Chinese 2016 Learning Goals?

Share em below people!

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  1. Learn 10,000 words :smile: (at around 6500)

  2. Get my speaking up to about half the level of my reading.

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  • Getting comfortable reading novels (printed)
  • Understanding most of the evening news

What about your own goals klooste?

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I don’t set goals at all. I feel they are just some kind of limitation.

Learn to read 6000 words…currently on 1,700 ish…

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Goals by the end of 2016:

  • 10,000 characters (At current rate that is about 200,000 reviews for writing)
  • Finish Practical audio visual Chinese 4
  • Get through books 2 and 3 of Glossika Chinese
  • Listen to a lot more songs on YT
  • Schedule more italki lessons / have more Skype conversations with native speakers.
  • Finish (start) Hirigana and Katakana. (Should be fairly easy)


  • Go back to Taiwan and study for 6 months at Fu Jen University
  • Or, go to Japan and start on Japanese.

Ambitious Skritters!

Here’s my 目標:

  1. Read one Chinese novel a month (currently reading Ender’s Game)!
  • Skritter for an hour a day on weekdays, 2 hours on weekends (all timed in skritter minutes).

  • Be able to write 3000 words before summer vacation

  • survive a semester abroad at ICLP in Taiwan

  • Participate and understand business meetings in Chinese (also increase bai jiu tolerance)!

  • convince two more lao wai friends to only speak Chinese with me!

  • Pass any TOFCL/HSK test

  • Listen to one advanced Chinese podcast/day and shadow it if time allows


  1. Hire a tutor for sat/sunday language practise

Good luck all!
Raise your bai jiu’s people! 好! 乾杯,一起加油!!

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If you don’t set goals, what do you do? And why are you posting in a thread specifically talking about goals?

My goals are to improve the cadence of my speaking. Given enough time and a slow enough pace I keep up very well in speaking, but when it becomes fast I lag behind.

I also plan on improving my news reading skills but I am not as worried about that one as much.

jo91s comment does raise several interesting points about goals:

  1. The importance of choosing wisely.
  2. The possibility that no goal is better than a badly chosen goal.
  3. The fact that time is a finite resource, and working on one aspect of the language may be at the expense of progress in other aspects.

@Seant018, your comment also raises some questions; you cite two areas where you want to focus your study, but your “goal” is simply “to improve.” How will you know if you have reached your goal? Is “improving” actually a goal? Wouldn’t even the most minimal amount of study yield some “improvement?” Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of suggestions for how to operationalize a goal for your focus areas, unlike other goals in this thread such as x hours of Skritter practice per day. I don’t have an idea for how you can quantify your success either. Maybe you can commit to a certain number of hours with a tutor, and make an audio recording of your conversations at the beginning and end of the year to judge whether you have made the progress you hoped for.

Personally I don’t have an annual goal for 2016, but I do have some current commitments for reviews on Memrise and time spent on Skritter. Those will evolve during the year as the intensity level of my study changes based on courses I take.

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That’s a good point about the vagueness of my goals, but that is because I didn’t clearly explain them to you. Aside from learning Chinese, Skitter has taught me to be honest to myself about my “progress”. If I think I kinda know something I usually just mark it as wrong because I would rather be confident about my knowledge, so I try to objectively grade myself the same way when not using Skitter.

So while my goal is simpy to improve in those areas (isn’t that what we all strive for?) I do have realistic goals for those 2 things, which I believe do have measurable results. As far as the speaking is concerned, I had the same trouble when I was speaking my native language, until I forced myself to get over it by actively participating in the conversation. I also became better at speaking quickly with a good rhythm by practicing reading aloud, so I have set aside a portion of my study time to do just that.

I know it sounds vague or immeasurable to others, but I have a clear goal in my mind, and as long as I’m honest with myself, I will know if I fail or succeed.

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Thanks for clarifying and sharing ideas. I had not thought about reading aloud as a means of progressing. Its controversial as a means of teaching young children to read, but for adult learners of a foreign language would be a very different case. I am trying to build up my reading speed in silent reading by breaking the habit of pausing over words, looking up words before proceeding, etc, but now I’m going to try reciting some of my lessons before class, based on your method. For what it may be worth, here is an interesting article about reading Chinese aloud:

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Oops, hit the reply button instead of cancel lol.

I read a similar article years back when I was learning Spanish. That is when I finally realized that I had the same exact problem when I was a student, reading and speaking English, my native language. I would stumble over words, speak slowly and clearly, and just generally take my time to think about responding. A lot of conversation would pass before I even decided how to respond, but reading out loud during classes finally broke me of that and I became better at speaking and listening at the same time, as well as preparing what i wanted to say before the conversation actually reached that point.

And I was on mobile when I replied the other day, so I didn’t really have a chance to properly respond to where the conversation was taken. Goals are not a limit, that is the exact opposite of what a goal should be. Goals get you to the next step and as long as you are diligent and honest with yourself you will always keep moving forward.

For example, if I can easily learn 10 words a day but I decide to set myself a new goal of learning 15 words a day, how would that be a limit? Even if I missed the target, but still hit 10+ words, I would be doing equal to or better than before. That is also a huge factor in being honest with yourself. Some days I really am just too busy to properly sit down and study, but other days I am able to sit down and pound out a few hours easily. What about the days where I am just feeling lazy? That is not a flaw of the goal, it’s a flaw of my study habits or video games I want to play or movies I want to see or whatever.

Goals don’t hinder you, as long as you clearly know where you want to be, when you want to be there.

Talking of how tricky it is reading aloud Chinese, I did some work on mock exams from 普通话水平测试 (PSC) 朗读 (reading aloud) section a couple of months ago. Apart from many problems with obscure characters and vocabulary, I found a good example of a sentence where it’s not immediately obvious how to read the character 长. Here it is…

那是一个夏天的长得不能再长的下午; 在印第安那州的一个湖边。

To get this right you really have to read all the way to the semicolon before knowing whether it’s chang2 or zhang3, so reading character by character or word by word won’t work, you need to read the whole clause as a unit before you can get the pronunciation right. I read about four characters ahead but that still wasn’t enough and guessed wrong.

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I would like to reach 500 hours studied by 2017. :slight_smile:

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This year, I want to really double down and focus on my Chinese. I would like to reach 750 hours studied by 2018.

加油! Did you reach your 500 hours goal for 2016? I am using Beeminder to automatically log my Skritter use. It fetches the data from Skritter. At my rate I would only be doing 60 hours, but I will probably up my game. Your post reminded me of some of the features of Beeminder, like making your goal public or having a friend get an email if you are about to “derail” from your progress toward your goal. Sort of like AA I suppose, except trying to do more instead of abstaining. I am not using either of those features, but I do find Beeminder quite cool and kind of motivating.