Okay the new process that I'm using with ChinesePod is as follows.
1. Listen to the dialogue *3
While doing this the first time I focus on the words I know and try and extrapolate the meanings of the words I don't.
2. Listen to the dialogue *3 again.
This time I try and transcribe the entire podcast into Pinyin.
3. I then change the words I know from the dialogue into Chinese characters. I write a list guessing the meaning of the words I didn't know I also list the words I have no idea what the meaning is.
4. I move on to the translations of each sentence while looking at my two lists, making corrections and filling in those damn blanks as I go. I also of course give myself a nice tick for the things I'd got right.
5. Now on to the word by word breakdown for a final correction of the words.
6. At this point I'm able to write out the whole dialogue in characters (sometimes I have to look up from the English meaning if I got the pinyin wrong). I also write out a final list with character pin yin and meaning. I put the words I couldn't work out at the top of this list then those which I had guessed incorrectly then those which I'd been able to figure out correctly (my thinking is that these are the one I knew subconsciously either that or they were really obvious). I'll review this list a few times during the day.
7. Now that I have the dialogue in characters I'll listen to it again maybe 2-3 times while reading the transcript (each time being a set of three dialogues so 6-9 times in total). If I'm feeling particularly comfortable with it I'll try and read it out loud at the same pace or faster than the speaker.
8. Fast forward to the next day first I'll try and read the dialogue from my transcript to see how many of the characters I've remembered (or forgotten to be slightly more accurate). ANything I'm unsure on I'll look at my word list for.
9. Last step is I'll write the lesson number on a calender for one week in the future to review and see how good my retention is.
Well that's it in a nutshell. It's not quite a twelve step program but I'm a functional Chineseaholic so I don't really need that. I haven't had a lesson to do the week after review for but I'm thinking that if there are particular words I've forgotten that I'll flashcard them to aid with my retention and I'll revisit the lesson in a weeks time.
I'm also thinking that a month after the first review I'll listen to the dialogues before I go to sleep. I'm thinking that I should be able to do a lesson a day this way I don't think I'll go for a full 7 days a week though... maybe 6 and a rest day.
The differences between this and my old method are
1. There is a lot more repetition of the dialogue.
2. I've replaced flashcards with word lists which I find much more useful. Something I'm going to experiment with is writing the character on one side then the pinyin and definition on the other side. I find that this is a much more time efficient way as the word lists are more portable. I've also played with the idea that I might include a sentence (maybe even the one from the dialogue) using the word as I did with my flashcards.
3. The process is much more regimented where as my previous efforts were fairly haphazard I'll see if this works out better for me or if I'll loosen up how I do things. One of the reasons I'm not listening to the whole podcast from the start is something Ken mentioned in his blog
about uncertainty. I also find that if I listen to the podcast the whole way through first off my mind gets lazy... knowing that the answer is just around the corner.