My Chinese level has definitely plummeted. I understand what people are saying, but when I try to express myself, I end up sounding like a complete idiot. I get my point across, but it’s ugly. Hopefully it will come back after a few weeks in China. We’re going to be taking Chinese classes at the institute where we learn how to teach so that should help. For now, I’ll just blunder on.
The nice part is that because I look foreign, whenever I say anything in Chinese, I still get compliments. I’ll say something completely wrong, but people are just like—“Oh!!! Chinese words!! This foreigner is trying to speak my language!!! How cute!” I’m hoping my future students will be similarly impressed with my ability to grunt, point, and say things like “me want you work gooder now.”