Watch as much Chinese TV as I watch American TV
You might think this isn’t a very good goal, how much TV watching does that mean? Let me first tell you how many American TV shows I’m following at the moment: Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Pan Am, Revenge, Pretty Little Liars, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth, Private Practice, Good Wife and The Lying Game. Oh my, that is a lot! That means 10 episodes every week (at the moment).
Here comes the catch! If I want to watch 10 episodes of American drama every week, I also have to watch 10 episodes of Chinese drama (or any other kind of TV show) a week. Now just forget all those series I listed and imagine I just told you I watch 10 episodes of Chinese TV series per week, sounds good right?
Keeping studying fun keeps me studying
I know that not everyone likes to watch TV and some of you might think I’m wasting a lot of time by watching my favourite American dramas. But watching TV gives me too things, language practice and relaxation. Remember that English isn’t my native language and I do have to practice it or I forget it (just like what happened with German and Swedish, and what is happening to my spoken English).
I have used ChinesePod before, especially when I was still at elementary level and couldn’t follow native material. I also started listening their upper-intermediate shows last Autumn, but gave it up a while ago. I have to keep my studies as fun as possible in order to keep enjoying Chinese, and to be frank watching TV is more fun than listening podcasts. But if you’re a beginner or at elementary level in Chinese I do recommend trying ChinesePod.
Chinese shows I like
Majority of Chinese dramas are too fake, too dramatic or too cute for me, but I have manages to find one show I like. 裸婚时代 is about young Chinese adults who face lots of pressure from the society and from their parents to live a life that is expected from them. A young couple find out they are going to have a baby, get married and try to figure out how to manage this new life situation. I can understand most of the dialog and I can enjoy the show even there are vocabulary I don’t know yet.
A bit more challenging one is a daily show 纪实 which introduces interesting and heart braking real life stories around China. It’s excellent listening material for intermediate and advanced learners. I have to concentrate quite a lot when listening to this show, but I think it’s needed in order to get my listening skills to the next level.
Managing my goal
This is simple! I have a post-it where on the left says Chinese TV and on the right American TV. Every time I watch an episode I mark it to the post-it and keep the tally marks even.
Do you think watching TV is a waste of time or a good way to learn languages?