However, what I always wanted was an opportunity to improve my skills to a more advanced level, gaining a deeper understanding of the culture and technical language points, and to improve my reading and writing. Some of you may wonder, why not have my wife teach me? Well for one, she is an accountant not a language teacher. Secondly. while there are some areas she can help with she does not possess the specialized training in teaching Chinese to foreigners. It would be like me teaching English to Chinese (which I have done and feel somewhat sorry for those that suffered through my classes) .
For years I researched my options:
- Private tutor/classes in the US – too expensive and lots of inconvenient travel time
- University classes – all during the day, not possible to attend with a full time job
- Community College classes – great price point, but not advanced enough for my needs
About two years ago I started to research the internet as online Chinese classes were become popular. I found one of the larger companies (that shall remain nameless) and from the advertisement it looked pretty good. After the free trial a sales person tried to “work me” into this very expensive plan with no flexibility and they wanted several thousand dollars upfront.
Last year during a business trip to China I stumbled across TouchChinese on an internet search. I was very skeptical but decided to give it a try. I had a trial lesson with Kitty, which went really well. Much to my surprise I was not hounded by a sales person to pay thousands of dollars afterwards. A few months later I discussed my personal plans with Eric and started formal lessons with Kitty.
I’ve been studying with Kitty at TouchChinese for a few months now and really love it! For me, with a hectic works schedule, 2 children, and international travel, flexibility was key and TouchChinese has been wonderful in this area. I am not forced to take lessons when its not convenient for me. I can take 1 a week or 3 a week and can schedule a lesson with about 24 hours notice.
Flexibility aside, the quality of instruction is superb, which was another concern. My instructor has her Masters in Chinese and knows the challenges that westerners face. She is able to pinpoint certain areas and explain them quite clearly. She also provides supplemental material that helps with the integration and understanding of my lessons. I look forward to each lesson as I know I will really get a lot out of it.
I am extremely pleased with my TouchChinese experience and plan on staying with them for quite a while. I told my teacher (Kitty) that I would continue to study Chinese until all areas (reading, writing, speaking and pronunciation) are the same as a native!
I was also fortunate enough to meet both Eric and Kitty during my last business trip to China and in addition to being very professional, they are really nice people too!
Thank you and keep up the great work!
On my search to find a professional online Mandarin school, I came across <> in Mai 2010 and took a trial lesson. Since then, I have
had almost 300 one-to-one lessons and I keep on going.
What makes TouchChinese so very special?
• I have the same teacher (Kiwi laoshi is fantastic) since day 1!!! We started with “Ni hao” together and are having conversations in Mandarin today. Kiwi knows my weaknesses and strengths and adapts her teaching accordingly. She is friendly and funny and patient and understands how to motivate. She instantly managed to take away the fear that learning Mandarin is complicated. When Kiwi was on vacation (once), I was taught by a substitute teacher who was aware of my progress in detail.
• Most importantly, Touchchinese is extremely flexible: I do not need to commit to a fixed schedule and therefore I have utmost flexibility which is fitting my personal life style; hence it is the first time that I am following a language course with discipline and commitment.
• The simple software allows me to learn Hanzi (Chinese characters) – which I strongly recommend everyone to do if you want to get serious.
• The material provided is up-to-date, interesting and useful – on my trip to China last year; I have been complimented for my pronunciation and vocabulary.
• Learning through skype works perfectly. Since May 2010 we only had one session which we had to drop due to problems with the internet – the session was credited instantly.
• The management is in regular contact with me asking for feedback and wishes and will make sure of implementing them accordingly
To cut a long story short – if you always dreamed about learning Chinese but your busy schedule prevented you from doing it, <> is the place you want to give it a try. I am convinced that you will stick to it and that you will surprise yourself about how easy it is to keep discipline and have fun.
Zhu ni hao yun.
It’s amazing how interestingly learn Chinese via Skype! Is a good way to start!