Name: Jim Figueroa
Job: International Content Manager - KBS AMERICA
Chinese learning history: 0 beginner.
Language improvement: Now Jim has the great pleasure of taking up Chinese. He takes daily classes and has built a solid foundation in Chinese, which would be much helpful for his future career. He said in the review, "I can't believe Mandarin is this easy and fun to learn. But the reason why was simply the teachers are exceptional there."
What other students said:
1. "After several years of self study with Chinese, I decided to look for lessons with a teacher to help my Chinese level improve. I quickly realized that I would not be able to find lessons in my area that met both my language level and schedule requirements. I turned to online lessons as a solution. By the time I found Speakmandarin, I had already had several years of online lessons and intermediate study for a summer in China, so I thought I knew what to expect: the ability to schedule lessons to fit my own schedule and flexible teachers who could work with topics that I chose (in my case, I wanted to study business Chinese).
In fact, the teachers and staff at Speakmandarin not only met, but exceeded my expectations. From the first day of my lessons, I found teachers to be always well prepared and ready to help me focus on difficult points in our lessons. This is in part because the Speakmandarin staff consulted me about my learning goals and helped me come up with a learning plan. When I said that I already had a textbook that I wanted to use, everyone at Speakmandarin adapted to my needs and requirements. I highly recommend Speakmandarin to anyone interested in studying Chinese."
-- Michael Vlahovic
2. "会社員(50)です。出張で世界を回っていますが学習の軸に出来るような学校を探しており、いつでも何処でも使える、フレキシブルなオンライン学校の評判が決め手に、使い始めて2年になります。初心者から2年で新HSK5を合格しました。中国東北地方の講師が揃い、完全にマイペースで学習させていただいています(特別教材、フリートーク、試験準備)。ビジネスにも役立っています。世界からの生徒が通っている24/7 オープンのオンライン学校。この学校には感謝してます。"
-- Kazuyuki SAKATA, Air Liquide
3. "I have been studying Chinese online through speakmandarin.com now for 9 months, prior to that i was trying to self teach however i would never allow enough time to get stuck into it. my work life and home life are both really busy, speak mandarin has been fantastic in the way that i can book a class in the day before depending on my next day's schedule really easily. teacher Jenny, Jessica, Zhang Dong, Rachel, Meagan, and Liu Ji; have all been awesome in their approach to teaching me, they can adapt to the specific needs of my learning requirement really quickly, any of the teachers can pick up from where another teacher left off and my learning doesn't have to wait, there are always classes available whenever i might want to book one. i really cannot recommend these guys highly enough."
-- Jonathan Hayes
4. "Our teenage daughter has been learning Mandarin in school and needed additional practice with her conversational skills. A friend recommended SpeakMandarin and we are so glad we listened to them! The SpeakMandarin team has been incredibly helpful and easy to work with - from the scheduling to the outstanding tutors to the customer support, it is an exceptional value. Our daughter looks forward to her time with her tutors and absolutely believes her skills and her grades have substantially improved because of the service. I am now about to start Mandarin lessons through SpeakMandarin, and I can't wait to learn."
-- Kris Lichter, San Diego, CA
5. "We were first introduced to SpeakMandarin.com after my son, who had been studying Chinese at a private school for three years, decided to switch to a high school that didn't offer Chinese as a language. Knowing that he had worked so hard at his Chinese through Level II, we searched for an alternative, an accredited program, that his new school could approve for foreign language credit.
SpeakMandarin.com was the perfect answer! SpeakMandarin.com is a UC accredited language program and the head of our Foreign Language department was happy to add SpeakMandarin.com to their "a-g" course list which allowed my son to get course credit and a letter grade that will be included in his GPA. The teachers have been very professional, fun to work with, and above all else knowledgeable in their field. My son says that Jenny Tan and Jessica Wang are great teachers, patient with him and fun to work with. We are grateful for this opportunity for my son to master a language and plan to continue through the highest level offered."
-- Anne Carlson-Moore
6. "I have been amazed at the speed and thoroughness that Dong Zhang has been teaching my son. It is only 4 months into the school year, and after daily lessons with Dong Zhang, he is already almost at the level of my older son, who has been taking Chinese daily in high school for two and a half years. We are so impressed with SpeakMandarin that we have spoken to our middle school suggesting that they hire them for next year to offer Chinese to other students."
