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Hi @zhouhaochen,

 

When do you think you're going to have HSK5 lessons?

 

I took a look and it looked interesting, but I didn't create an account yet since I didn't quite understand what I would be billed and when. What are "winner 3 lessons" and are there trial lessons for trying it out before committing? This is especially interesting since there were only 1on1 lessons for HSK5 and they were quite a lot pricier..

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@alantin

Let me answer your questions:

1) We will go online with HSK 4 group classes on the 1st of March 2021. We will then assess how to proceed next. I think the next level will be HSK 4+, as we need two levels to get from HSK 4 to 5 because the jump is pretty big for additional vocabulary.

2) Winner 3 lessons are three hours of free group classes we give to winners of some of the contests we have on our social media and newsletters. You can sign up for the newsletter on the bottom of any LTL page and will get the information for each contest (we are having one for Chinese New Year right now), for example on https://flexiclasses.com/flexi-classes-work/

3) Absolutely yes you can sign up for a trial lesson before joining. You can click the banner of any of our pages to get there or directly sign up for a free trial class on

 

https://flexiclasses.com/free-trial/

 

4) Correct, HSK 5 are 1on1 classes. I am unsure if there is enough demand for HSK 5 group classes online, which is why it is not in the menu yet and it would take quite some time to develop as at that level things get quite complicated and also the differences in learners abilities become very big (some write really well, some speak really well, some can say anything that has something to do with their work but nothing about private life, others are great in Chinese that has to do with their family, but dont know business Mandarin etc.). So 1on1 is definitely the way to go.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I tried out LTL's new HSK 4 flexi classes and wanted to provide some feedback.

 

A bit about me: I passed HSK 4 a while ago and am now probably halfway through HSK 5, but am also doing other, non-HSK stuff so it's bit hard to gauge. I thought it would be a good idea to get to know both the school and teachers as I have been eyeing LTL's classes and homestay options for a while now. Am just waiting for the pandemic to be over... fingers crossed!

 

Flickserve has already written up a very detailed review and I can second pretty much all of the points he's made. Here are a few more thoughts:

 

Selecting & booking classes
Setting up an account and selecting classes is super easy. Each class is also given a tag that shows what the focus of that particular class will be - vocab, practice, grammar, characters. Unfortunately, you can't search for that though... it might be a good idea to make it searchable for future levels - particularly when you want to cater to people who are technically the same HSK level, but might have different study needs (building vocab, learning grammar, improving speaking skills etc.) If the school were to decide to offer HSK5, it would be great to have classes focusing on conversational Chinese as well.

 

Each class comes with a pdf which you can (and should) download. The course doesn't seem to follow the HSK standard books - I think that's excellent. Rather than having a teacher simply plow through HSK material, LTL came up with their own curriculum.

 

Learning experience/timing
I selected three classes (practice, vocab, grammar) with two different teachers. I booked one quite short notice so I knew there would be at least one other student in the class (otherwise it would have been canceled by then) and two more classes ahead of time where I didn't know whether other students would join. I ended up being the only student in these two classes.

 

The first class had another student who took this as part of a regular course. The class before was also part of that course. They were running late and I was left in a zoom waiting room. When I was finally let in, they hadn't finished the previous class yet. Luckily the other student said we could start the next scheduled lesson... which we didn't end up finishing either. The teacher said we would finish "next time" but obviously I won't be there. I thought the point of flexi classes was that they are pretty much self-contained units. I guess with flexi classes it really is important to stick to the schedule.

 

To be fair, they do cover a lot in just one hour, with lots of 造句子and 改错 exercises as well as new vocabulary, fill in the blanks, grammar points and dialogue. I also really liked the "Fun Chinese" bit.

 

I was the only student in the other two classes. Everything was bang on time.

 

The content of the classes was good - even though I already knew HSK 4 vocab I still managed to learn a few new words here and there when we started talking. And it was great speaking practice!

 

After class
As mentioned I only had one class with another student. It was a bit unfortunate the teacher had to leave for another class right away which killed the zoom connection. Not her fault at all and it obviously doesn't detract from the class itself. It was just that we students had started talking and it would have been nice to talk for a few more minutes after class. This international community is also what could be another great marketing feature: getting to meet people all over the world in and after class who are as passionate about Chinese as you are.


A suggestion would be to leave that particular zoom room open or have another hangout where students can meet for a bit after class as you would in the real world. Again, doesn't take away from the lesson in any way... would just be a nice extra perk.

