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mikeedward

ChineseClass101

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mikeedward

A new Chinese language learning website has entered the arena: http://www.chineseclass101.com

Site is a collaboration between http://popupchinese.com, Innovative Language Learning, a couple of extremely popular Ex-Cpod people, and a few new people.

As for my first impressions, so far I've listened to the entire Beginner series (approx. 20 published). Hosted by Frank Fradella and Echo, these are extremely well done. Great energy, well recorded, and so on.

One Elementary lesson has been published, hosted by David Lacanshire and Echo, also very well done.

Listened to about 5 of the Survival Series. I thought these were interesting but the Chinese speaker was a little difficult to understand and the non-native speaker's Chinese wasn't great. Still however a good addition.

Another series, "All About Chinese Culture" with Amber from CPod and a native Chinese speaker Victor is again, very well done. Will likely bring in huge numbers of new people from iTunes.

The last series that I'm aware of is an Advanced Audio Blog by Apple. Listened to 2 so far. I think they are great listening practice and study material.

They seem to have the talent, smart marketing sense, and the technology to compete with anybody out there. I think I'd have to see more intermediate-advanced lessons in order to subscribe. I assume these are coming at some point. For now, I think they can capture a big part of the newbie-elementary market. Any thoughts?..

Edited by mikeedward

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roddy

Definitely a welcome new addition to the market place. After years of Chinesepod being very nearly the only option, we've now got Chinesepod, PopupChinese, and ChineseClass101. I don't use any of them so I'm not going to comment on the relative strengths and weakness, but the extra choice can only be a good thing.

Innovative Language Learning, incidentally, have been running Japanesepod101 for some time.

Anyway, ChineseClass101 (and the others I think) offer a week's free trial, so no reason not to check it out if you're interested.

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imron

And if you're looking to browse the site without needing to sign up for an account, you can bypass the splash screen and go directly to the main site using this link.

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self-taught-mba

I am sure it will be good. But has it really been downloaded by 25 million people? They should take that off or at least say they mean for all of their products. Otherwise it is misleading.

"Over 25 million downloads by students in 120 countries and territories. What do they know that you dont?"

Expecting great things from this service.

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roddy

Presumably referring to all their different language programs, and it's downloads, not students. Very easy to get people to subscribe to stuff via iTunes and RSS. Whether they're actually using it after downloading is another matter, but that's marketing.

There's a discount code for ChineseClass101 here if anyone wants it. Looks to be a limited number of them.

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imron

People who pay attention will realise there is also a 10% discount code for any of their products that doesn't appear to be limited.

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self-taught-mba

Yeah, I realize it is for DLs and for all their products.

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roddy

So, anyone been using it?

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lan_dawei

I just subscribed to ChineseClass101. I agree with our overall

assessments. It is a less expensive alternative to Cpod (which

BTW, I like.) I like competition and thought I'd give CC101 a

try.

I like having the check lists to hold me accountable to checking

on my progress.

It is great to hear Amber's voice again!

Best wishes to CC101!

蓝大卫

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flash3435

Their exaggeration of numbers seems kind of hokey to me. The 25 million downloads figure that was questioned earlier has now been raised to 60 million:

"Over 60,000,000 downloads of over 1000 different educational audio and video lessons and iPhone application choices by people just like you looking to have fun learning Chinese and learn at their own pace."

It specifically states this is for people learning Chinese, so if that stat is pulled from all their other sites, then it is quite misleading. I looked for their 1000 different lessons and found 130 lessons, 42 videos and 7 iphone apps. My numbers might be off by a few, but how does 179=1000?

Later in their blog, they talk about a contest that recently ended where users has to subscribe to their Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.

"In total, almost 30,000 people participated! "

Being skeptical, I checked and this is what I found:

Twitter: 298 followers

Facebook: 211 fans

YouTube: 1045 subscribers

Total: 1554

How does 1554 = almost 30 000??

I can't comment on the actual quality of their lessons, but why try to play us like fools with these exaggerated numbers?

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trevelyan

Hi Flash,

It's David here. I don't think the New York team monitors Chinese Forums, but since I try to visit at least once a week and stumbled onto this I thought I'd chime in.

To my knowledge, the numbers cited on the splash page are aggregates across the entire Innovative language series, which is ten languages and counting. So if anything, the stats are lower than they should be. As far as CC101 goes, It's trivial to explore the archives, basic accounts and the mp3s are free and there's a money back guarantee on the paid subscriptions, so it should be pretty clear there isn't any intention to deceive.

If you do get around to reviewing the materials at some point and have suggestions please do pass them along. It's very useful for us to get concrete feedback and we do try to incorporate suggested changes/improvements. And thanks for the feedback on the site copy too.

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in_lab

It has been a month, and chineseclass101 still has not changed the misleading copy from their web site:

Over 60,000,000 downloads of over 1000 different educational audio and video lessons and iPhone application choices by people just like you looking to have fun learning Chinese and learn at their own pace.

Clearly the 60 million downloads of over 1000 things were not all people learning Chinese and nowhere on the page is there any clue given that they are not talking about learning Chinese.

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wrbt

In the words of the immortal Tommy Lee Jones in the movie "The Fugitive" as Harrison Ford holds a pistol to him and claims he didn't kill his wife: I DON'T CARE.

If I'm using this website it's because it helps me learn Chinese. If some other attribute of the website directly affected how well I can learn Chinese from it, like yellow text on a white background or animated butterflies or whatever fine then I punt.

But if my goal is to learn Chinese, and it provides a good product, I couldn't care less how far they are stepping into the nebulous area of sales numbers. Maybe that's important if I'm an advertiser paying for click-thrus?

I really like the advanced audio blog, it's got nicely varied content and is a good length. Lots of material available too I think they've already got about 40 of 'em in advanced.

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in_lab

I like to hear people go on about not caring. It shows such an intense level of indifference.

Things that are good but flawed are what most merit constructive criticism.

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wrbt

We must just have different personality types... I believe that which has absolutely zero effect on the usefulness of something is what least merits criticism and discussion. It's like fussing over what color the rubber grip handle on a shovel is.

Don't confuse indifference with pragmatism.

Best of luck with your Chinese studies, and cheers!

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roddy

So is anyone actually using it?

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wrbt

Yes I've been going thru the advanced audio blog.

Like = transcript PDF in every which way possible, including a good English translation for the occasional language nuance that non-native speakers might not pick up. Good length too, there are some podcasts out there that have a good format but 90 second dialogs, these aren't too long or too short.

Don't like = I want to complain about the vocabulary lists but it's hard to say it's probably just my not really being advanced that makes me think they are too short. It also seems they lack much in terms of true dialog, it's more like essays being read aloud.

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anonymoose
It's like fussing over what color the rubber grip handle on a shovel is.

:lol:

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in_lab

On Saturday and Sunday, about five articles and opinion pieces in the newspaper were devoted to criticizing Ma Ying-jeou's statement saying that eating American beef is safer than smoking a cigarette. I didn't think it was a great analogy, but it was a lot better than the shovel analogy. :D The situation is more like selling one liter of soda in a two-liter bottle. Sure, a lot of people will notice the missing soda before they buy it, and the soda's every bit as good, but it's packaged deceptively.

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hanyu_xuesheng

roddy said:

After years of Chinesepod being very nearly the only option, we've now got Chinesepod, PopupChinese, and ChineseClass101.

Well, there are some more around:

1. http://melnyks.com/ from a teacher in Canada

2. http://www.chineselearnonline.com/ from Taiwan

3. http://www.slow-chinese.com/ texts from China, slowly spoken

4. http://lingq.com unique approach, also available for Chinese

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