The Internet has enabled online learning to thrive. These days, learning online is the norm instead of the exception and learning Chinese is now part of that norm. But, what is the best way to learn Mandarin Chinese online? There are many factors that can affect this answer such as how much money and time do you plan to spend, and what is your exposure to Mandarin Chinese in the environment that you live in. The best Chinese learning program may differ depending on your answer to these factors.
First, you need to determine why you want or need the student to learn Mandarin Chinese online. There are parents in Asia living in places where Mandarin Chinese is the main or one of the main languages who opt for online lessons for their kids. Their needs and requirements will be different than those who live in regions where Mandarin Chinese is not used in the environment where the student resides. For the former, the need is to find the best Chinese learning program to teach the students similar to how they would learn in an in person class. There is no additional need to enable students to retain or remember what they’ve learned as the students will be exposed to Mandarin Chinese everywhere they go, even at home watching TV or using the computer / tablet. However, for the second example, the best way to learn Mandarin Chinese online will require an additional component to help students remember and retain what they’ve learned.
If a student is completely new to learning Chinese and is not currently taking any additional classes such as in an immersion school, attending Chinese language after school or a bilingual school, then it may make sense for the student to enroll in an online tutoring class. This will help students learn proper pronunciation and introduce them to Mandarin Chinese. The more difficult part is memory and retention. This problem doesn’t just affect students taking online classes but anyone learning a foreign language. What’s the point of learning a new language if you forget it once you stop taking classes? Even if you have all the money and resources in the world, hiring a live-in tutor to constantly teach and speak to the student in Mandarin Chinese doesn’t even solve the problem. Ultimately, for students to really learn the language, they have to learn how to read so that they are exposed to more complex vocabulary and sentence patterns that simple conversation and lessons will not be able to provide.
The Mandarin Reading Club provides the crucial resources for students to learn to read Mandarin Chinese on their own. While we do not offer tutoring services ourselves, we do allow parents to use their own existing tutors or we can provide a list of tutors we maintain. We suggest that you have the tutor use our teaching materials. Our video stories are the key to getting students to remember and retain what they’ve learned. We keep updating our content with interesting reading material in various topics including fictional stories, STEM, nature, geography and culture. Eventually, we want students to graduate from our materials and read native Chinese language multimedia materials online.