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Which Online Chinese language learning institution you would choose for your children? Online Mandarin Class Comparison

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Which Online Chinese language learning institution you would choose for your children? Online Mandarin Class Comparison

Post by VivViv » Fri, 13 Nov 2020 3:41 am

Hi parents,
For the children who are learning or planning to learn Chinese, picking up the right institution, teacher and syllabus can be really challenging. My daughter’s mother language is English, as we are now based in Singapore. I decided to help her learn Chinese as her second language.

After tried a couple of offline institutions and online platforms, I decided to take the lessons online. Not only because the online class is more convenient (study at anytime, anywhere, no driving etc.), but also the online learning experience is more appealing to my daughter, and the learning outcome is indeed very good!

For the online Classes, I tried LingoAce, SpeakingDuck, and LingoBus. I scored and wrote down some comments about these three institutions based on my experience on the Trial class, Regular class, Customer service and Price etc. Hope you find it helpful.

Trial Class Booking :

1. Lingo Bus (4.5 Stars)
Smooth booking. It also allows 2 bookings in one account which is good for families with two and more children. However, there were a bit too many messages and communication from the customer service people before the trial even starts.

2. Speaking Duck (5 Stars)
Fast and easy, It took me around 1 min to book and confirm, no time wasted on typing detailed information and the trial class was confirmed straight way via email.

3. LingoAce (3 Stars)
It asked me to select the teacher for the trial class which I feel it might not be necessary. The confirmation process is not very straight forward, there were too many contact points required for the confirmation (SMS, Calls, email)

Trial Class Experience

1. Lingo Bus (4 Stars)
Very good animation design of the courseware. My daugher likes to play the drag and drop games. This helps reinforce her Chinese character learning. However, I feel the teacher relies on the courseware too much, which leaves less focus on the student's performance. When I entered the classroom, I could tell the teacher had just finished her dinner and rushed to the camera, with the dining table in the background, which made me feel a bit unprofessional.

2. Speaking Duck (4.5 Stars)
My daughter said the class is like a fun children TV program, in which the teacher plays as a host, and she acts as a guest player to run the show together with the teacher. The class lasts 30 mins, it was interactive and fun learning experience for my daughter. After the class, they shared a detailed feedback and learning plan, together with a "Mandarin Star" badge and recorded class video.

3. LingoAce (3 Stars)
Maybe the course is more friendly to Chinese speaking students. I don’t feel the teaching content is very suitable for expat/foreign kids. 55 Mins trial is too long for young students. The courseware was quite old-fashioned textbook style, with little games that can attract the child's attention. The teacher was trying hard to talk over the screen, but it seems a bit difficult for her to build a natural connection with the child. It’s a pity my daughter said she didn’t really enjoy the class. At the end of the class, I had a chance to talk to the teacher about my daughter's Chinese learning and the teacher gave me some feedback, which was nice.

Class Room Software

1. Lingo Bus (4.5 Stars)
You can join the class from the built-in online classroom from their website. It requires you to configurate your computer setting before the class. I were also asked to test the software with their tech person before the trial class. Overall, the software worked well, it provided good interaction experience.

2. Speaking Duck (4.5 Stars)
It uses "ZOOM Education“ (No need to download or register). Hassle Free, Just use the Zoom link or meeting ID to join the class from any devices. No delay, no lagging, good interaction experience. As I also use ZOOM for my own work, so I am very familiar with all the functions. Super convenient.

3. LingoAce (3.5 Stars)
Need to Download the Classin Software, not very smooth when taking the first trial class (It requires a list of login details). But once you are enrolled, you can just login the software and take the classes from there. Stable, no lagging.

Package Price (Cost/lesson)

1. Lingo Bus (3.5 Stars)
The class package size is rather big : 100 lessons package, 50 lessons, 25 lessons package. Price is 18usd/25min

2. Speaking Duck (4.5 Stars)
Small package of 10 lessons, 15 lessons and 25 lessons. Price is 15 USD/30 mins.

3. LingoAce (4 Stars)
19-22 USD/55 Mins, depending on the package size that you buy

Regular Class

1. Lingo Bus (4.5 Stars)
It is easy to book the classes of different teachers, as they have a large teachers’ pool. I wish they could provide more guidance on selecting teachers. I prefer to have the fixed teacher for my daughter, but it is a hard to book this way on the website. Their courseware is sophisticated, you can tell they spent money on the courseware development. The downside is the teacher relies too much on the courseware. Sometimes, the teacher may rush to go through all the parts in order to complete the lesson in time, so the next teacher can move on to the next teaching content. I wish there could be more focus on the student than the course itself.

2. Speaking Duck (4.8 Stars)
The student can book a fixed teacher or try new teachers for different classes. I personally recommend having the fixed teacher with a regular class frequency (like twice a week). Their teaching support team was very helpful. They recommend a few teachers for my choice based on the trial class assessment, my daughter's character, and learning request. My daughter loves her trial class teacher, so we sticked to her. My daughter's taking YCT level up learning course. In the meanwhile, I could also ask the teacher to customize the teaching content sometimes (for example, the school homework session). I talk to the teacher directly on ZOOM CHAT, which makes the learning tracking easy and efficient.

3. LingoAce
I did not sign on any package, so no comment on this part

Customer service

1. Lingo Bus (4.3 Stars)
They added me on WeChat for the customer service. For parents who have WeChat , this is convenient. For those who don’t have WeChat, you can leave message via the class software, or email, which may take a while to receive response. One thing I am not very comfortable with is their customer service can become a bit aggressive selling when it’s time to renew the package.

2. Speaking Duck (4.6 Stars)
The trial class assessment and teacher feedback/recorded video were shared via WhatsApp in a few hours after the trial class. It's good to have the customer support via WhatsApp , which is handy and fast response. You can also have the direct contact with the teacher on ZOOM CHAT, which is extremely helpful to track my daughter's study.

3. LingoAce
The customer service staff called me 1 week later after I had the trial call. I wish there was some follow up after the trial.

Learning Support

1. Lingo Bus (4.5 Stars)
Many of the learning materials are listed on their website which makes easy to get access to the eBooks, flash cards etc. They also organize free themed classes, some of which are really good content.

2. Speaking Duck (4.8 Stars)
They provide after class Private Coaching service via ZOOM CHAT. The student can ask the coach with any questions related to their Chinese learning. There are many learning interactions between the student and the coach. My daughter talks a lot with her coach in Chinese over the ZOOM CHAT. The website also host weekly livestream classes for the enrolled students, where the children can practice together as a big group. My daughter made some good friends from different countries in the livestream class . The learning material are shared in the download links. I hope they can move to online direct download soon.

3. LingoAce
They also provide free livestream class for the enrolled students

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Re: Which Online Chinese language learning institution you would choose for your children? Online Mandarin Class Compari

Post by tt1973 » Fri, 13 Nov 2020 6:23 am

Very detailed review of the 3 online classes.

Thank you for spending time on writing this review, I am sure it will help others!

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