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Review of Popup 'classes' service (Skype Lessons)


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Was requested to put up a post here similar to the Chinesepod review post so technically it's in the wrong section. Will keep it brief.

I'm actually studying in Beijing but am not the most outgoing person. I can't seem to find a language partner who will grade their language appropriately (maybe I'm asking too much here). My Chinese has never really got past the elementary stage (I take full responsibility for this) so I thought I'd give Popup Chinese a go. I was emailing David Lancashire back and forth and he replied quickly and in a timely manner explaining everything to me. He was very thorough and no pressure was applied. Really liked his style. Another reason I chose Popup Chinese was because the Podcasts were funny and interesting and the company seemed to have a good reputation.

So I got a 3 month course for $300 I think it was. That have me 1 hour per week of Skype classes. As I'm in Beijing I was able to meet my tutor face to face in Wudaokou and explain to her what I was interested in doing. Classes evolved mainly into discussions about the Mandarin Companion Chinese reader "The Secret Garden". Not so much discussions, but me answering questions and trying my best to develop some sort of discussion. We might venture off then into some aspect of Chinese culture which I always found really interesting. It was up to me really what direction I wanted the class to go and times were flexible. So in short I really liked the class but due to one thing or another (mainly my disillusionment with Chinese teaching in college) I drifted away after 2 months (completely my fault) and felt too embarrassed to restart classes. I'm an idiot.


- Flexible times

- Excellent tutor who graded her language and the chance to switch if you want

- Doesn't blow too much of a hole in the wallet

- Could break down classes to 2 x 30min sessions per week

- Unlimited access for a year to Popup Chinese online content


- None that I can think of. I really can't fault them.

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I never tried their tutoring, but I'm a podcast subscriber and never miss it myself.

I as well had a great run in with them when I went to buy a year of their premium service and essetially had Echo give me the year for free. Said she lost her wallet and had no way to have me direct transfer without the card number and then never followed up. Naturally that's not standard, but how cool of her not to harp on the money or cut me off, right? Granted I only used it occasionally, but still.

That shows me that they're in it for the love of what they do and not the money for sure. I absolutely recommend them.

P.S. don't be too hard on yourself! We all fall off the wagon, some of us for years, lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just checked out the site, looks like a simplified version of ChinesePod. I signed up and went to their introductory lessons, I see some frustrated comments from others. I think in general Pod is hard for beginners without any basic knowledge of Chinese...

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