 

Pinyin
One downside for me was the use of pinyin throughout. It's fine if new vocab is introduced, but when reading text it's really distracting to me... HSK3 以上 should do away with pinyin IMO. But I understand everyone has their own preferences and to some students it might be tremendously helpful.

 

Would I recommend the classes?
Yes, definitely! The classes are well put together, it's fun and I really like the flexibility. It's great value - particularly, if you end up being the only student in class, but even with just another student it's a really good deal.

 

I would obviously like to see higher levels at some point that cater more to my level. I realize introducing higher levels is tricky, but there surely is a market for this. It would be great to have small group classes and discuss a short newspaper article/short story/video clip or the like that everyone in the group would prepare before class, so that there is more time for discussion.


I would suggest doing away with pinyin (at least for higher levels). The booking/class scheduling interface is excellent - would be great to make some of the categories searchable.

 

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@SunnySideUpthanks so much for taking the time to try out the Flexi classes and the detailed feedback. Its super useful. Some takeaways from me:

 

1) The class that started late and had the comment "we will do this next time": that really should not happen. This is from the "old" way how teachers are used to teach consecutive courses with fixed times, where students cannot cancel, change times or have any flexibility when booking classes. It does not in 99% of the classes anymore, however in this case it did. I will definitely bring it up again in next months teacher training

 

2) For being able to class mates and make connections: we are in the process of adding a "social" component where you will be able to send messages to your class mates, talk to them and share homework, studying tips etc. after the class. Its in the works, thanks again for confirming that this is useful.

 

3) For being able to filter classes by category (grammar, pronunciation, practice etc.): We have that, but its obviously too hard to find. We need to make this easier to find. Press "More" under Book a Class when searching for classes and de-select the categories you dont want to see classes for. Attached a screenshot for example only displaying grammar classes for HSK 3 for the 3rd of April

image.thumb.png.7ea343c39aaa7f862d4cae64f8b80dff.png

 

4) Yes Pinyin is always a difficult story. There are very strong arguments into both directions. Personally I wanted to only read characters once I got to around HSK 3, however I found it good practice to have the pinyin there because it forced me to get used to (and force myself) to look at characters even when there are letters. I started to accept characters as "my" way of reading and stopped always being distracted by letters that way. Once I had learned that in my study materials, I also could do it in real life and "blank out" the pinyin (often without tone marks in real life, which I really dont like). Everyone different there though, thats just my experience.

 

5) And yes, I agree Flexi Classes are incredible value at the moment. We sell group classes at group class prices, but effectively 80% of the group classes only have one student in them and we run them anyways. I dont expect that to change significantly definitely for this year and probably even after. Its an investment from our side.

 

Thanks so much for spending so much time writing this. Its super helpful. I spend all day and night thinking and working on Flexi Classes and to hear from real people, writing on Chinese Forums about real Flexi Classes makes me very happy.

 

 

 

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@zhouhaochen

I am glad my review was helpful. Apologies, just double checked - I completely missed the "more" button on mobile... so it's indeed possible to search what you want to focus on. Great! It's also nice to hear you'll add a virtual hangout of sorts. It's probably too early for you to say whether there will be higher levels that are more geared toward discussing articles, book chapters and the like... but I'm all ears if you do :)

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@SunnySideUp I am thinking if we should automatically open the "More" Filters, because I am afraid quite a few people miss it. Thats the problem with people studying online - at our schools I see students every day for lunch, after class etc. so if something doesnt work as it should, we will know pretty fast. With online people can do something for quite a long time and we will just now know. Thats why all feedback like this is super valuable for us. 

Regarding higher levels, we are currently expanding the levels and will introduce a HSK 3+ level in May, plus additional review topics, so there will be 50 more topics to study. We currently see our HSK 4 level is actually very popular so there is clearly demand for higher level students. This might be because most of our students are people who studied at an LTL school in China previously as outside of our past students not so many people know of Flexi Classes yet - and they tend to be at a higher level as they studied intensively in China previously. An HSK 4+ and then HSK 5 level are the logical steps and I plan to have both of them online this year.

 

We also just started to offer Taipei version topics where students can choose to either study simplified or traditional characters. Its currently available for the first 10 Intro topics, we want to finish the first HSK 1 level until May.

 

We will start teaching Shanghainese on Flexi Classes from the 1st of May too. So there is just loads of stuff going on at the moment. Maybe a "good" side effect of Covid: we have a highly qualified teaching team that unfortunately barely has any students to teach at the moment, so we have time to create a lot of materials.

image.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been meaning to write a review for a few weeks now, but I’ve been really busy. I took up the offer for 3 free trial Flexi-classes. I did an HSK 4 , 2 and 3 level sessions. Not because the 4 was too difficult, just because I wanted to use the sessions as review rather than learning new material.

