I'm still alive, for anyone who reads this blog and not my other(s)! I'm now in Taiwan on the Huayu (Mandarin) Enrichment Scholarship. I've been here over 2 months now and seem to be making some progress with the language etc. It's nice to be learning actively again and, of course, in a country where the language is (one of those) spoken on the street, you can see what you're learning all around you and use it almost immediately. That's a big plus. We're using a really practical textbook, Far East Everyday Chinese III (a level 5 book), which deals with lots of real life stuff. We also have a terrific teacher and I'm afraid of getting one of a lower standard next term as two of the lads who are also here (and who I taught in beginners' classes back in the UK 4 years ago!) say that their teacher is dreadful. Hope I don't get them next term....
When I eat alone at home I'm reading 'Teach Yourself Linguistics', which is helping me to get a good idea of some of the basic concepts in studying language as a 'science' rather than a real tool for communication. Very interesting and some of the stuff I've come across there is helping me getting a better grip of some of the grammatical terminology I'm getting confuddled by in language classes! I've also got my eye on a book on a linguistic grammar of Chinese. Sounds dreadful to most people, I fear, but I'm looking forward to it, once I'm through with this one.
I plan to go to the National Chengchi University bookshop after I leave here (using the wireless sservice at the Mandarin Training Center just now as we have no net connection at home) and get a beginners' Japanese text. I did learn Japanese for a year or so about a decade ago and have begun to revise the kana sets, but I don't remember very mmuch now and there are so many Japanese friends here, including one whose invited us to vist her once she goes back, so I want to have another go. Of course, the text is from Chinese to Japanese, but I can manage a beginners' level course OK.
Find out more about ex-pat life in Taiwan etc on my Made in Taiwan blog.
Goals for April
4 weeks ago