Monday, December 5, 2011


I just got back from another professional development conference, so I can answer questions! 

First, what is your typical day, start to finish?--awesome! I will write about this, but I don't have time right now. 

How do you know what the radical stroke number is? You just look at the character and count the number of strokes in one part (generally the left part) of the character, and that's the stroke number. You then take that number and look in the front part of the dictionary until you find that radical, and there you'll be able to find out where the character you're looking for is. There are also dictionaries that do it alphabetical by pinyin, but those are generally English/Other language-Chinese dictionaries for foreigners. If you don't know what the character looks like, you're not going to figure out how to write it.  In short, looking up stuff in a Chinese dictionary is a pain, and I never do it. Online dictionaries are awesome, and even allow you to draw in a character you want to look for. And I assume women are as stubborn in China as they are anywhere else? 

Dating-Marriage culture--long topic that I will totally write about soon. 

How do the kids feel about not doing great on the midterms? --They're actually OK with it. My class's grades weren't where I want them to be, but we were right in with the other classes, so they didn't feel bad about that. In addition, one of the main problems that they had is that we never covered how to answer questions like the ones that they encountered on the midterm [e.g. multiple choice, matching, writing a passage, reading comp, cloze (fill in the blank) reading, etc] which is my fault, and not theirs, and this is something that I explained to them. We've been practicing a lot more test-like questions in class, and I'm confident that there will be improvement on the final. It is sad that we have to basically teach to the test, but it's a reality of the local situation, and something that I'll probably complain about later. 



  1. Thanks! As for teaching to the test, I have a different outlook on that. If the test is a good test (i.e., finding out whether the material covered was learned) then of course you are teaching to the test - otherwise, why bother to find out whether they learned it. Now, if the test is not so good, then there is a problem when you teach to it - however, teaching to the test never seems like such a bad thing if the test is a good one. My favorite tests were those where I was able to put things together and learn something even in the test. I am glad the kids were ok with it. How is your new student doing?