Summary: GoEast Mandarin offers in-person classes in Shanghai as well as online courses. This review will focus on their online course, which offers a blended approach with self-study lessons and private 1-1 lessons. Their teachers are excellent and the self-study content is solied. Although the high cost will be prohibitively expensive for many people, when considering everything included, the price becomes much more reasonable.
Quality The teacher I worked with was fantastic and the self-study course is solid.
Thoroughness Their blended approach with lots of 1-1 classes ensures students master the content.
Value Expensive courses but includes lots of 1-1 classes.
I Like The teacher I worked with was fantastic and obviously very experienced.
The self-study curriculum gives you a chance to learn the material before practicing it with the instructor.
A private lesson after each self-study lesson ensures you master the material.
Learners will be exposed to far more Chinese than they would with other courses.
I Don’t Like There are far cheaper options for learning Mandarin.
The self-study material, while solid, isn’t exceptional.
A few mistakes in the PPTs detracts from the overall quality of the course.
Price: There are several different courses to choose from, with varying prices. The HSK 1 and HSK 2 courses cost $889 each, which includes the self-study course and 33 private lessons. HSK 3 is split into two courses, costing $619 each and includes 22 private lessons each.
Mention ‘All Language Resources’ to get a $20 discount on your purchase.
Summary: Drops is a phone app for iPhone and Android that covers 33 languages. Daily games test the user on thousands of vocabulary words, and many of these words are ideal for everyday use. Drops has an entertaining, user-friendly interface, but it also lacks grammar lessons, and it works better for some languages than others. For anyone looking to supplement their vocab lessons, this app is worth considering; however, the free version might be more worthwhile than the paid version.
Quality Though cute and easy to use, several visuals are hard to distinguish, and some games aren’t too useful for retention.
Thoroughness This app won’t help with grammar or verb conjugation. However, it does offer hundreds of unique vocab words.
Value The free app is a great supplementary tool to help round out your vocabulary, but the paid app doesn’t offer many useful extras.
I Like The daily reminders keep me accountable.
If you already know a word, you have the option of swiping up and removing it from your lessons.
Though the app works better for some languages, the sheer amount of languages is a plus.
Great audio examples.
I Don’t Like It can be difficult to tell certain images apart, which means you’ll likely identify them incorrectly during your review.
Some of the categories seem to include random, unrelated words.
This app isn’t ideal for beginners, as it skips over basic lessons.
Drops only teaches you a single verb form, meaning you’ll need different apps to learn how to conjugate.
Price: A monthly subscription costs $9.99, a yearly subscription is $69.99, and a lifetime subscription is $159.99. You can use the app up to five minutes every ten hours for free.
Summary: Mondly is a below average online language learning resource. It does some things right and other things poorly. It’s pretty cheap, and a decent enough crash course that could help you before a trip abroad. Still, it wouldn’t be my first choice.
Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.
It’s decent for learning vocabulary but a lot of material isn’t explained very well.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like…
The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
The exercises are mostly passive and won’t help you use the language.
The order of lessons and topics isn’t very well thought out.
The interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.
Price: There are three plans… $9.99 per month for one language $47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language $47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages
Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.
Summary: In the past, Rocket Chinese was among the worst online language courses I tried. Fortunately, they’ve made massive improvements to their course and have improved a lot of their weaknesses. That said, I still wouldn’t recommend using it as I think there are better online Chinese courses.
Quality Pretty detailed lessons with lots of practice opportunities.
Thoroughness Covers most parts of the language but some of it isn’t done particularly well.
Value Your money wold be better spent elsewhere.
I Like The audio lessons balance explanations of the language with getting students to engage.
Lots of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned.
I Don’t Like The exercises get extremely repetitive and don’t always focus on the most important information.
Other courses do a better job of teaching Chinese.
Sometimes the lessons don’t seem to be very well planned out.
Price: Rocket Chinese costs $99.95 for level 1, $249.90 for levels 2 and 3, $259.90 for levels 1, 2, and 3.
Summary: Lingodeer may not be as well known as other language learning apps, but it’s actually better and cheaper than most of them. You’ll practice the language by completing lots of different types of exercises. They also include plenty of grammar explanations and opportunities to review what you’ve studied. All in all, it’s one of the better options for getting started learning a language.
It has a great design and everything works well with only a few minor issues.
Not as thorough as some other courses but it’s good for what it is.
Quite a bit of content is free and the premium plan is very affordable.
Lots of different exercise types in the lessons.
Detailed grammar explanations.
Clear audio recordings.
I Don’t Like…
The content isn’t always ordered well with some unusual words thrown in too early.
Not sufficient for developing oral communication skills.
Not yet available in lots of languages.
Price: $8.99/mo, $19.99 for 3 months, $41.99 for a year. There’s also a lifetime option for $69.99.
Languages: Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Vietnamese are all taught in English. There are also some courses not taught in other languages.
Save 15% on any subscription to Lingodeer by using the coupon code “ALR123”