 

My background:

I came to China in 2012, did a course with a live one on one teacher of tones/initials/finals/pinyin for a couple months(I was hardcore on wanting to get pronunciation down). She then said I needed to focus on Characters to begin their "Book 1". I said I don't want characters. I started a job which was very time consuming and didn't require chinese. I told her to take her characters and shove them. Flash forward to 2018, I only knew how to say 再来一杯啤酒 (albeit pronounced decently), I am given a free chinesepod subscription. My interest is re-ignited. I've been studying very diligently since then, have learned about 800 hanzi and now enjoy it, use Chinese every opportunity I can, regret not sticking it out from the beginning. I do classes on another platform, which I will also review when I get a chance.

 

Now on to LTL Flexi Classes

 

Classmates:

In two of the classes there was a classmate. This is my first experience studying Chinese with another student. What I liked about it was that it took some pressure off me, as the teacher would alternate who they asked questions too, so you can relax a bit more and just listen. The downside was that I felt both students had quite poor pronunciation. One of the classes had no one else sign up, so it was simply a one on one lesson.

 

Teachers:

I had three different teachers. Two were women, one was a man. All seemed to have a fairly similar approach. Having us read the dialogs aloud. One of us is “A” one the other is “B”. Then asking us to Translate the sentence from Chinese to English. Explaining unknown vocab items, Clarifying grammar.

 

Tbh, I’d have liked this in the reverse order I think, because I felt like I was reading the sentence the first time through I had no time to think about the meaning - I was just reading the words. Actually, I think having the teacher read the dialog first, so we can hear her stress and pauses, then going over the meaning and finally we read them out would be a better technique. Afterwards perhaps asking us to do it again and then a further time without looking at the text. Just my personal opinion.

 

I would like to say all three teachers were exceedingly friendly and enthusiastic. They were all very happy to answer any questions.

 

I love the fact that they have male teachers. I would actually rather study with and imitate a male, since I'm one.

 

In the classes with classmates, there was a lot of English and I think many students want/need/like this(*I'm on the extreme end of not wanting ANY English whatsoever, so certainly different than most people). I the class with just me, the teacher sensed that I didn’t want any English and accommodated that.

 

 

Scheduling:

As others have mentioned the scheduling system is intuitive and works very well. I like that there are classes running 24/7 on lots of different topics. Although the topics  are arranged in a particular order, you don't have to follow it. I won't because I will use the classes as review of things I've already learned. 

 

Customer service:

I had one mishap where the connection wouldn’t open because of a problem on their end. Although I was not able to have the class, I received a prompt apology, explanation, and replacement credit plus an extra credit for my trouble(one credit equals on Flexi class). I thought that was a nice touch. I also realize this is a new service so they probably have a few things to iron out.

 

Suggestions:

A little more feedback and or correction from the teachers would be good. A bit more time spent on practicing the dialogs. Maybe reading them through a few times, role play without reading, improvising, etc.

 

Idea:

One thing I would love to see and don’t think is available anywhere would be some sort of “discussion” flexi-calsses. Imagine something like Chinese Pod type topics, that you could choose from range of. Focusing NOT on HSK, grammar, or even vocab for that matter, but simply focused on a “discussion”. A place to use stuff you already know to just practice speaking, both with the classmate and the teacher. Maybe pitched at the hsk 4/5 level. I could imagine something like a short text students would read beforehand, some essential vocab that should be learned prior to class and then the teacher simply facilitating a discussion. Maybe some questions about the text, students giving opinions, asking the teachers opinions, discussing realated issues. I don’t know how realistic this would be, just an idea.

 

Overall:

I think the service is a very good value. While it won’t be my primary course(because I already use another service), I have decided to continue on with LTL as a supplement to my learning. In fact I have already done several classes since the initial 3. I like to have a lot of study options, especially interacting with native speakers. I have currently signed on for the five classes a month and you can add as few or as many extra credits per month as well. The plan can also be changed or cancelled at any time. I intend to do around two flexi-classes a week that I will fit in when I have free time and theres a topic that interests me. Because the credits are valid for a month, if you take more classes one week and less another week, its not a problem.

 

I hope there is some useful information there. I definitely think LTL Flexi-classes are worth giving a try.

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@suMMitthanks so much for the in depth review! I am very happy that Flexi works well for you and is also very good value.

