Archive for June, 2010

Recording Streaming Radio with VLC

Being able to stream internet radio stations from all over the world is a great opportunity for language learners. Living in a country full of native speakers is the ideal environment for listening practice, but not everyone has the chance to travel or to spend significant time in the target country. For the rest of us, listening to live radio online gives us a touch of authentic culture, whether it’s a call-in show, traditional or pop music, or even commercial ads. In addition to streaming radio, podcasts are another way to listen to native speakers. As podcasts are individual files that can be downloaded, they make suitable material for listening practice, with the ability to repeat or slow down sections that are unclear. But podcasts in Chinese are few in number. Being able to record streaming radio would give the learner a wealth of practice material with massive variety. Or it can just record hours of music for your listening pleasure. › Continue reading…

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Welcome to the site

I’ve been learning Chinese off and on for about four years. During that time, I’ve picked up on a number of tips that have helped my in my studies. I believe this digital age is an exciting time to be learning a language. First, the ubiquity of the web makes the whole world available for use as study material. There is a wealth of written text (blogs, news, essays) and audio material (podcasts and streaming radio) in the target language. Second, software can make study methods more efficient. Flashcard programs and spaced repetition software (SRS) really speed up the acquisition of words, which are the real foundation of language learning. Audio tools can improve the building of listening, and even speaking, skills, by allowing the listener to split files into smaller segments, slow down the speech to a comprehensible level, or repeat sections until they are understood.

This site is a collection of the notes, tips, and tools that I’ve picked up, that may be useful for other learners. I also have written various software tools, web-based or downloads, which may be useful to others. I hope you will find this resource useful!

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