“Chinese Matters” is a new initiative by the Chinese Program at OU to educate students on both current events in and pertaining to China, as well as the importance of learning Chinese. The workshop I attended on April 10th featured two OU students, Jeremy Allen and Kendrick Holmes, discussing the challenges of learning Chinese and the economic future of China, respectively. Jeremy spoke first, discussing his techniques for studying and memorizing new vocabulary and summarizing his past trips to China. Kendrick was next and focused on the booming Chinese economy and why more Westerners should take note. Both presentations were relevant to me; Jeremy spoke about his experience in Kunming (the city I will spend 9 weeks in this summer) and had helpful learning tips and Kendrick touched on using Chinese to leverage yourself in a job market.
I took the advice of Jeremy to use Anki, a memorization software that allows you to create flashcards and then reminds you to study them in predetermined time intervals, like every day or once a week or every three weeks, depending on how recent the material is.
Some of the points that Kendrick touched on that have stuck with me include the fact that China is one of the largest consumers of Hollywood movies and one of the biggest producers of electric cars. Another interesting story that Kendrick shared was how he improved his Chinese while studying abroad in Beijing by sitting in public areas and focusing on the different accents and dialects being spoken and writing down different phrases he could not recognize in order to translate them later on. Perhaps that is an activity I will try while in Kunming this summer!
The first “Chinese Matters” workshop was a success and I look forward to the other speakers and topics to be presented in the coming year.