 

Some very useful ideas in there from which we can also learn to improve. Thanks a lot. I very much agree that English should be used as little as possible during classes - and that is how we train our teachers. Thanks for the feedback that this was not the case in one of the classes and I will bring this up in our next teacher training.

 

I also like the idea of "discussion" classes. We actually had them, but they were not that popular (or maybe people just couldnt find them). I find they would only make sense from a higher level onwards though. Maybe HSK 3 and up? Open there for all suggestions also from other users. We are in the process of restructuring our curriculum at the moment, mainly be including a lot more review classes, so it would be a good time to add new things.

 

 

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On 3/28/2021 at 11:19 AM, SunnySideUp said:

To be fair, they do cover a lot in just one hour, with lots of 造句子and 改错 exercises as well as new vocabulary, fill in the blanks, grammar points and dialogue. I also really liked the "Fun Chinese" bit.

I've heard students say the same. I'm intrigued to what this is now!

LTL looks really good. I really hoped to go to Shanghai this year and do the 12 week programme. I think though this year looks to be a bit of a write off again!

 

 

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On 4/18/2021 at 7:34 AM, suMMit said:

I love the fact that they have male teachers. I would actually rather study with and imitate a male, since I'm one.

 

In the classes with classmates, there was a lot of English and I think many students want/need/like this(*I'm on the extreme end of not wanting ANY English whatsoever, so certainly different than most people). I the class with just me, the teacher sensed that I didn’t want any English and accommodated that.

Maybe it would be a good idea to allow students, who have booked a class, to leave a comment before class on their preferences and expectations. Then the teachers can adjust accordingly and/or match students with similar interests.

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On 4/18/2021 at 7:34 AM, suMMit said:

One thing I would love to see and don’t think is available anywhere would be some sort of “discussion” flexi-calsses. Imagine something like Chinese Pod type topics, that you could choose from range of. Focusing NOT on HSK, grammar, or even vocab for that matter, but simply focused on a “discussion”.

I would love that as well, but I'd like to see this go beyond the usual topics of hobbies and plans for the weekend. It might also be good to have a short newspaper article or clip (can be video or audio) as sort of a launching pad for discussions. Probably that type of thing would only make sense for students at intermediate levels - so realistically speaking HSK 5? - to actually get a discussion going (rather than going through the text first and explaining vocab etc.)

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On 4/20/2021 at 3:59 AM, TaxiAsh said:

I've heard students say the same. I'm intrigued to what this is now!

LTL looks really good. I really hoped to go to Shanghai this year and do the 12 week programme. I think though this year looks to be a bit of a write off again!

You can download some sample Flexi Classes teaching pdfs on https://flexiclasses.com/mandarin-online/

Not sure about Shanghai this year. I continue to hope and there is a possibility, but nothing is certain. The only language trips that are currently happening are to Taiwan. It is two weeks quarantine, but there are visas since April again. We have quite a few students arriving at the moment and have probably the most active student community in Taipei ever.

 

 

 

 

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On 4/20/2021 at 1:02 PM, Jan Finster said:

Maybe it would be a good idea to allow students, who have booked a class, to leave a comment before class on their preferences and expectations. Then the teachers can adjust accordingly and/or match students with similar interests.

@Jan FinsterYes I fully agree. We have the feature for 1on1 classes, both when studying a Tailor Made 1on1 or topic. It is not available for small group classes though, because even though about 80% of our group classes have actually only one student in them at the moment, in a  group class we follow the topic that was planned to avoid discussion between different students what should be studied today.

However, there is always a quick introduction round at the beginning and students can tell teachers about specifics they want to pay attention to (for example tones) and teachers will accommodate that within the class.

image.thumb.png.acadb717e0eb9213a890c18feac04c60.png

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On 4/18/2021 at 1:34 PM, suMMit said:

Tbh, I’d have liked this in the reverse order I think, because I felt like I was reading the sentence the first time through I had no time to think about the meaning - I was just reading the words

 

Thinking about this later I realized that was my bad for not reading through all the material BEFORE the class. 

 

I also wanted to say I had a class a couple of days ago, with the same teacher a second time. The first time about ten minutes into the session, I asked her to not speak English. This second lesson was a perfect lesson in every way and she remembered my request and kept it all in Chinese. 

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Hi, I’ve taken FlexiClasses for over a month now and thought to add my review and feedback to the mix too.

