I’ve been with you for about 2 months and I think your course is the best available !
I’m interested in Chinese culture. I spend about an hour and a half each day commuting by car, and I was looking for something to do with that time rather than waste it. I hit upon learning Mandarin via podcasts. I think I found your site by a random Google search. I tried “chinesepod”… they are good too, but because your approach is much more progressive I’m learning a lot more from you, and it’s sticking ! I was looking for a guided alternative to Chinesepod….although they have different levels, there is no progression within each level, and I found the jump between elementary and intermediate too large for me….you are left to figure out too much on your own, and there’s little means of checking if your understanding is correct.
I started on your level 2, following the lessons in order. I was able to whiz through a lot of the earlier lessons, and am currently on lesson 113. I’m trying to cover about 4 lessons a week, but I know this is going to slow down very soon.
My method is to listen to the dialogues first to see how much I understand, then go through each lesson using the “mouse” on the complete transcript. Sometimes I try to memorise the vocabulary and some phrases, but often it just sinks in with repeated listenings….I probably listen to each lesson about 6 times. I start listening to the Premium podcast after I’ve listened to the main podcast a couple of times, and I use the Premium podcast until I can answer without hesitation. I think the Premium podcast is as important as the main podcast. I print the “Vocabulary” section so I can refer to the dialogues while driving….my ipod screen is too small to use for this…it’s dangerous trying to figure out the tone-marks while driving on the motorway ! I also try to understand what is being said in the video’s, but I have to admit that I concentrate more on the podcasts…time is limited, and I also want to be able to read. I probably know about 300 characters now, and I’m pushing for the 500 needed for Level 3.
The presenting of transcripts in Hanzi is a great facility, really useful for those of us intent on reading; and Character Writing Practise sheets are a good idea…I was previously having to make my own, so you’ve saved me time there too, Ha!
Again, thanks for a great learning experience. I wish I had found your site 12 months ago when I started learning Mandarin.