-- Nancy Lee, Oren Berkowitz's mom
7. "I saw a recommendation for SpeakMandarin.com on an employment forum for people who wanted to improve their ILR phone test scores. I decided to give it a try and it was well worth it! Jenny was a wonderful instructor and I think my speaking abilities really improved a lot under her guidance. Good feedback from instructors, and investment in my personal learning goals; also integrated topics of interest to me, to supplement the fixed-level learning plan. Great service!"
-- Colin, a student having the ILR preparation classes
8. "The quality of the teaching, and the attitude of the teachers has been first class. They are all top university graduates with degrees in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. This means their Mandarin is well spoken so you pick up the right accent, and that they know how to teach the language, not just how to speak it! It feels like I have a team of 5-6 people supporting me. They all know my progress after each class and are in contact as much as you want them to be - you choose each class time."
-- Jack FitzGerald, firstname.lastname@example.org
9. "It's great to have learned to write characters and read pinyin while studying in Shanghai, but SpeakMandarin has truly helped me continue my pursuit of refining my accent while being back in the United States. Having limited access to Chinese speakers, conversing with my SpeakMandarin teachers prepares me for work when I go back to China"
-- Chris Mendez, email@example.com, Student at Pepperdine University, U.S.
10. "Thank you very much for arranging the classes in Beijing. Your team is fantastic. I learned so much from you school. The quality of your teaching was commendable and your flexibility allowed me to learn quickly things that are relevant to me. Thank you very much for preparing the materials before the business mandarin classes. Thanks for going that extra mile. I definitely would recommend your school to anyone who wants to learn mandarin quickly."
-- Michael Oyson
SpeakMandarin.com was incredibly useful to me in my intensive preparation for a number of Federal language tests. The experienced, energetic and knowledgeable tutors I had the pleasure of working with were invaluable to improving my fluency of expression, the accuracy of my diction (a major headache in advanced levels), and the breadth of my subject knowledge. I would not have been successful without their help! Thank you!"
-- Michael S.
12. "I strongly believe that speaking Mandarin on a daily basis is the best method of remembering and internalizing the language. There is no better way for me to do this than by calling my friends at SM and chatting about course content, current events, or Chinese media. It has made a dramatic difference in my speaking ability. I am a big fan of topical course content. It really doesn't matter what the content is, only that it can provide a gateway to a lively discussion."
-- David Snowden
13. "I took daily lessons the summer before I moved to China. I was reluctant to do so because of the price, but I'm glad I did so. I would recommend speakmandarin.com to anyone stuck at the intermediate level. For beginners, though, it might make more sense to invest in some cheaper self-study materials at first."
-- Kevin McClung
14. "We piloted the project at Harvey Mudd College for four weeks and achieved excellent results. Our students found the experiences at once intense and liberating, challenging and relaxing. As a result, our students not only improved their proficiency in the course materials, but also had more confidence to use the language in real life."
-- Chang Tan, Professor at Harvey Mudd, Part of the Claremont Colleges
15. "At first I relied on SpeakMandarin.com to augment my formal classroom studies of the language. Now I'm no longer taking classes and exclusively use SpeakMandarin because it's so flexible and the teachers are excellent."
-- Tom Montgomery, firstname.lastname@example.org, Air Force officer, U.S.
16. "I have been using SpeakMandarin as my main method of studying and practicing Chinese. The ability to ask for specific discussion topics allows me to study the things I really need for my job and helps me communicate better with Chinese companies. An advantage of SpeakMandarin is the quality of the teachers (they can prepare any lesson for you in less than 24 hours) and also the flexible schedule. I have already recommended some of my friends to try SpeakMandarin."
-- Andro Vazquez, lawyer and commercial Attaché in Beijing
17. "I see the SpeakMandarin program, when combined with the SuperMemo program, to be a nearly ideal way to learn a language online. The SuperMemo program allows the student to learn and practice on his own without help of a tutor, at his own convenience, and at his own pace. While the tutor gives much needed exposure to real-life conversation, corrections in speech, and so forth."
-- Keith E. Herzog.
18. "I travel a lot and the session scheduling system provided convenient hours in many time zones making it possible for me to schedule sessions with coaches that fit my busy schedule. The coaches were excellent and helped correct my pronunciation, sentence structure and usage while making learning an enjoyable experience and inspired me to be more active in utilizing what I have learned in class and during my travels."
-- Mike DeBlasio, Business Development Manager, San Jose, CA / Beijing China.