 

Some background about me. I first started studying Chinese after a business trip to Shanghai in 2018 with a strong focus on the pronunciation, the characters and reading. I speak fluent Japanese and know between 1500 and 2000 characters to varying degree in Japanese so, when studying Chinese, the characters come relatively naturally to me too.

 

I began taking one to three free talk lessons a week with iTalki teachers in the beginning of summer 2019 and have been slowly working my way up to being able to converse with them only in Mandarin which I feel has finally really taken off only in the beginning of this year. From the beginning I have requested that the teachers only speak Mandarin to me even if I could only talk to them in English.

 

I also passed HSK4 in June 2020, but I felt a need to consolidate my grammar and found out about the FlexiClasses on these forums in the beginning of this year. I have also been eyeballing LTL every now and again and already hoped to have a chance to go to Shanghai to study with them after the pandemic is over.

 

I first had a few FlexiClasses trial lessons and got few credits to test it a little bit more with HSK3 lessons and finally based on these experiences I decided to take a full HSK4 course from the beginning to the end when they began in March.

 

The system works so that it creates full courses and distributes their sessions for each day. The courses always have the same lessons, but they are at different times so that you can pick a lesson when it is suitable for you and still follow the course. Or you can view the course and take the lessons in order from that one course so that the lessons are at the same time on the same days each week.

 

All in all, I had five different teachers when testing the system out in the beginning and I’ve now had one and the same teacher since I began the HSK4 course in March. The scheduling system seems to work so that after you select a lesson as a first student in it, the lesson goes to a pool for the teachers, and they will then schedule them from the pool for themselves. Additional students can also join the lessons and they will see who is teaching the lesson, but first student to schedule the lesson will not be able to pick a teacher.

 

I began following the course by scheduling all classes ahead, that I had the credits for, and one teacher picked them all up. At some point my subscription bought more credits for me, I scheduled more lessons, and this time another teacher got a few of them and my regular teacher got the rest. During the next lesson I mentioned to the teacher that I had a couple of lessons coming up with another teacher, but I actually preferred it if I could have the rest of the course with her. I didn’t expect it, but she reached out to the other teacher and they moved the lessons to her!

 

I am now about half-way through the course and I’m taking two hours at a time twice a week. All of the teachers are really friendly and great at keeping the conversation going. Also, I’m very appreciative of the fact that actually none of them tried to speak any English with me from the beginning! I also hope that getting more students to the group lessons won't mean that the amount if English will increase. That hasn't happened yet thankfully. I would stop using the service if the teachers began more English than an odd word here and there. This is very important to me!

 

I remember that in the first lesson I took, the teacher was really “let’s get right to business”, but all the others took a few minutes for introductions when they first met me. Also, they all have been really adept at steering the discussion to follow the material without making it feel like we are confined to the material. They will also use the phrases, vocab, or grammar structures being studied even when the conversation gets sidetracked after a question for example and then steer it back to the material.

 

One thing I feel is a little problem, is the amount of material in each lesson. It is usually too much to go through in one hour without making it really feel like laboring through material. The amount of stuff may be a good and a bad thing. You won’t run out of material, but on the other hand the teacher often (and maybe the student too) may feel pressure to finish the material, in which case the lesson can devolve into reading a part quickly and then moving over to the next part instead of really concentrating on how it works and how it is used. This sometimes happens towards the end of the lesson when you notice that you have 15 minutes left and you’re only at the page 11 out of 19.

 

This happens to me with almost every lesson, but I’m also infamous for sidetracking discussions. I wonder if others have this issue. Also, I don’t mind it with lessons where I’m the only student, but I try to rein in my sidetracking when there are other students too, but I still wonder how the lessons would work when there are full six students in a lesson. There is barely enough time to go through the whole material with two or three students and with three much of the spontaneity of the discussion while still following the overall curriculum feels lost and it gets more like concentrating on example sentences. However, from the business perspective, I think the 1on1 classes would become a more attractive option when there are more students using the system. I also think that the leaving the zoom room open for a while after the class ends for the students to mingle would be a good feature! I don’t know if that is possible with zoom however.

 

 

@SunnySideUp The incident you described sounds so familiar that I think I was the other student in the lesson. Somehow the teacher didn’t notice that another student had signed up for the second lesson and first lesson got delayed. I also checked the available seats in the lessons just before the first lesson began and at that time the system showed be that I was the only student in both lessons, so I was surprised too. I think the teacher was completely caught off guard when she realized there was another student waiting, and we also talked about the incident in the beginning of our next lesson. The teacher still felt really bad about it and has been very vigilant about the times after that. I’m also sorry for your bad experience since I was the cause of the previous lesson running late!

