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With more than 16% of the world's population who speak Chinese as their first language, it's no wonder that modern education is prioritizing learning Chinese as a foreign language. From immersion-based elementary schools to language learning programs found online, it is estimated that as many as 40 million non-native speakers around the globe are currently studying Chinese.
There are two primary dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, or "Standard Chinese", the official language of China and Taiwan; and Cantonese, the official language in Hong Kong and Macau and influential in the Guangdong Province. While the two are similar, Chinese students may want to focus more on one or the other, depending on their purposes for using the language.
Wednesday, January 27th
Rocket Languages uses a well-rounded approach to help students converse in Mandarin Chinese and has more than 250 hours of language lessons throughout its beginner and advanced levels. Because of its high customer satisfaction ratings and affordable pricing, Rocket Languages is a great choice for Chinese lessons.
Transparent Language is one of the few Chinese language providers that offers both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese instruction. Their classes are available as an audio course as well as an online subscription for adults. Transparent gives students less structure within the lesson framework than we observed in other Chinese lessons, so Transparent Language may work best for self-directed learners who don't need regular prompting to motivate themselves to progress in their Chinese studies.
Rosetta Stone is a household name when it comes to foreign language instruction, and rightly so: the lessons provided are comprehensive and approach learning in a variety of ways (for example, audio or visual). While Rosetta Stone's regular pricing for the Mandarin Chinese program is steep, special offers often make it as affordable as other courses that are less comprehensive.
Chinese Class 101, from Innovative Language, uses a variety of approaches - audio, video, written, and so on - to teach Chinese and includes a good selection of lessons that teach different dialects as spoken in various parts of the world. The user interface can be somewhat overwhelming, and the sales tactics might feel pushy to some customers. We recommend trying the 7-day free trial before committing to a paid membership.
Pimsleur is best known for its 30-minute audio recordings that provide Chinese lessons on the go. If you learn well by listening, Pimsleur might be your best - though expensive - way to begin studying conversational Chinese. But, if understanding how to read Chinese characters is important to you as well, be sure to get the DVD software version that includes reading lessons, flashcards, and other learning helps.
Pronounced "link", LingQ teaches Chinese lessons with authentic Chinese texts and native speaker "helpers", who help students sound more natural in their speaking and writing. We found that LingQ's point system for those connections makes it difficult to know the true cost of their learning model, and they make no mention of how students are able to bridge the gap between English and the Chinese characters in authentic texts.
Unforgettable Chinese uses a speed-learning mnemonic technique to teach Mandarin Chinese vocabulary. Unforgettable Chinese might be helpful for people currently learning Chinese who want basic vocabulary drills; however, compared to more comprehensive Chinese programs, Unforgettable Chinese will not adequately convey grammar and overall usage of the language.
Strokes Easy Learning Chinese targets levels A1, A2, and B2 of the European Framework for Languages. However, with information on the Chinese lessons available only in Italian at the time of this review, with almost no positive reviews for Easy Learning programs in other languages, errors on the website, and zero return policy, Strokes Easy Learning is our lowest-ranked provider of Chinese instruction.
From beginners learning the intonation of a simple ni hao to those looking to fine-tune their knowledge of Chinese characters and pronunciation, students have many programs from which to choose to help them better grasp the intricacies of the Chinese language. When deciding which Chinese lessons will be the best option, we recommend getting a feel for each program's methods.
The most well-rounded Chinese lessons use strategies to reach different learners - visual, auditory, and so on - through flashcards, pronunciation practice using a microphone to compare the student's speech to that of a native speaker, games, and other online resources.
On the other hand, some Chinese programs focus on a single approach to teaching the language (for example, worksheets or audio lessons) that may or may not be the best way for a particular student to learn.
When choosing a program for Chinese lessons, there are several things to consider. These include:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Chinese Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you learn the most common language around the globe quickly and easily!
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