Instructions for learners
Effective Language's audio programs are designed to be easy -- no separate study or memorization should be needed. The instructions are in the programs themselves, just do one lesson a day following the instructions in the lesson and you should find that the vocabulary and language concepts are sticking in your memory nicely.
If you have additional time to spend on Chinese, we recommend talking with friends, using what you've learned from the lessons.
Repeating lessons or skipping lessons
Timing is important to memory. To effectively get new vocabulary into long term memory, it is important to practice at least once a day. We recommend that learners do a new lesson every day -- each lesson reviews the previous lessons words.
If you miss a day for some reason, we recommend repeating the prior lesson on the next day that you can practice, rather than going onto the next lesson -- this is to help ensure that the prior words are sufficiently planted in your memory before adding new words.
If you feel the lessons are easy and would like to progress faster, you may try to do two lessons a day -- one in the morning and one in the evening. However, if you have friends to practice with, we recommend you use your extra time to converse with them -- see practicing with friends below.
If you feel the lessons are difficult, we recommend repeating each lesson once in the morning and once in the evening -- leaving the most time possible between the repetitions.
Language learning is all about practice, and the progressive immersion strategy of language learning -- the basis of Effective Language's programs -- is all about making practice easier and more comfortable when you're just starting out and your vocabulary is small.
Your friends should read our article on practicing with you.
When practicing with your friends, you should expect to be able to learn (and retain) between 10 and 15 words a day. Our programs will teach you about 5 constructs per day -- so you should be able to learn about 5 or 10 additional words per day. Trying to learn too many more than that per day may be counterproductive.
Be sure to use the new words that you decide to learn several times in the sentence, and again the every day for the next few days.
Keep the conversation interesting. Talk about whatever you would normally talk about with your friends. Don't limit your conversation to the words you've learned: speak like you're a bilingual -- if a word is better said in English, mix it into your Chinese sentence. This will give you plenty of practice on the constructs that need practice while allowing you to enjoy your conversation time.
If you're concerned about this unconventional advice to mix English into your Chinese sentence during practice, read the explanation of progressive immersion. If you're still unconvinced, try it for a few weeks. You will become convinced.
A vocabulary review sheet is provided for you to show to your bilingual friends so that they know your vocabulary level. It also contains some comments and writing, in case you are curious about how a particular word is written. You should not need to actively "memorize" the words in the list -- the lessons will do that for you. Additionally, we recommend that you not look at the vocabulary list for a given lesson until after you have completed that lesson -- this is to help ensure that the way of writing the words in the roman alphabet does not influence your pronunciation.
Buy it on CDs from Amazon.com:
This option will provide a link to a 72 megabyte ZIP file containing the unit one lessons in mp3 format, and the notes in pdf format. At the end of the payment process click "Return to Merchant" to download the product.
Unit One, License to use
Does your roommate, brother/sister, or friend want to listen to your lessons when you're done? Why wait? Feel free to make a copy for them, but each listener must pay this license fee individually. Cheapest for you because you're honest. Don't purchase this option unless you already have one copy of the product. $25