Hi! My name is Lisa and I’ve been learning Mandarin with New Concept Mandarin for a few weeks now. What I really like about this course is that it doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of Mandarin — like a lot of other courses seem to do. All new vocabulary is explained as it is introduced, and then basically it’s just a gradual process of integrating new words and phrases into situations you are already familiar with. What’s more, previously learnt material is regularly revised and built upon so that you can actually retain it. I have attempted to learn other languages before and, I find that with many courses, you forget the stuff you learnt a week or so earlier as soon as you move on to the next topic. Often you are given very few opportunities to use it, resulting in the content no longer being fresh in your mind.
The NCM videos work well for me because I need to hear the language (and see the spelling) several times over in order for things to stick. With this course I can view the videos as many times as I need to, which makes me feel less pressured. Oh, and this course does not assume you are an expert in linguistic terminology either!
The tutorial classes are really, really good. They help to consolidate (and complement) the material from the on-line video course, enabling the student to put what they have learnt into practice. The teachers are very patient, approachable and very knowledgeable and they use effective teaching strategies.
To sum up, I genuinely enjoy the New Concept Mandarin course and I actually look forward to learning Mandarin as a result. It’s not so difficult or energy intensive that you want to keep putting it off until later, yet it’s challenging enough (and progresses quickly enough) that you don’t get bored either. Also, for me, the content is relevant and useful which I feel greatly assists in keeping me motivated. In the short time I have been learning Mandarin I have found myself in numerous situations where I have been able to recall things from the course that have helped make communicating with local people (especially in shops and on the street) so much easier!