Right after presenting my self-introduction speech to the class, I jetted of to Taipei. That day was made thoroughly busy with the addition of a term-paper project proposal and a Phonetics midterm examination.
But back to the topic of this post, my Cantonese for Foreign Learners 1 class, I have a few more assessments to deal with. Besides the self-introduction speech, there is a group presentation in which we perform a dialogue on any topic we’d like, as well as two reading assessments in which we record ourselves reading a passage and email it to the professor, and a midterm and a final examination.
Like I said, I think I did relatively well on my self-introduction. I believe I hit almost all the tones and got all of the consonants and vowels close to perfect. Especially in comparison to my classmates (who I believe tried dearly), I have reason to believe that I got something in the range of an A on my presentation.
The midterm, which we took the class before the self-introduction presentations I did better than expected on. Using the Jyutping system of Romanization for Cantonese, we have to write either tone marks or tone numbers alongside each individual syllable. While I am confident that I can say words so that they are understood, by direct knowledge of what tone it is wavers with my mood, I suppose.
I got most of the tones right through direct memorization, but when I couldn’t remember, I’d try to remember how I’ve heard the professor say it in my head, and then try to assign a tone number to it. This worked about half the time. Lucky for me though, the professor only marked off like half or a quarter of a percent for each wrong tone. So since I got the actual sounds right on almost everything, I ended up with 91% correct on the midterm.
The class session before the midterm, the first reading assignment was due. I did it in my room while my roommate was away to Macau. I read it over about four times and then proceeded to ask my Cantonese-speaking friend to critique my pronunciation. I probably would’ve asked my mother to critique it as well had it not been for the inconvenience of time zones.
Handing it back, the teacher printed out the dialogue for each of us, circling parts of individual words that we had trouble with. On my sheet, she only marked two tones that I executed poorly, both of which fourth tone (low falling). I ended up with a letter grade A on that assignment.
Half the assignments are done with half to go. My second Cantonese reading assignment is due in her email inbox next Monday and the group presentation script is due the Monday after that with my final examination taking place the Thursday right after that.
So, off to rehearsing for the second reading assignment!
Oh, and by the way, the title is colloquial written Cantonese for the title of my previous Cantonese class post.
Copyright © 2009 James Philip Jee
This work may not be reproduced by any means without express permission of the author.
2 years ago