When we started this website in 2011, one of our goals was to find good resources and courses for learning Chinese online. In this article, I would like to present one of the courses that I have tried lately, eChineseLearning, which in my opinion, is one of the best products currently on the market for learning Chinese in a personalized way.
What is eChineseLearning?
eChineseLearning is an online Chinese school that offers personalized individual classes through Skype lessons with native teachers located in China.
How much does it cost?
The price for a 50-minute class varies between 8 and 25 USD depending on the type of class you choose and its duration. To get an idea, a one-year conventional course that includes training in oral comprehension, oral expression, writing and reading costs around 12-17 USD for one class.
The best things about eChineseLearning
The teachers: During the past years, I have taken many classes, both in-person and online, and because of this, I consider myself capable of distinguishing good teachers from those who aren’t. When I tried eChineseLearning. the quality of its teachers greatly surprised me, and because of this, I am deciding to put it in the first place. In addition, all of its teachers are native speakers with training to teach Chinese to foreigners and with broad experience.
Finally, eChineseLearning’s teachers work full time (unlike many other similar programs). This is very important because it improves the commitment of the teachers and thus the quality of their lessons;
- The courses: Another aspect that I like about this platform is that it has a broad range (several dozen) of different study programs that are adapted to your particular needs, such as basic conversation courses, business courses, courses for kids, among many more;
- The flexibility: The flexibility is absolute; when you choose the study program, you can decide how many hours you want to study per week and the time period. Classes are available every day of the year 24 hours of the day.
- Personalized tutor: As soon as you sign up for a course, you will be assigned a personal tutor, who will follow you during the learning process. This is very important for making progress quickly and improving the effectiveness of your learning.
- Trial period: Before signing up for a course, you can try the class for free. In addition, if you decide to sign up for the platform, you have 30 days guaranteed money back and because of this, you can decide if you want to continue with the course or not. In the event that you don’t want to continue, your money will be refunded. However, you should keep in mind that the first month of classes will not be refunded.
The worst things about eChineseLearning
- The price: eChineseLearning is definitely not the cheapest online course on the market. However, I have to recognize that given the quality of its teachers, the money is well spent. Remember that good teachers with experience are not cheap.
- Skype: After living in China and seeing the connection problems that Skype has, I think that it is a good idea for online teaching companies to have their own video conference system (of course, if this system is more reliable than Skype). Despite this, I have to admit that during my class, the connection was perfect, without delays or the connection cutting out (much better than I am used to).
Who do I recommend it for?
Unless your schedule is extremely full, if you live in China, I don’t recommend this course, as it is relatively easy to find qualified teachers for similar prices or private schools with flexible schedules.
I especially recommend this method for people who live outside of China, in particular in small cities, as finding quality teachers is very difficult. Even if you live in a large city, the majority of good language courses are very inflexible in terms of schedule, so if your availability is limited, this platform is a very good option to get the best out of your free time.
Suggestions for getting the most out of the course
Before going to the platform and signing up for several classes a week for a year, you should keep a few things in mind:
- eLearning is not a miracle method but rather a serious method to learn Chinese: To learn any language requires effort. Keep in mind that for every hour of lessons, you will need at least another hour of personal study, so make sure you have enough time for both. If you put personal study aside, you will pay more money for a worse result.
- Really keep in mind your goal for learning Chinese: Choosing the type, of course, is essential for obtaining good results. If you are only interested in business, it doesn’t make sense to study to pass HSK exams. The more adapted the course is to your interests and needs, the faster you will make progress. Studying useful things is essential for maintaining motivation. There is nothing more frustrating than learning things that you are not going to use in your life.
- Combine this course with other methods: For many aspects of Chinese, you don’t need a personal tutor. A clear example is learning characters. The teacher can teach you the basic rules and some tricks to remember them, but at the end of the day, this depends on studying. For this, there are some programs that may be more useful to you.
Geoffrey Hayes says
eChineselearning is an unethical online business trading in lies and deception and deserves to be black-listed. I was offered one free introductory lesson. However I was first obliged to supply my credit card information. And my advance full course payment of AU$2,382.24 [11,480 RMB] was processed immediately, with my request for a full refund being refused on at least three occasions. The 30-day money back guarantee is a lie.
Sapore di Cina says
Thank you Geoffrey for the feedback we will take it into consideration, but our personal experience is different.
Learning with eChineseLearning was convenient, fun and refreshing. I logged in on my computer for my lesson, from my bedroom, and it was glorious. I didn’t have to go anywhere; I barely had to get dressed. I just turned on my computer and started taking notes. My teacher was energetic, she even made some jokes. Skype is not the best tool for fluid and exciting communication, but she overcame that barrier with ease. Her English was also clear and understandable, something I haven’t always found to be true in the other programs I’ve tried. That last point is really, really important. Good English matters. I recommend eChineseLearning to anyone who wants to study Mandarin or Chinese culture.
Sborto Zhou says
Thanks for the comment, but I disagree with some points,.English is not important as you are learning Chinese. My best Chinese teacher was unable to speak a single word of English.
Just one question, do you work for eChineseLearning?
Hey, I wrote based on my own experience taking one of their classes. Personally I think the teacher knowing English was extremely helpful to me. But that’s really just my opinion. Different strokes for different folks.
Sborto Zhou says
Yes different people have different needs, just the comment seem a bit spammy. I like the platform but sometimes companies hire people to post fake reviews and surprised me that recently get some super positive reviews
eChineseLearning was an essential part of my life in China.
My company told me six months in advance that I’d be transferred to Shenzhen. I was completely freaked out. How could I cope in a land with no English?
I figured that I’d take Mandarin lessons when I arrived in Shenzhen, but I wanted to get a head start. I did a few of the free trials with the various online companies.
eChineseLearning fit all of my needs and I appreciated the personal face-to-face comfort of the lessons.
Now I am living in SZ and speaking Mandarin at an intermediate level. Although I could have a “language partner” here, I still take lessons on this site.
I also find these classes very useful. Its true the technology part can be a hassle, as Skype isn’t always problem free. But its not such a big problem that it prevents classes. Scheduling the classes is very easy and takes just a few clicks, and it can be scheduled for whenever suits your schedule which is great. The teachers are very open and friendly, and its pretty cool to get to have some classes with teachers other than the primary teacher, which brings a lot more to learning in my opinion. Really these classes are just perfect if you want to learn Chinese and have no time to go to classes or are not enrolled in a university. You can learn from home whenever it suits you and still have an awesome support base for learning the language.
I agree 100% that this learning program is for serious learners. I have been taking classes with them for over a year, now, and I’ve had the option of making it as intense a program as I want–I’ve been doing 3 classes per week. It’s just as challenging as any college course out there, but I am learning WAY more than I ever did on campus. I think it’s the native teacher component–it’s more inspiring to have a native speaker who lives there working with me, keeps me on my toes and is able to answer all of my random Mandarin-curiosity questions. I’m very glad that I’ve found them, worth the price.