Suspension of New Lessons

I’m considering suspending the creation of new lessons at the end of level 7 (up to lesson 420). The following is my reasoning – however I’m open to any feedback that users may have.

It seems that the vast majority of our users are still in the early levels (1 to 3) perhaps. The majority of the bulk downloads are all coming from those areas. However the majority of our production costs are in the later levels and lessons of which, only a small minority of our users are on. I think at this point it would make more sense to shift some of the focus back to the earlier levels and lessons. By this, I mean creating more resources for them to enable students there to progress further.

When we aren’t creating new lessons, we have been working on two areas:

1. A new version of the CLO site, that is more user and student friendly. I have been releasing hints on the approach I am planning in recent podcast updates. The idea is for students to have better control over the resources they want, to enable themselves to progress quicker in their learning.
2. Rerecording of older lessons to meet current standards.

Both these points have taken MUCH longer than I expected. By suspending production of new lessons, I can put more resources into these areas so we can finish them off. There’s also a lot of other work, like creating more sentence builder and other activities for older lessons. I also have some ideas for new features that I would like to do some research on. My thinking is that once I have caught up on these areas, then we can continue producing lessons and resuming with level 8.

As mentioned above, I’m open to feedback. If subscribers on extended subscriptions feel that I have an obligation to create new content, then I am open to continuing to do that. However if the same users would rather see me put more resources into the lessons they are currently on (older ones), then I can certainly do that too.

Let me know what you think!

No Responses to “Suspension of New Lessons”

  1. Although I am a longtime member, I never came beyond the beginning of level 4, because I had some periods with too little time for learning chinese which made me restart again (I’m in the third try now…). After some months of inactivity it is hard to find the right point of return.

    So maybe in the new system you could include some “exams” after every 10 or 20 lessons. For example some longer texts which use most of the vocabulary previously learned. Quiet like the last three lessons of each level, but in shorter intervals, extended with some questions and tests.

    This would help the learner to:
    – find an entry point after long period of doing nothing very quickly
    – review the previously taught vocabulary without getting distracted by new material
    – get a real big bunch of motivation (when understanding a longer text)

    And another idea I just get:
    It is hard to learn spoken and written Chinese in the same pace. You already announced that it will be possible to include own vocabulary lists etc. in the new system. Maybe it would be possible to mark learned character as such. Then in a new text, all learned characters could be shown as chinese only, while new characters also show pinyin and translation. Something like that. I hope you can understand what I mean 😉

  2. leosmith

    Do what you must. I’m in level 4, so there’s plenty of material left for me. You might consider limiting your free material like Chinesepod did (you are much better than them, by the way) if it will save you money. I think re-recording earlier material is an excellent idea. Don’t get me wrong – it’s quite good. But your level 4 material is much more standard (pronunciation wise) that level 3. It would be good if beginners had that improvement.

  3. I used your website mostly to learn the basics of Chinese, and was very satisfied. I’ve now been studying Chinese at a university for a year and a half, so I don’t really need to use your site anymore.
    I can imagine that for people who learn through chineselearnonline alone it gets extremely difficult after a while to still be able to follow the lessons of the highest levels.
    So I do support your idea of working on the basics of the site rather than creating new lessons.
    I’ll always be thankful for the fact that you put up all these lessons for free, and I actually feel bad for never having paid for the lessons that made my Chinese quite awesome even before I had 1 hour of class in university.
    I promise if I ever get really rich, I’ll donate a little part of it to you Adam 😉

    Keep up the good work 加油

  4. Ruud van Gullit

    Actually, I’d love to see more lessons at a higher level. Preferably with speakers from mainland china. Another 600 or so lessons would be ideal.
    Well, actually my purpose of learning might differ from most of the other subscribers. I want to eventually be able to improve my listening comprehension for example to be able to watch : . I barely able to catch and match what they are speaking with the english translated subtitile. I’m at level 6 right now. So hopefully 10 more levels (with mainland china laoshi) should grant me some vast improvements to my listening skill. On the other hand when I look into the Meteor Garden series, I’m more able to grasp the mandarin spoken. Problem is, I hate those type of drama, especially when the males being portrayed as emo boy, sensitive, self conscious, and long girly hair.
    Being able to speak is of course an additional benefit, but it is not mandatory for the moment. At least for me :D.

  5. Hi Ruud,

    It’s possible we may release more lessons in the future, but it seems that the number of premium users at the higher levels isn’t high enough to support it. So for now I’m working on more resources to get users at lower levels up to the higher levels. At that point we can revisit the decision.

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