Chinese 101 Tone Drills #1 – #4
1st Voicethread Slide
In this first Voicethread, there are four drills. Click each slide and work on them.
1. Click Sun Laoshi’s photo and listen to her comments and practice with her;
2. When you are ready, make several practice recordings;
3. Listen to your own recording and compare with Sun Laoshi’s recording:
4. Continue this process until you are pleased with your recordings.
5. Move your mouse to your photo while playing the recording you do not want to save, click the trash can icon to delete. Save only the best one.
If the Voicethread Slides won’t load, go to
2 thoughts on “Tone Drills #1-#4”
Some of the common errors:
First tone: wavering; falling off at the end; not high enough.
Second tone: starting too low; ending too low; not decisive enough; note that 2nd tone is not like the tone in a typical English ‘questioning’; think it this way may result in an overlong, uncertain tone, rather than the quick upward leap you actually want.
Third tone: not getting low enough; trying to rise up.
Fourth tone: starting too low; ending too high; unsteady descent.
Drill #2 Corrections:
敏芸: no corrections – sheng could be pronounced as 5th tone
朋華: wo3 (not low enough) ; shi4 is not emphasized but you will need to keep in as a 4th as in wo3shi4 and shei2shi4; pronunciation of words: “shei2”
*柏堯: improved from drill #1 – ta1 (needs to be higher); xiao2 (did not start low enough-cannot rise up); lao3shi (3rd tone not low enough)
*榮秀: improved from drill #1 – pronunciation of “zhong1” “wo3”; xiao2 (could start lower and then rise up)
荷青: shi4 in wo3 shi4 (3rd tone not low enough; 4th tone could start higher and then down); shei2 (not low enough to start and then rise up)
懷宇: no corrections; good “h” in laoshi; sheng could be pronounced as 5th tone
阮蕾: no corrections in tones – be careful of “wo” pronunciation
浩基: 3rd tone in wo3shi4 ( nao3 should be slightly lower; 4th start higher and then down); yang2 (could rise higher)
佳蕊: zhong1 (need to be higher)
*泰良: improved from drill #2) – wo3 shi4 – pronunciation; bu2shi4 (2nd did not end high enough)
冬青: no corrections
冠明: “zh” pronunciation in “zhong1” and “x” in “xiao2”; 2nd tone (consistent error – start lower and then give it a quick upward leap)
文凌: no corrections; sheng could be pronounced as 5th tone rather than 1st tone here
佳凌: “i” in “shi4” pronunciation; ta1 in ta1 shi4 (need to be higher/level); 2nd tone – xiao2, shei2 and yang2 (all three need to start lower and then give a quick upward leap)
惠子: zhong1 (need to be higher); xiao2 (start lower and then rise up)
雅琪: no corrections – sheng could be pronounced as 5th tone
*秦雲: peng2 in peng2you3 (need to start low and then give it a quick rising leap); ji1in shou3ji1 (needs to go back up and higher for 1st tone even though it is not emphasized); dian4 in dian4nao3 (needs to start higher and then down); shui2 in shui2jiao3 (not rising high enough)
惠莉: tong2 in tong2xue2 (did not end high enough- rising more); both in shui4jiao4 (4th tone needs to start higher and then down); shui2jiao3 (2nd tone did not end high enough; 3rd tone not low enough)
*祥安: be careful of pronunciation of “I” in shi4; xiao2 & yang2(need to start lower and then rise up)
*立雪: (improved from drill #1) – combination of x+4th – bu2shi4; ta1shi4; shei2 shi4 (2nd tone bu2 and shei2 need to start lower and then give a quick upward rising leap; shi4 needs to start higher and then down)
瑞龍: xiao2 & yang2 (need to start lower and then rise up)
日梅: no corrections – sheng could be pronounced as 5th tone
*艾敏: (improved from drill #1 in 4th tone); work on 2nd tone in this drill: bu2shi4; xiao2; shei2; yang2 (did not end high enough – rise up more – a quick upward leap)
*芮晴: bu2 zhong1 xiao2shei2 yang2 dian4 in dian4hua1 and dian4nao3(did not start high enough)
*令崐: no corrections – work on flow
念德: no corrections
楷文 (Upload a photo): no corrections on tones – pronunciation of “wo”; work on phrasing and flow
萌佳: ta1 (could be higher) – “t” sounds good
Missing Drill #2 recording: 冠明; 佳凌; 文凌 (as of Sunday 10/28; 10:00 am) – all completed (last check on 11/6)