When I see new sites on the Web I immediately jump to thoughts like “how can I use this to teach/practice Chinese?” Spreeder.com is a speed reading online application that might have some potential for those who want to improve their reading speed or just want another way to practice. You will need some text first. I have uploaded a txt file containing the common 300 characters that I borrowed from David Porter’s Chinese Text Sampler. Just copy and paste it or any text into spreeder, set your speed and click the play button. The only problem is the program displays words as separated by spaces, so you will need to have spaces entered into text. With anything besides flashcard type practice, you will need to have spaces inserted at the word level. That’s not so easy to do, but it would be good practice.
Archive for September, 2006
I have to say I was a bit surprised at the last poll results. Out of some 150+ votes a whopping 62% responded saying pronunciation was the most difficult part of learning Chinese. I purposely left the writing system out of the equation because I was most interested in what makes speaking difficult. I was guessing it would have been the confidence issue, and that did come in a distant second.
If you are one who feels pronunciation is impeding your Chinese abilities, I guess you are in the right place (perhaps my results are skewed — in a way this is a pronunciation activity site). But confidence is key to improving pronunciation. If you speak in full voice, practice shouting even, your tutors, instructors and even yourself will be more likely to correct your errors. Mumbling is a sure way to have mistakes reinforced. And it is difficult to fix a mistake you have made for years.
Practice loud! Practice Proud!