Where do you find good language tutors?
It’s a question I’m often asked and one that I’ve done the best to research in order to answer as completely and honestly as possible. In an effort to do this, I recently tried out eChineseLearning, and as far as the quality of Mandarin Chinese tutors, they’re certainly at the top.
A Background on eChineseLearning
Before my trial lesson with eChineseLearning, I had only heard of them online through a few active users on Quora. They were there, it seemed, to promote the company and their reviews were always positive. It was only after my first lesson with eChineseLearning that I realized they were right – the school is a fantastic place to study the language.
What is eChineseLearning?
eChineseLearning is an online Chinese language school that offers personalized, individual classes at affordable and competitive rates. They have several packages available, so pricing varies depending on how long-term you’re willing to commit and the type of class that you choose. The average price ranges from US$9/lesson to US$25/lesson.
And while the prices may be slightly above the average, you’re getting above average quality teachers, so in my opinion, it’s worth the investment.
High Quality Chinese Teachers
Compared to other learning portals, I felt that my experience with my tutor was superior. The tutors work for the company full time, so they are able to focus on honing their teaching skills, and it really shows in their planning, flexibility, and understanding of the Chinese language. They’re able to explain things in detail, answer questions about grammar, and highlight exceptions.
They have a variety of lesson topics available. Learners can choose to study business Chinese, HSK vocabulary, Chinese for job interviews or specific industries, or even to learn Chinese through movies and tv programs. In addition to programs for adults, they also have programs for teens and kids.
Each of their teachers receives training in “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language”.
My Experience Studying with eChineseLearning
After coordinating with the company representative to schedule my first lesson, the tutor I was originally set to work with had to cancel at the last moment due to illness. Because of the time difference, I didn’t know until the lesson was about to start, but the original tutor still logged in to let me know and they had someone immediately available to step in.
My tutor, Julie, was flexible. She quickly gauged level and adapted to it, tailoring my lesson to fit where I was at on the fly. We conversed for the hour, and when she brought up words that were unfamiliar to me, she directed the conversation towards giving them context, applying them and ensuring that I’d be able to use them on my own in the future.
For example, we worked on the word 靠 which can be used in 3 different contexts.
1. To depend on/rely on – she taught me an expression that we joked would be useful for asking favors of my Chinese friends: 在家靠父母,出门靠朋友 (at home we depend on our parents, outside we depend on our friends)
2. Near to – she asked me what was near to my home, near certain objects in my house, and told me what was near to the city she lives in (Xi’an)
3. To lean on – we discussed what we were leaning against during the lesson (a couch and a chair)
She made sure at several points during the lesson that I understood everything (the lesson was 100% in Chinese), and she shared what she thought I needed to take my Chinese to the next level (perhaps more advanced or HSK 6 vocabulary).
I had seen through other reviews that students received assessments following their lessons (I did not receive one), and based on those that I had seen, they seemed detailed and informative. One in particular seemed to include a lesson plan and recordings of the words the student went over during lessons. It’s definitely nice to see that kind of dedication and follow up from a program.
To Wrap Up
I noticed that several of the reviews mentioned that Julie was their teacher (and they all rave about her). I was impressed with the quality of their tutoring sessions, and I would be interested in seeing how it carries over to some of their more specific language programs such as their Business Chinese course. But if the other tutors come close to Julie in talent and skill as an instructor (and it seems they do), then I would definitely recommend them with 100% confidence.
If you’re on the fence about studying with eChineseLearning, you can take a free 30-minute trial lesson or a free assessment. And even if you decide to move forward with your studies, they offer a 30 day money back guarantee (with the exception of the first month’s payment).
You can learn more about eChineseLearning or sign up for a free lesson on their website.