As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was slow to start working with online tutors to advance my language learning. It’s definitely something I regret today – think of how much further along I could be if I had started sooner! – but I’m glad that I made the change.
For years, I went at language learning completely on my own, but when I started studying with tutors, everything changed. I was suddenly able to progress much more quickly.
Because the guidance and feedback a tutor can provide you as a learner can be an incredible asset to your language learning. Especially when your lessons are catered to your goals as a language learner.
And this is why I am a huge fan of Hanbridge Mandarin.
Hanbridge Mandarin is a Chinese language school based in Shenzhen, China with more than ten years of experience. They teach courses both online and on campus. Their tutors are all bilingual (they have tutors that speak languages other than English), and they are all required to not only have a Bachelor’s degree (not to mention that 60% have Master’s degrees), but they also are required to go through a rigorous training program to ensure consistency and quality for students.
Hanbridge Mandarin also offers a wide selection of courses including:
- Business Mandarin
- HSK Test Preparation
- Chinese for Kids
- Chinese for Teens
- AP Chinese Language & Culture
- Day-to-Day Chinese Course
Additionally, they have specialized courses for industry-specific vocabulary, listening, speaking, grammar, as well as a variety of culture-related courses such as cuisine, traditional art, tea, history, folk customs, fengshui, painting, medicine, and calligraphy.
My Experience with Hanbridge Mandarin
After coordinating with Hanbridge Mandarin to schedule my trial, I was asked to either take the student assessment test or send an email with something that I was struggling with in my studies. Given that I am getting ready to sit the HSK exam, I sent a note indicating the sections of the test that I found the most difficult.
The day of the lesson, I was given access to their virtual classroom hosted through Cisco Webex and I worked with one of their tutors for thirty minutes.
The lesson was 100% focused on the things that I needed help with and my tutor made sure that I understood many of the grammar rules and new vocabulary that had been a problem for me up until that point.
The lesson flew by quickly, but I learnt a lot in the short time that I had. My tutor was very helpful and I had a great learning experience.
Things That I Really Enjoyed
My tutor was excellent // She explained things in a way that really made certain aspects of Chinese grammar quite clear to me. She also let me try to figure things out on my own before coming to my rescue. Sometimes this meant sending me another word that used the same character that I’m more likely to know or putting the word in a different context.
The lesson was completely customized to my needs // Even though it was only a trial lesson (most of which are generic due to the fact the tutor is trying to gauge your level), my lesson was tailored to fit my needs. I am currently preparing for the HSK4 exam and there are certain parts of the test that I feel less prepared for thank others. My tutor focused on those aspects of the test during my lesson and it was so helpful.
They have an assessment test that helps tutors design your lesson to fit your level // The assessment test helps the tutor skip that initial lesson where they try to feel out where you’re at with your study so that you can jump right in.
My teacher only spoke to me in Mandarin // For my level, this was fantastic. She used words that I understood, spoke slowly enough for me to grasp all the information, and only reverted to English if I was really, really lost (and she often tried saying things a different way in Mandarin first).
The variety of courses offered through Hanbridge Mandarin // Hanbridge Mandarin has a nice selection of courses and I’d definitely consider continuing with their customized course options and culture classes. The culinary class is calling my name!
Things That I Thought Could Have Been Better
Scheduling my lesson was a little bit difficult // I had trouble connecting with the person arranging my lesson and it ended up that the finalized time was thirty minutes before I was told it would start (yay time differences). Thankfully my tutor stayed on with me for the designated amount of time even though I logged on when the lesson was supposed to be over.
I didn’t particularly like that I needed to install a third party application to have my lesson (but is optional if you prefer not to use it) // Most of the features my tutor used through Webex can be done using Skype (screenshare and the chat), so I didn’t really see the need to install something else. The interface was a bit confusing at first, but it was easy to use once I understood where everything was. In support of the dashboard, however, you can record your lessons and download the notes for later reference.
Overall, I really enjoyed my trial experience with Hanbridge Mandarin . I only had one lesson, so I would be curious to see how the lessons evolve as they continue on a regular basis. I can’t get over how wonderfully tailored my lesson was – especially for a first lesson – and if you’re looking for something specific that other courses, schools, or tutors don’t offer, this is definitely the place to go.
Please note that I received a free trial lesson with Hanbridge in exchange for this review – the same that you’ll receive via the link above. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and I would never recommend a product to you if it were not something that I myself would use. I do not receive a commission via any of the links in the post.