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      December 7, 2019

Home  >  Learn Chinese  >  Rocket Languages vs Chinese Class 101

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Rocket Languages vs Chinese Class 101

To help you find the Best Chinese Lessons, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Rocket Languages and Chinese Class 101.

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Learn Chinese with Rocket Languages Today! 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.

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Best Reviews

2019

Chinese Lessons Reviews

5 stars
Rocket Languages

ROCKET LANGUAGES

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Cost:

$99.95 for Level 1

$249.90 for Levels 1 & 2

$299.95 per level for coursework delivered via audio CDs

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Rocket Language's Mandarin Chinese lessons program is simple and effective, giving you the skills you need to learn the modern Chinese language. Whether you are new to the Chinese language or already have some experience with it, Rocket Chinese will improve your ability to use Chinese conversationally.

Each level within the Chinese package contains the following:

  • Twenty-five minute interactive audio lessons (33). These lessons contain conversational Chinese, focusing on common phrases and vocabulary used in everyday life. Listen to each lesson as many times as needed to train your ear to respond to each prompt.
  • Language & Culture Lessons (29+). Rocket Chinese provides step-by-step explanations in English to help students learn exactly how Chinese works.
  • Voice recognition phrases (1,890+). Rocket Record allows you to improve your pronunciation by evaluating your recorded phrases against its voice recognition tool, bringing your accent as close to a native level as possible.
  • Flash Card sets (62+). Improve your active recall of the phrases you learn with a set of Flash Cards for each and every lesson.
  • 24/7 Forum and Email Support. Rocket Chinese believes there's no such thing as a dumb question. Students have unlimited access to discussion boards and forums where they can get answers from Chinese teachers, native speakers, and fellow Chinese students.

Other course features include the My Vocab vocabulary builder, the Phrase Finder, progress tracking with badges and leaderboard access, lifetime course access, and two "Survival Kits" that help students quickly master targeted vocabulary within specific Chinese conversational situations.

Rocket Chinese offers a 20-minute audio lesson as a free trial with no credit card information required, along with several "Hear It Say It! Write It! Know It!" examples on the website. Although, we had some trouble trying to get our voice samples to record, as well as figuring out how to use the special "pinyin" keyboard in order to enter the characters for the answers in the examples.

We love Rocket Language's 100%, 60-day money-back guarantee, though you may not need it: more than 1,500 users have given the program a perfect five-star rating.

Learning a new language - especially one with a completely different writing system from most Western languages, and pronunciation tones that are critical to master - might be scary at first. However, Rocket Chinese works hard to help students master conversational Chinese as easily as possible. We particularly like their well-rounded approach to language teaching, their free samples, and their customer-friendly return policy. If speaking Chinese is on your to-do list, Rocket Chinese is one of our favorite programs. They earn our highest rating.

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3.5 stars
Chinese Class 101

CHINESE CLASS 101

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Cost:

$4+/month for Basic plan

$10+/month for Premium plan

$23+/month for Premium + plan

Innovative Language's Chinese Class 101 program provides a wide variety of language instruction levels, from brand-new language learners to those looking to refine their understanding of specific Chinese dialects.

The salesy tactics used by Chinese Class 101 might be a turn-off to some prospective customers. The main site promises a free account with lifetime access, but no further information is available until you enter your name, email address, and level of learning (absolute beginner, beginner, intermediate advanced), and then activate your account once you receive the email (alternately, you can sign up using your Facebook account). The confirmation page then takes you to a "limited, one-time offer" that includes the following:

  • One month of premium access (regular price of $25/month)
  • One free product download (starting at $9.99)
  • 7-day Fluency Fast Course
  • Ultimate Getting Started with Chinese Lesson Pack, with 60 Chinese audio lessons and lesson notes, 10 bonus video lessons, and user guide

In order to access this "one-time offer", you'll need to pay $1 as a "bandwidth fee". Otherwise, click on the "No Thanks" link and it will take you to your main account page. On that page, we got yet another "special offer", explaining that we had now been given a 7-day free trial with access to the entire lesson library and Premium tools, but we could get a 10% discount if we upgraded to a subscription plan that day. Fortunately, the sales pitch seems to finish there, as you can jump directly to audio Absolute Beginner Lesson 1, "Meeting: What's Your Name in Chinese?"

In that initial 15-minute lesson, you will find a basic lesson explaining how names are very different in Chinese, along with a simple introductory conversation between two strangers. We thought it was a neat feature that members can ask Cho, a native speaker helper, for help with choosing a Chinese name - or getting an approximation of the pronunciation of their own name - in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Also be sure to check out the spot at the top of the lesson that says "Download PDFs". Here you'll find a transcript of the lesson, lesson notes (including the approximate pronunciation using the familiar English alphabet, or the "Romanization"), and checklists to help you track your progress through the materials.

We felt that, for many learners, figuring out what to do first, second, and third would be confusing. The learning dashboard shows the recommended lesson progression under the "My Pathway" heading, access to flashcards and other tools, and access to the "My Teacher" feature included with Premium Plus memberships. Do we start with Self-Introduction? What do we add to the courses we're taking? It was challenging to determine what we needed to do next, to make sure we were progressing in the most logical way.

We did notice that there are video lessons in addition to the audio lessons we were led to in the dashboard, so we went to the series "Learn Chinese in Three Minutes". Those videos made more sense than the audio files, but we weren't sure if we needed to follow the instructions to "add course to dashboard". Also in the Absolute Beginner Videos section, we found one entitled "Chinese Reading Comprehension for Absolute Beginners", which would be very useful for those who need to master both written and spoken Chinese. We recommend that students go to the Lessons navigation at the top of the page, and select "Learning Paths": here you will find groups of lessons categorized as Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

We were also initially confused by the pricing for Chinese Class 101's packages. On one page, it said that their packages were priced at $4/month for the Basic plan, $10/month for the Premium package, and $25/month for Premium+; however, on the main pricing FAQ page, the prices were listed as nearly double those amounts. The difference? The higher prices are for a 1-month subscription, and the lower prices reflect a 50% discount given for a 24-month subscription. Keep that in mind as you decide which plan meets your needs and your budget, and be sure to compare the features offered at each subscription level (e.g. interactive voice recording is included with Premium and Premium+ only, while printer-friendly lesson notes are included with all paid memberships).

Chinese Class 101 does offer a guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with your membership at any level, you may request a refund within 60 days. Be aware that you will only be refunded for the unused time on your membership plan.

Because of the breadth of the content offered and the solid variety of teaching approaches (e.g. audio, video, MP3 downloads, mobile apps), we give Chinese Class 101 a respectable rating. This rating would improve with fewer hoops for prospective customers to jump through in order to check out what the Chinese program has to offer, and less emphasis on the sales pitch.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Instructional Methods. Does the format of the lessons match well with your learning style? If a free sample or trial is available, how did you feel after giving it a try?
  • Skill Level. Does the program have an option for your level, whether that is beginning, intermediate, or advanced? Can you move from one level to the next for what you purchase, or do you have to buy more levels later?
  • Value. Is the program effective? Is it worth the money necessary to purchase the program?
  • Mandarin or Cantonese. While the majority of Chinese learners and thus teaching programs focus on Mandarin, you might prefer a Cantonese program if your primary use of the language will be in Hong Kong or with speakers from that area.

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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