Learning a language can be an experience that transforms your life. It provides a competitive edge in career choices and opportunities for personal enrichment through travel and building relationships with new friends.
In our homeschool, my children chose to learn Mandarin Chinese at an early age. It has since become a focus of our curriculum. Recently, my daughter prepared for the Chinese Language and Culture AP exam and now my son has taken on the challenge.
I received access to an eChineseLearning class in exchange for an honest review and I was compensated for my time writing the review. All opinions are my own.
One of the best ways to learn a foreign language is to work with a native speaker. A native speaker provides you with the opportunity to learn a variety of useful phrases, sentence structures, vocabulary, and the proper tones. The more you engage with native speakers, the more you learn.
This rule has been proven to be effective for many language learners. I am confident it is the reason my daughter was successful. Finding a native speaker is not always easy, however. Especially if you live in a rural area as we do.
I have picked up a few Chinese phrases over the years. I have always wanted to learn more though. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a short conversation with my kids in their target language?
Learning Mandarin with eChineseLearning
I was delighted to learn of the online lessons available through eChineseLearning. Perhaps now I could begin to learn what the kids are saying when I hear 妈妈 (māmā)?
My first lesson was with Bonnie. It was just like sitting down for a cup of tea in our favorite coffee shop. Meeting for the first time, our conversation focused on getting to know one another as she gently corrected my pronunciation and guided me to express myself.
I had explained in advance that my goal was conversation, it was less important for me to learn how to read the characters as I know I do not have the time to invest. I simply want to be able to chat.
E: 你好。(Nǐ hǎo.)
B: 你好。(Nǐ hǎo.) 你好吗? (Nǐ hǎo ma?)
E: 我很忙，我很好。(Wǒ hěn máng, wǒ hěn hǎo.)
Bonnie pointed out that the conjunction 但 (dàn) would be useful in this situation to join these two sentences together. I listened to her example and repeated,
E: 我很忙，但是我很好。(Wǒ hěn máng, dàn shì wǒ hěn hǎo.)
B: 你是美国⼈吗。(Nǐ shì měiguó rén ma?)
Positives of eChineseLearning
Our lesson continued for thirty minutes though a typical lesson is 50 minutes in total. We took turns using the vocabulary intermittently as either a statement or a question.
She did a great job of allowing the conversation to flow as naturally as possible considering I know very little. She was able to scaffold the lesson and made adjustments to the lesson according to my needs and level of understanding.
As a VIPKID teacher, I am familiar with online language learning. Just as my students have a workbook from which they can study between our online lessons, eChineseLearning provides textbooks. With guidance from the teacher, a study plan is crafted.
Students have the option book their lessons with a favorite or regular teacher but are also encouraged to work with a variety of teachers to develop their listening comprehension skills.
I was very impressed with the quality of the lesson and am excited to continue developing my Chinese language skills.
Negatives of eChineseLearning
While eChineseLearning is good in many ways, it has disadvantages too. All their lessons are conducted with a teacher on a one-on-one basis, so I have to say they are not cheap. It might not be suitable for you if you do not want to spend a lot of money on learning Chinese. However, if you are very serious about learning Chinese and have a strong specific goal, eChineseLearning is definitely worth a shot.
Stay Strong Campaign
eChineseLearning students and teachers send their wishes for people fighting the coronavirus around the world. I was touched when I watched this video – they want everyone to know that we are not alone.
Best wishes for people fighting the coronavirus around the world!
This is a great time to begin language lessons. Currently, eChineseLearning provides three campaign offers:
#1 Not Satisfied with a Lesson? Don’t Pay for It!
If you are not satisfied with a particular lesson and your request is reasonable, eChineseLearning will provide you with a free make-up lesson.
#2 1-Month Free Lessons to Give Away
If you purchase or upgrade a course package during the campaign period, you will get an extra month of lessons (two lessons per week) for FREE.
This offer is valid for new, current and former students.
#3 Refer a Student and Get Two Months Free Lessons and $100 Credit
If you refer a student to eChineseLearning during the campaign period, you will get extra month of FREE lessons on top of the existing rewards (1 month Free lessons plus US$100 credit), which means you get 2 months of FREE lessons and US$100 credit in total.
What are you waiting for? Come join me. ⾛吧! (Zǒu ba!) – Let’s go!