 

We also discussed that currently there is really no way for students and teachers to reach each other if there are some problems. For example, when my computer froze when I tried to join the lesson and then decided to proceed to update itself or something for ten minutes before I could get it back up again, log back into the site, and get to zoom. Luckily the teacher was still waiting for me.

 

At first, I got the subscription for 5 credits a month for 12€/credit. You can also get additional credits for 9€/credit if you don’t want commit to more than five classes a month, but sometimes want to take extra classes. I then upgraded it to the 15 credits a month for 9€/credit which seems to be a sweet spot for the number of classes I’m taking. The price of additional credits also doesn’t seem to be dependent on your subscription, so they are always 9€/credit, and you can buy only one more if you like. As described before the group classes currently offer great value for money since they cost one credit per one hour and most of the time you get the teacher all for yourself.

 

Out of the 28 classes I’ve taken so far, 7 have had other students join us so that make 75% of my group classes have turned out as 1on1 classes. Compared to iTalki you can get a professional teacher for an hour for about the same price, but they are stand-alone operators without a set curriculum and a company behind supporting them, so clearly FlexiClasses is underutilized at the moment. However, I believe it will make for a good first contact product for LTL after the pandemic too. Having classes with the LTL teachers definitely makes me want to go to China to study more with them. Maybe this prospect could be brought up more in the materials by for example describing situations in the material that a student would encounter while studying with LTL in China. Meeting with a host family for the first time, discussing how to do laundry, etc.

 

The materials are very good but as said, they tend to have a LOT of stuff for a one-hour session so I’m not expecting to finish the whole pdf in any given session. This is a pity since there are usually a bunch of words and two (?) grammar points in each pdf. The second grammar point often gets gone over quite superficially. In the materials these are listed on the first page but then introduced and gone over one after another, so maybe change this a little bit so that they could be introduced first briefly, and the order could then be decided based on how familiar they are already to the students? And not trying to finish the whole pdf if the time runs out and instead just moving on to the next lesson is, at least with me, completely fine.

 

The materials are also often thought provoking, cover lots of different subjects and the questions either in the materials or made by the teachers are really good conversation starters. “What do you think love is?”, “describe a situation that annoyed you to no end”, “do you think you’re a good liar?”.  You never run out of stuff to talk about in the classes, and you definitely get a lot of variation in the subjects.

 

Comparing with iTalki.

 

The main difference is that iTalki is platform for teacher to market their services and for students to find teachers but from the student’s point of view, you need to do the work finding a good teacher, who is suitable for you, and then find a open slot in the teacher’s calendar that works for you. Then you’ll need to discuss your goals etc. with the teacher and they’ll maybe create a curriculum for you etc. As I understand, with FlexiClasses the teachers work for LTL and the company provides the student with the curriculum and the materials. The student can freely select the time when to take the classes, which is super convenient if you have a busy schedule, and then a teacher will show up for the class. However, as a student you can’t pick your teacher. Teachers on both are awesome, passionate about teaching and many go out of their way to make their students happy. I’ve talked to a couple of dozen Chinese online teachers and have found these to be common traits. The FlexiClasses teachers also have the company behind them supporting them and they all use the same materials instead of coming up with their own, so the experience for the students is more consistent.

 

Compared to iTalki I think the good consistent curriculum, with high quality material, divided into HSK levels makes it a superior option if you want that structure. Once there are more students using the system, I think the group lessons are great for students at lower HSK levels or if you don’t want full attention all the time. For higher HSK levels I would prefer the 1on1 classes, but they’ll be somewhat more expensive since they take 3 credits each. However, if you take the 40 credits/month subscription and use it for 1on1 classes, the price for one hour lesson would be 22,5€ which Is more expensive but not that bad, comes with the full attention from the teacher with the LTL materials for the classes and is actually on par with the more expensive iTalki teachers.

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On 4/21/2021 at 3:57 AM, SunnySideUp said:

also be good to have a short newspaper article or clip (can be video or audio) as sort of a launching pad for discussions

I agree! We are currently looking into creating some conversation classes, where we take an article/video clip/newsmaterial from a source that posts daily Mandarin content and will discuss it.

HSK 5 is relatively easy to do (newspapers etc.) as we have quite a lot of options for news materials at that level, but HSK 4, 3 and 2 is a bit more a challenge (HSK 1 I think might not make no sense as they cant speak enough yet). Does anyone have any suggestions for daily news sources for lower level discussion topics?

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