellaneous conversational and pronunciation practice; class presentations continued. (Sign up for oral interview.)
48 Prepare for oral interviews.
49-51 Various activities, guests.
52 Chants and Songs.