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August 24, 2012 12:10 AM   Subscribe

What do you know about learning Mandarin via Skype?

I'm looking for recommendations for learning conversational Mandarin with a 1-on-1 instructor via Skype or simmilar.

A previous question received a couple of responses, including a recommendation of italki.com. It looks good, but there's not a huge number of instructors there, and no-one from Taiwan at all.

The previous post was over a year ago, maybe you know about somewhere new?


Have you tried it? Was the Skype sound quality good enough?

What did you think?
posted by compound eye to Education (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I did it once with an instructor via ChinesePod. I think it's effective, it's just how good the quality of the connection is.

I travel a lot and talk to my boyfriend via facetime, which I think works a lot better.
posted by ashtabula to opelika at 7:39 AM on August 24, 2012


Why do you want to learn on Skype? Why not try something like RosettaStone's online learning program, which I think is great? Hard to answer the question without knowing why you are thinking about learning on Skype, what your goals are, how proficient you want to become in what time frame, etc.
posted by Dansaman at 8:48 PM on August 24, 2012


Why do you want to learn on Skype? Why not try something like RosettaStone's online learning program, which I think is great?

I'm open to other ideas, via Skype or simmilar. and have had a look a rosetta stone and quite like it.

however advantages I think 1 on 1 via skype has over rosetta stone are:
via skype would be pay as you go, and giving all or a large cut of money to the instructor.

I'm almost in the same time zone as china (2 hours diff). Others have complained that not being in North America or Europe was an inconvenience when scheduling instructor sessions with R.S. as there was not sufficient availability at practical times. I don't know if this is still a valid objection.

via skype would create a relationship with a consistent instructor, over different instructors every time via R.S. (this is my understanding of how that works), this is important as it allows the instructor to develop a clearer mental model of your language aquisition and allows them to tailor the classes to your needs.

That said I'm seriously considering doing R.S., although I am wondering I could achieve the same outcome without paying so much money.

Hard to answer the question without knowing why you are thinking about learning on Skype, what your goals are, how proficient you want to become in what time frame, etc

I want to become fluent, but I have all the time in the world, I live in a city with a large mandarin speaking population, including many foreign students learning english, so there are plenty of opportunities for language swapping.

I'd like to have picked up enough for it to be practical to send my two youngest children to the bilingual english/mandarin school nearby. It's one of the local public school (public as in free and government funded, not as in church established as is the British usage) . it's actually a chinese, english and vietnamese language school but kids go into the either the chinese & english or vietnamese & english streams.

To that end I've been looking for instructors offering mandarin online, the china daily classified site has some good leads, but for me it was just a random google find, and have know idea if there are better places to look.
posted by compound eye at 6:36 PM on August 26, 2012


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