Dictatorial Dictation

My Chinese teacher estimates that there are ~350 universities and colleges in the United States that teach the Chinese language Mandarin. Of those schools, ten teach Chinese like Middlebury does. Ten schools would give a dictation quiz (like the two pop quizzes I’ve gotten this week) where I am required to transcribe sentences directly from what is said in Chinese to Chinese characters (traditional and simplified). Are the Chinese teachers hyping things up again? Or is this program really the real deal?

Mandarin is classified by the U.S. government as a category four language, meaning it is of the highest difficulty to learn along with Arabic and Japanese. It has quickly become my highest priority class. It has to be, it demands to be because the work is consistent. I didn’t study over an hour last night and got nailed on a dictation quiz today. Yes, I only get one course credit for a class that I’m doing twice as much work for as my other classes.

Still worth it?