The official website for the latest GPA manuals from Greg Thompson is https://www.growingparticipation.com/. Don’t use the WordPress site which you might see pop up on Google – it’s unofficial and incomplete.
GPA is all about audio. You will personally record and listen to hundreds of hours of audio. So you will need tools for recording and listening to audio. The easiest option is to buy an external mic and use your phone. Get a good mic like the Rode SmartLav since you’ll spend a lot of time listening to this audio.
Recording & Playback (Android Apps)
- Hi-Q MP3 Recorder is great. It lets you edit and continue existing recordings, which is very important since most GPA recordings are built up over time. It has automatic cloud sync, so all your recordings are backed up. And it has some easy audio adjustment tools (gain adjustment etc.
- Simple Audio Book Player is a brilliant app for listening to your recordings. Aside from having great features, its very fast and stable. I love using it. From GPA P2B onwards I use this every day during my classes
- Anki really is the best. It has a steep learning curve, but it will last you for years, and the mobile apps are great. I use Anki 2.1 with the Chinese Support Redux addon, and the Spoonfed Chinese deck for extra. (NOTE: I’ve now given up on trying to make flashcards for GPA since the rate of new words is simply too high and my time is too limited.)
- Mesha+ is an iOS-only app built just for GPA. Personally, I used Mesha+ initially during GPA Phase 1, but switched to using Anki and other apps from Phase 2 onwards. Mesha has some brilliant features, but also some serious limitations. I don’t recommend it beyond Phase 1.
- Pleco is the single most useful and important app, hands down.
- Zhuyin/Bopomofo fonts are very helpful if you’re learning Traditional Chinese.