by Phil Martin
Phil: I can tell that my Chinese skills are improving, even though there are still areas in which I wish I were improving faster. Last Saturday I spent about 6 hours speaking Chinese and there were only a few points where I felt uncomfortable and unable to express what I intended. When I arrived I think my skills were not quite a Level 1 in the Language Acquisition Made Practical self rating guide. This means I could not even go to a market or explain what my job is. Now I am getting close to being a Level 2, where my pronunciation is correct 80% of the time or more and I am comfortable in most situations. Currently I am mainly focusing on improving the speed and accuracy in saying the things I already know.
Sara: Well, I no longer cry during or after language school, so, that’s a plus. My pronunciation has improved and my vocabulary has increased significantly. My fluency and tones still need a lot of work. I feel comfortable to travel around on my own and even though I only know a hand full of phrases it has helped me to initiate conversation and make new friends.