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A way to ovierview our performances

I think it would be great to have a page to overview our general performance of all lessons test taken.

Even something like the progress in video games. Eventually if you reach a goal you can get a gift.

Generally speaking it would be extremely motivating, for examples you can go and re do the excercise where you have less scores.

Hope this function could implemnted and would love to know what the community think about it.


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The “Progress” box on the dashboard, showing how many lessons you’ve done at each level, is a bit limited in not showing any kind of scoring for the quizzes at the end of each lesson. But I’ve found it to be fairly accurate concerning my progress - how many lessons done at a level says a lot.

ChinesePod has had many features appear and disappear over the years. One of the features I miss most is the listening placement test: You could just go onto a page, hit a “Play” button to hear a sentence in Chinese, then select a “Yes” or “No” as to whether or not you understood it. I think it drew from the “Expansion Sentences,” and threw about 20 of them at you. It was much quicker than trying to do the written tests that are now on the website.

Back when I was teaching foreigners in China, this tool was incredibly valuable. It could very quickly and easily place each student at a particular level. No doubt some would complain about the subjective imprecision of the test, but I found it to be plenty accurate to get a ballpark feel of someone’s ability, no matter how strict or loose the students were in deciding whether or not they understood a sentence.


A “Listening Placement Test!” That does sound like a great feature. It sounds like somebody at that time understood learners needs, especially auditory learners! I like the ability on both the website and app to slow down or speed up the dialogue, loop it endlessly, etc. I mainly use a Chromebox desk setup to study and have and use a large cell phone flashcard deck (with the “forgot, not quite, and got it” options).

Are most Chinese polyglots? Were the foreigners you taught from a bunch of countries or just a couple? I get a kick out of CGTN broadcasting in 5 different languages: It at least shows an awareness and appreciation of all those languages, cultures, etc. Studying Mandarin makes studying French, Italian, etc way, way, way easier for me. I miss when CPOD was SpanishPod, ItalianPod, etc. It was easy one stop shopping for many languages! The WayBack Machine gives a link to SpanishPod.

I enjoy your posts: Thanks for sharing all your strategies, techniques, etc. It is very interesting to read about!

Most Chinese know more than one dialect of Chinese (their native dialect, plus Mandarin), but usually nothing beyond that. College students are usually very focused on learning English, but in my experience most of them never really learn it well.

The foreigners I taught in China were from the U.S./Canada, Philippines, and northern Europe.

I got to visit ChinesePod when SpanishPod was well established, and the others were about to begin. It was definitely a “happening” place!

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By the way, the Listening Placement Test was one of the many terrific things John Pasden created while he was Academic Director. I got a chance to ask him about it recently, and he said that while it wasn’t perfect, it did its job well, and he doesn’t know why it later disappeared.

In order to bring something like that back, it would have to be designed to pull only from lessons that were appropriately level-graded. John was in charge of this sort of thing at ChinesePod for 8 years, and he points to 2008 through 2010 as the best sample.

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Hi Stevinsjs, since you seem interested in Spanish, I would like to recommend to you the really awesome website of the Spanish Public TV, They are accessible for free worldwide for most shows, and you get thousands of hours of TV shows with subtitles and transcripts, radio and podcasts. A treasure trove!

As for what you say about the Pod series for other languages, they still do exist, though they are a different company; I recently went through quite a shopping spree during theis Xmas sales and bought subscriptions for me and my family :smiley:, so that now each day after my daily hour of Chinese, I feel compelled to add a few extra minutes for my other languages to justify the money I spent :sunglasses:.

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Thanks very much for the Spanish link! Your description of it is conservative, if anything, a fantastic learning resource. For French exercises I like: Apprendre.tv5monde. Do you know about Conjuguemos? I used this site a lot when I was teaching high school Spanish and my students seemed to thrive on it :grinning:

Good for you in investing in learning. I always find learning pays for itself in the long run and enjoying investing in learning is definitely the way to go. I caught a fantastic sale at Rosetta Stone that I’m pleased with as well as I can immediately shift from one to another language.

Xie xie ni!

I’m envious of the SpanishPod visit. John Pasden and what is now legacy CPOD! I’d love to have read their lesson plans, seen the instructional methodology, etc. I really, really enjoyed SpanishPod (Lila and the others!) and was intellectually distraught when CPOD went its independent way. I’m a fairly auditory learning style learner so the auditory focus of placement tests, etc. is interesting to me. To be honest, I get distracted by too much video, etc. and lose my concentration. Video is interesting, but I don’t learn as much.

Maybe the two language max is a function of location? Being an ESL teacher in Uzbekistan as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2001-2004 surprised me. Centered on the old Silk Road, Uzbeks respect Mandarin and quite a significant proportion study and speak it. (A volunteer in Tashkent, I thought Russian would be it, but no, no, no. My students regularly spoke 3-4 languages.) My host brother laughed his head off when at dinner one night I got lost in the dialogue. He explained his family was using different languages for different topics; Russian for politics; Kazak for family stuff; Uzbek for neighborhood stuff; English for me out of politeness; and some dialect for his parents. The kids were studying German and French in school and were better at it than the Russian I was managing to pack into my adult brain.

Do you think Chinese people shift between Mandarin dialects for topics or for general politeness and understanding?

Hi Stevinsjs, happy new year. I am glad you found the rtve website interesting. Some suggestions in there for series and other shows:

  • “Cuentame como pasó”: hundreds of episodes for a family saga spanning the Spanish history of the 2nd half of the 20th century

  • “El ministerio del tiempo”, Spanish sci-fi

  • Masterchef

  • Pelotas

  • Estoy vivo,

  • From the archive: Los gozos y las sombras, La Regenta, Anillos de oro, Turno de oficio,

  • Radio: Esto me suena (Ciudadano Garcia)

For French, I use youtube a lot for the French tv shows I enjoy: Thalassa, L’ombre d’un doute, Secrets d’histoire, On n’est pas couche, La grande librairie, Des racines et des ailes, Echapees belles, La belle histoire, etc

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Wow! Thanks for the resource ideas. It’ll take me a while, but I’ll check out each of your ideas.

Univision and Galavision soaps are my go to videos in Spanish now. I often ‘watch’ them while doing cardio at the gym, subtitles and all, and nobody else seems to mind. My reading in Spanish really improved lately when I started reading whole books, forcing myself to look up words, highlight them, etc. and a dual-language Bible in a modern translation is helping a lot (as I know the stories, etc. by heart more or less).

I’m so BFM Paris and BFM tv oriented in my French that watching any of the tv shows you’ve listed will improve my comprehension I’m sure.