March 20th, 2014
Pimsleur Chinese (Mandarin) (affiliate link) is one of the most popular tools available for learning Mandarin Chinese. When I first began learning Chinese, I went through Pimsleur programs 1 to 3 and found it to be a great primer for learning the language. The features I liked about it included:
- It was audio based, which meant I could listen to it on my iPod or while on the go
- The lessons got harder as Chinese from earlier lessons was reused, which meant real progress
- It forced me to constantly review earlier material as this material was reused in later lessons
There were a few issues about it that I didn’t like though:
- The Chinese being used was very Beijing centric, which wasn’t how the locals where I was (Taiwan) spoke
- The program only had 3 levels (now 4), and I wanted more beyond that
- It was mainly an audio program, so I didn’t have any pinyin or character sheets to follow along with
- While there was a lot of learning done within the lesson, there wasn’t much I could do outside of the lessons to help review the material
CLO was actually created to address these issues. I tried to incorporate the features I liked about Pimsleur (audio based, progressive, constant review) while adding more to it, namely:
- Use speakers from Taiwan, whose accents I find are easier for beginners to follow (due to tones being emphasized more)
- Expand the course to 7 levels of difficulty
- Provide transcripts in pinyin or characters to follow along
- Provide review tools to let students review the vocabulary, grammar and characters taught in each lesson
The course has gotten great feedback over the years, but we are not done yet. Expect to see more tools added in coming months to improve your learning experience. Stay tuned!
February 11th, 2013
If you have purchased a CLO lessons download (or a level download) and want to import the lessons directly into iTunes, you can follow the instructions given below.
1. Make sure you are running the latest version of iTunes. The instructions given below are for version 11. If you have a different version of iTunes that you would like instructions for, then please contact us.
2. Take a look and see if you have a menu showing on the top left. If not, click the little image with a down arrow on the top left, and select “Show Menu Bar” from the drop down options that will show.
3. You should now see a new menu on top.
4. Click on the File menu and select “Subscribe to Podcast”. A new popup window should show. Enter http://www.chineselearnonline.com/feed1 (you can substitute the last number for the level number (1 to 7) that you have purchased access to. Press Ok.
5. You will now be asked to login to your CLO account. Use your email address as your username, and then enter your CLO password. (Make sure that both the email address and password match the ones you use on CLO).
6. If you do so correctly, then a new album for the selected level should be created for you, with the latest lesson downloaded.
7. To download all the lessons at once, you will first need to switch from Podcast mode to List mode.
8. Then click on the down arrow next to the left of the Podcast name to open it.
9. Now click on the down arrow to the right of the podcast name title. You will be asked to confirm if you want to download all the lessons at once. Select Ok to do so.
December 28th, 2012
New users to our website may notice a new link greeting you - our new demo page. The idea is to make it easy for new users to try out the different features of CLO by putting all the free demo lessons and resources in one area, with steps to guide you from one section to the next.
We’ve also added a chat box functionality on the bottom right - where you can speak to someone online or leave a message for us to respond to.
Happy New Year - hope 2013 is good to you!
October 2nd, 2012
If you have logged in to the new CLO site recently, you may have noticed new avatars showing for different users. There is a different avatar for each level, so this gives you an idea on what level (1 to 7) different users are. Of course, you’re free to put your own profile pic (as some users have) if you prefer.
September 26th, 2012
Well it took a while, but we finally added level 2 lessons to our CLO app. We also added a Restore button, to retrieve previous lessons that you may have deleted.
September 13th, 2012
I recently started a new site, based around the CLO material but with a focus on reading and typing in Chinese. The site is free at the moment - it just requires a Facebook login. The goal would be to eventually integrate it with CLO so that users can choose between focusing on listening (CLO) or reading and typing (RTC). Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
September 6th, 2012
We’ve been doing some retouch work on the new version of CLO, trying to make the activities look a little prettier. If anything doesn’t look the way it should though, let me know.
August 6th, 2012
Due to popular demand, I have added Pleco format to the export page on NewCLO (you will need to be a subscriber to access that page).
So you can now choose which lessons you want to export, what content from each lesson you would like (vocabulary, characters, supplemental vocabulary) and it will export it in a Pleco ready file.
If you would like the Pleco flashcard list for all 420 lessons on CLO, you can find that here.
August 5th, 2012
We will be using our Facebook page and new Twitter account to send out words of the day (WOTD). Some days might have multiple words, while other days may not have any.
This way, vocabulary can be introduced to you in the context of what’s happening around the world these days. Here’s the first WOTD:
The Olympics: āoyùnhuì (奥运会 / 奧運會) taking place in Lúndūn (伦敦 / 倫敦).
If you find it useful, please subscribe to our Facebook page (if you haven’t done so already), or follow us on Twitter!
July 30th, 2012
It’s been a long time coming - many have asked if they could become affiliates for CLO. I’m proud to announce that we now have our own affiliate program. Now you can start earning money for promoting CLO!
Sign up and earn 50% of any sales you produce. Let me know if you have any questions about the program.