Decoding the Best Approach for Mandarin Newbies: In-Person or Online Classes?

My name is Cathy Miller and I have been learning Mandarin Chinese for over 5 years. I have faced many obstacles and difficulties learning the language and figuring out the best method for me. One of the first issues I faced when I started learning Mandarin Chinese in June 2018 was should I take in person classes or online classes. I automatically assumed in-person classes would be the best route to proceed with because that is all I have known. Elementary school, middle school, high school, and most of my college classes were all in-person, so naturally I assumed and believed I was a student who functions best with face-to-face interaction. I enjoy being physically present with my teacher and classmates. It is also an opportunity to develop lifelong friendships.

In-person classes

During my search for in-person classes, I was met with a harsh reality that this seemed impossible. At the time of my search, I lived in a small country town named Huntsville, Texas. This town had little to no access to in-person classes. In fact, the nearest class to Huntsville was over two hours in crazy crowded Houston, Texas. Not only would I have to spend four hours commuting back and forth using time and resources, but I would also need a ride. With the dominance of cars as transportation in the area, there was no public transportation available for me to use. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The prices I saw made me want to give up all together and then the few times offered by the schools were completely incompatible with my schedule.

Bachelor’s degree

At the time, most of my monetary resources were funding my bachelor’s degree, so money was a bit tight, however I still wanted to broaden my horizons and pursue the joys of learning a new language. With those hurdles I faced in the initial search for in-person classes, I gave up my search for a few years trying many self-study routes with varying degrees of success. Around October 2021, I noticed that my speaking skills were extremely behind in comparison to my writing, listening, and reading skills. Thus began my hunt for speaking classes, specifically online speaking classes.
To be frank, I have a love hate relationship with online classes. We live in a day and age where technology is on a never-ending growth spree and the beauty of it is that we have access to information and tools like never before. At the time of my search, I was an online master’s student. The few online classes I took were okay, but I felt disconnected from the class and the teacher. Class was never live; the teacher simply recorded the lecture and you watched during your own time. This experience with online courses influenced my attitude towards taking online Chinese courses.

One-on-one trial session

As I was researching different online classes, I noticed a free one-on-one trial session being offered. I thought it would not hurt to try, especially considering that it is at no cost to me. I was able to easily schedule a lesson that worked within my time frame. After the lesson, I was completely amazed at the ease of the whole process and how accomplished I felt at the end of the lesson. The idea that I must see my teacher in person to have an effective lesson was shattered. If anything, I preferred the online format. It provided the flexibility I needed at the time to accomplish my goals within budget.
Flexibility and cost are two major factors that influenced my search for classes and the one-on-one online lesson fulfilled both of those needs by allowing me to pick my class time on a daily basis and providing discounts for buying class packages. Additionally, the teacher catered to my needs and created an atmosphere where we could freely talk as friends. I love having the opportunity to see my teacher online, catching up, and telling her about the latest and greatest Chinese drama I am watching. With this kind of rapport, I am not focused on the fact we are not physically face to face.
Overall, choosing to take personalized one-on-one Chinese lessons online was the smartest move I made for my Chinese learning journey. It completely transformed my path to success. I’m proud to say that I have already achieved HSK 5 certification. The flexibility of taking online Chinese classes anytime, anywhere has been incredibly convenient for me. If you’re ready to elevate your Mandarin Chinese skills, I wholeheartedly recommend the Chinese course I took. You can simply sign up for a free one-on-one trial session today and experience it for yourself!

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2 thoughts on “Decoding the Best Approach for Mandarin Newbies: In-Person or Online Classes?”

  1. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

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