I find the older lessons taught by John and Jenny are much better than the newest lessons. This is mainly because John and Jenny wouldn’t just recite the translation of the dialogues, but would focus on key grammar and vocab points, especially where there might be misunderstandings for English speakers. Of course, they also had a great dynamic, which is impossible to mimic, but focusing more on how they they taught would, in my opinion, greatly improve the lessons that are now coming out.
Honestly, I prefer the newer lessons. I have listened to a lot of lessons new and old and really don’t think there has been a downgrade in the quality of material. I also don’t find there’s any more of a great dynamic with John and Jenny than there is with the new team. I personally never grew too fond of Jenny or John( although I do find his blog entertaining). And then there’s some other lady on the old lessons that I find pretty lack luster, I think her name was Conny or something like that, she sounded like she just didn’t want to be there at all. Lol. Im sure they’re all good peoples though. And all that being said, the old lessons are still fine for learning, regardless if I’m a fan of the hosts or not.
As far as grammar goes, I usually forget those things right after they finish explaining them. I’m more of the massive input type.
Anyways, Chinese pod was never my end all be all for Chinese learning. I just stick around because it’s convenient to have a few ready made lessons every week. So as long as they keep pumping out new lessons and the dialogues are read by native speakers, I’m fine with that.
Intermediate level. I just find there’s too much time in the lesson devoted to translating the story. The translation is there, so what they should be focusing more is on difficult words and grammar, and interesting cultural/usage points.