Hacking Chinese Challenges are all about building language skills through daily practice and friendly competition. By focusing on one specific area of learning Chinese (or another language), the idea is that the increase focus and common goal will make you learn more than you otherwise would have.
Another important principle is that if you participate in all challenges, you should get a healthy mix of practising. This means that some challenges will occur more often than others. Listening is one of those. I consider listening the most important skill and so this is the third listening challenge this year.
Extensive listening challenge, October 10th to October 31st
Want to join the fun? Just follow these simple steps:
- Sign-up (using your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter)
- View current and upcoming challenges on the front page
- Join the extensive listening challenge
- Set a reasonable goal (see below)
- Report your progress on your computer or mobile device
- Check the graph to see if you’re on track to reaching your goal
- Check the leader board to see how you compare to others
- Share progress, tips and resources with fellow students
Please note: The challenge starts on October 10th, so even if you can join now, you won’t be able to report progress until then.
Extensive listening means that you should listen as much as you can. It’s the opposite of intensive listening where you try to understand everything, stop if you don’t understand something and listen for details. Extensive listening is about breadth, quantity and variety. You probably do intensive listening in class and in real conversations, but you probably don’t do extensive listening enough.
What should you listen to?
Start by looking here:
- The 10 best free listening resource collections for learning Chinese – I wrote this article in connection with the previous challenge. It’s a collection of podcasts, radio shows and much more. Note that I have excluded any paid resources in this post.
- Hacking Chinese Resources – The resource section of Hacking Chinese currently contains 86 resources tagged with “listening”. Many of them are resource collections, where you can find hundreds or even thousands of clips. First select your proficiency level and then listening.
If you have other resources that aren’t shared here already, please leave a comment or contact me in any other way. If you want an invite for Hacking Chinese Resources so you can post your resources directly, just let me know. Just to be on the safe side, here are the basic recommendations I offered last time, sorted by proficiency level:
Setting a reasonable goal
Know what works for each individual learner is impossible, but you should try to set a goal which is as high as possible without feeling unreachable. If this is your first challenge or if you’re not sure what you’re capable of, go for 10 hours or so. If you know what you’re doing, you can easily aim for twice or three times that much. The winner in one challenge listened for 66 hours! Personally, I’m going to aim for an hour a day, so 20 hours (the challenge is actually 22 days, so it’ll be slightly less). I have lots of other things I want to listen to that aren’t in Chinese.
Preliminary challenge schedule for 2015
To make sure that the challenges cover all major areas, I have created a rough schedule of what challenges will be on for the rest of the year. I might change this somewhat and insert more specific or unusual challenges here and there (if you have any ideas, please let me know). Challenges in italics are preliminary.
January: Characters February: Pronunciation March: Listening April: Reading May: Writing June: Listening July: Speaking August: Reading September: Characters
- October: Listening
- November: Writing
- December: Reading
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