Chinese Learn Online - Progressive Mandarin Course
- Some concepts didn't make sense
- I kept forgetting key vocabulary
- I kept hitting walls where I wasn't making enough progress
- Even when I knew what I wanted to say, nobody understood what I was saying
I Wanted To
- Learn on the go. During my commutes, while at the gym, while standing in line.
- Be explained concepts that made sense coming from English
- Be constantly pushed to reuse what I had learned before
- Focus on listening, speaking and reading. I found that being able to read meant I could type and text, which I found far more useful.
So finally I decided to put my Computer Science background to use and create an online course to learn Mandarin Chinese for native English speakers. This was the course I wish I had when I first began learning.
Be audio based- As Chinese is a tonal language, it's important to get your English brain used to the sounds of Chinese. This is why books (on their own) don't work. You have to get your brain to hear the same sounds over and over until they make sense to you.
Have transcripts of everything ever said- In many podcasts I heard vocabulary that didn't make sense to me until I saw it written down. I found I remembered things better if I heard it and saw it.
Be progressive- This was the key that was missing from so many of the other programs I found out there. Some of their lessons are all in English with not much Chinese actually being taught. Whereas others are all in Chinese that I haven't learned yet that I find too difficult. Ideally I'd like lessons to increase in difficulty as I learned more and incorporate more of the Chinese I'd already learned within the lesson. This way I would be forced to review what I'd learned earlier in context.
Have proper review tools- to help me remember key vocabulary and concepts. Chinese Learn Online (CLO) is what I've created. I designed the course material with the help of teachers at a local university here in Taiwan. Over the years, the lessons have been downloaded millions of times by learners from nearly every country on this earth. Many have provided feedback that has gone back into improving the course material and review tools.
CLO is an online course that you can complete in your spare time, from your computer, tablet or phone.
Sign up for the course and work your way through the lessons. For each lesson, do the following:
Works on Most Devices
Use PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android phones and tablets
Learn to Listen and Read
Focus just on listening or learn to read along with Chinese characters
Make sure you understand the material before continuing
Avoid the mistakes many other learners make
There are two main challenges that new learners have, when it comes to learning Mandarin Chinese
1). Tones: Unlike English, Chinese is a tonal language. This means if you say the right word but with the wrong tone, you can be easily misunderstood.
CLO gets your brain used to these tones by providing you with a LOT of material to listen to. As you get used to it, later lessons speed up the Chinese you're hearing as your brain adapts to it. You'll find Chinese being used throughout the lesson. But this is all Chinese that was taught to you before, so it will be mainly review. Imagine being able to have complete, in depth conversations with Chinese people - using their native language - and being able to understand everything they say, and more importantly have them understand you back! We slowly replace the English used in lessons with Chinese that was taught before. This gets your brain used to hearing Chinese. Later lessons are conducted mainly in Chinese, that was taught earlier. If it ever gets too difficult, review earlier levels to get back on track.Get Me Started
2). Characters: Do Chinese characters scare you? After all, there are thousands of characters out there - however will you learn them all?
CLO solves this problem in two ways. If you find it overwhelming, then just focus on listening and understanding. All the transcripts and exercises can be done in pinyin (writing out the Chinese using the English alphabet). You can always go back and redo the course using characters when you're ready for it. Ready to get into characters now? Then choose between simplified or traditional characters (the course fully supports both). As the course goes from easy to more difficult, so will the number of characters. Flashcards and other exercises are provided with each lesson to test your understanding of the characters learned so far.Get Me Started
SEE WHAT A DIFFERENCE THIS APPROACH HAS MADE TO OTHER STUDENTS JUST LIKE YOU.
I have been complimented many times, quite genuinely, on my good pronunciation. Not as a native speaker or speaking correct Mandarin all the time but generally being understood.
I have a close Chinese friend who said go with CLO. She constantly remarks on my great accent which she says is always the biggest problem.
I have to share that CLO has been the single most useful, effective, convenient and fun way of studying the language. My Chinese speaking friends are amazed at my progress since I have been studying with CLO.