Some have wondered what I have been up to behind the scenes at CLO. We stopped creating new course material sometime back as so few people had made it all the way to the end of level 7. Instead I focused on tools to improve the current site and look for more tools to take users to level 7 quicker. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing:
1. Better signs of progress.
The main feature of CLO is that it’s progressive. The lessons get more difficult as Chinese that was taught earlier is reused. So how do you track this progress?
Each lesson has various activities assigned to it, that test your vocabulary, grammar, typing and character recognition skills. A good way to make sure you’re keeping up is to complete the activities after listening to each lesson. I’ve now made it easier to show you what lesson activities you have completed from the Course Outline page.
I continue to look for ways to enhance the current feature set, so if you have any other ideas for improvements do let me know in the comments below.
2. CLO Test
One question that many users who have already studied some Chinese before starting CLO is “What is my current level?”. In the past, the answer was to go through the Course Outline pages and look at the vocabulary taught in each lesson, until you come across a lesson with a word you didn’t know. Then start there.
In the coming weeks, I hope to offer a better solution in the form of a 20 question test that anyone can take. Your answers will then place you at an approximate CLO lesson number (anywhere from 1 to 420).
This is also a good way to test your progress through the course. More details will be made available shortly, when this test is ready.
3. Learning Insights
I’ve recently started adding more articles to the Learning Insights blog. While some topics pertain to maximizing the benefits from CLO, others are also related to learning outside of CLO and even a new cartoon series that I hope to expand, if there is demand. Take a look, and keep sending me feedback.
4. Updated CLO app
The CLO iPhone app has been updated with a new look to match iOS7. An Android version is currently being worked on. And yes more level content will be added over the next few months.
5. Read Type Chinese
I am currently working on a new online course that will be sold separately called Read Type Chinese. The focus on this course will be on reading characters and being able to type them out. I actually began the original version a few years ago, but went through a few different models before settling on the current model, which uses similar lessons to CLO, but using a more interactive format.
The sequence of words and characters taught is purposely different from CLO, and instead follows the HSK character and word list. This way there is less overlap between CLO and RTC.
Level 1 (around 30 lessons) has been posted, which matches Level 1 of HSK. Level 2 lessons will be begin being posted in the next few weeks.
You can signup for a free account to try out the first 10 lessons of the course, to see what you think. Here are some frequently asked questions about the new site.