19. "SpeakMandarin.com provides the perfect solution for me, a UK-based business owner, to receive top-quality, cost-effective, flexible Mandarin instruction from a native speaker in Beijing. SpeakMandarin's course materials are excellent, and can be tailored to my needs. Best of all, the instruction is superb -- my teacher Shengnan Wu, besides being an excellent and disciplined instructor, is cheerful, helpful and often willing to put in extra work to enhance my learning experience."
-- Maury Shenk, a Managing Director in London
20. "Attempting to speak Chinese from scratch is a daunting task, usually requiring enrollment in an expensive immersion program abroad; one that I could neither afford nor make the time to attend. I was excited to learn that there was an easy and affordable alternative with Speak Mandarin's website. Of course, everybody wants to know how much this service costs. The pricing is readily available on the first page, which is extremely competitive. If you ever wanted to learn Chinese, this is the service to use. XieXie!"
-- Aron Gold, New York
21. "I liked the confidence it gave me in my ability to communicate in Chinese with strangers, especially since there are many different teachers to practice with - it was reassuring and helpful. The lessons are informal enough to not be stressful but involved enough that I am learning. There was no awkwardness and I spoke continually for the hour! The teacher made me feel competent and at ease."
-- Casey Gordon, Harvey Mudd College student, U.S.
22. "The sessions were good complementary practices for my class. I liked how natural it was and that there was consistent dialogue occurring!"
-- Lucy Drummond, Harvey Mudd College student, U.S.
23. "I have been a Speakmandarin.com student for more than a year. Originally, intended this to be a substitute for traditional classes while on a long trip; eventually, completely switched to this form of studying. Having spent years studying languages (and English is not my native tongue) I can tell a good language instructor. They patiently wait for the student to say something by himself and THEN correct him, rather than speak INSTEAD of him. When my teachers changed on some occasions (vacations, sick leaves etc) the new one always knew exactly where to pick-up."
-- Konstantin Sychev
24. "I find the short lessons help me to learn Chinese quickly, they fit into my schedule whether I'm in the USA, China or Europe. 15 minute lessons are effective and convenient for anyone who has to balance work with learning a new language. The team of Speakmandarin.com is flexible so that I can continue learning Chinese whether I'm at home or traveling."
-- Bernard Xavier
25. "At first I was skeptical if studying Chinese online would work, being both a teacher and a student I understand how well face to face learning works. I admit I was wrong and very pleasantly surprised the effectiveness of SpeakMandarin's online learning platform. I did quite well on the HSK and I owe it to SpeakMandarin."
-- Devin Allen, A teacher in one of international school, Beijing, China
26. "I've taken a year-long course during undergrad and had the opportunity to live in Beijing for a year. After a few years since my departure from Beijing, at the time I wanted to find an online course that was trustworthy, had affordable pricing, and had professional and credible teachers who've been in the language education industry for some time. I'm an American of Korean descent, so I had no formal training in Mandarin until my exposure in college and Beijing. After about three years since returning from Beijing, I was concerned that I was losing my Mandarin because I was in the U.S. in an English-speaking environment at work and a Korean-speaking environment at home.
It's now been almost eight years since I started working with Speakmandarin.com. I've gotten to meet outstanding teachers from mainland China and Taiwan with diverse teaching styles, which was key to my development. I intentionally chose different teachers to expose myself to various ways of learning Mandarin so that I can be familiar with different ways of speaking Mandarin. The teachers have customized each class to cater my interests and stage in my learning; they are flexible. For example, I have mentioned to them that I'd like to use the last 10 minutes of my class session exclusively for review from what I've learned that day and they've easily accommodated to my request - since the class is one-on-one.
They use WebEx as the main platform where they screen-share their computer to project the learning material. Although there's no video, which has been something that I respect and hasn't bothered me, audio is used and I've come to realize that it forces me to listen in Mandarin fully without the help of a body gesture; I have to rely on my listening skills to understand Mandarin. Using Speakmandarin.com for about eight years is itself a testament that their system has been working for me. Life has gotten busier than eight years ago, but I've gained confidence to converse in Mandarin whenever an opportunity appears in my personal life."
-- Brian Yang
27. "わかりました。 我跟这个学法学了中文上个半年了。我感觉老师们认真得教我中文。非常非常感谢。我想明年也继续。祝你们过年愉快。"
-- Mr Tabata 2018年12月27日