The One Minute Challenge

Are you currently learning a foreign language? Regardless of your level, it’s imperative that you learn to think in that language. Don’t spend too much time translating back and forth, as it’s not always conducive to making progress.

你现在正在学习一门外语吗?无论你的水平如果,你必须学会用这种语言思考,不要花太多的时间来回的翻译,因为这样并不总是有助于你的进步。

I’ve found that if I cut out the translation aspect of learning Chinese, the words come to me quicker. This sounds obvious, but it’s something often overlooked by language learners.

我发现当我不再用翻译软件去学习中文的时候,学习起来就会更快一点,很明显的一个道理,但是我们常常会忽略他。

All very well in theory, but how can you practice the art of thinking in your additional language? Try this activity.

所有的理论听起来都非常的合理,但是你如何用你的第二语言去思考呢?我们来试一下下面这样的。

It’s called the One Minute Challenge (as of right now, as I couldn’t think of a better name) and it really encourages you to use your surroundings to force you to think in your additional language of choice.

我叫它“一分钟的挑战”(暂时想不到更好的名字),他会鼓励你在周围环境下强制你用第二语言去思考。

Stop what you’re doing and look around you. You have one minute to assess your surroundings, and think about expressing this to someone else, using only the language you’re learning.

停下你手上的工作看看周围,你有一分钟的时间来观察你的周围环境,并表达给别人,用你正在学习的外语。

This activity is great for all levels, as you can see here:

这适用于任何水平的人,你可以看看以下的:

  • What can you see? Describe them. (You’ll find out very quickly that you don’t know how to say things such as ‘blinds’ or ‘candles’ for example.
  • 你看到什么了?描述他。(你很快就会发现你不知道一些词语应该怎么表达)
  • Where did the things in your room come from?
  • 你房间里面的东西是来自于哪里的?
  • Did you buy them? How much were they?
  • 你买的吗?多少钱?
  • Where are they placed in your room? Is there a reason they are where they are? (Prepositions of place, explaining why develops this further as you start using comparatives and the conditional)
  • 他放在你房间的什么地方?为什么放在那里?
  • What do you like about these things? Do you have a favorite? Why?
  • 你喜欢他的什么?有最喜欢的吗?为什么?
  • If you’re on the bus or out on the street - What’s going on around you? Is it noisy? Why are you here, where are you going next?
  • 如果你在巴士或者街上-你周围发生了什么事情?吵吗?你为什么会在这里?你接下来要去哪里?
  • How’s the weather? How do you feel about this weather? Is it usual for this time of year? How does this kind of weather affect your daily commute?
  • 天气怎么样?你感觉怎么样?这样的天气很平常吗?这样的天气对你来说有影响吗?
  • Focus on someone you saw on the street. Try to describe their appearance, beyond just what they are wearing. Imagine what their life is like. Where are they going? Why are they going there? Do they look happy?
  • 关注在街上你看到的某人,试着去形容他们的外表,他们穿什么衣服?想象一下他们的生活会是怎样的?他们要去哪里?为什么要去那里?他们看起来开心吗?
  • Etc
  • 等等

You could take this further by trying the same activity in the past tense, as if you’re describing what you saw to someone else later on.

你也可以用这样的方法用在过去式上,就像是你在形容昨天看到的某人

Now - speak for one minute straight, without repeating the same sentence structure. It’s harder than it sounds, trust me! So if you said:

现在-开口说一分钟,不要重复相同的句子结构,这比听起来更难,相信我,如果你要说:

“我最喜欢这个因为....” you can only use this pattern once.

“我最喜欢这个因为...."你只可以用一次

What I quickly discovered was that by doing this activity, I found many gaps in my Chinese skills. After I speak for a minute (recorded on my phone) listen to it again. Where did I make mistakes? What did I want to express that I was unable to?

我在做这个挑战的时候很快就发现,我的中文有很多的间隙,在我说完一分钟之后(用手机录音),重新听一遍,我在哪里出错了,哪里我想表达而不能表达的?

 

 

 

Record your minutes - invaluable when self-assessing as you go forward

  • Write these down.记录下来
  • Make a note of what you thought you’d be able to express but couldn’t.标记好哪些你认为你会的但其实不会的
  • Focus on improving these next time.专注下一次提高

 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been making the mistake of falling into complacency and only using the language that you are familiar with. Force yourself out of this comfort zone and find out how to truly express yourself.

如果你像我一样,一直在只用自己熟悉的词语去表达的这个误区里面,一定要强迫自己离开这个舒服区域,并找出如何才能真正的表达自己。

After a week of doing this - listen to your earlier recordings. You’ll be surprised at the progress you’ve made - a great incentive for continuing to use this activity.

一个礼拜之后,听一下你早期的录音,你会惊讶于你所取得的进步,这是继续练习的巨大动力。

Good luck! If you tried the One Minute Challenge, feel free to leave a comment below. How did it go? What did you find out about your language level?

祝你好运!如果你尝试了一分钟挑战赛,请随时在下面发表你的评论。用的怎么样呢?你对自己的语言水平有什么看法?等等

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