I have been a chinesepod subscriber for many years now, and I have actually reached my current intermediate to upper-intermediate level practically through it. I really appreciate your efforts and I am certainly I discovered chinesepod when I started learning Chinese (about a year after I started).
Having said that, and since I have tought several english and german classes myself (at all levels), I have a number of suggestions, which could make the lessons even more attractive. Especially given the fact that most chinesepod subscribers are per definition lone learners (that is, they do not rely on class interaction to acquire new knowledge).
Some improvements regarding the app:
- incorporate exercises in the app
- make it possible to go to the next sentence with the “next” button (instead of going back and reclicking play
- make it possible to play a sentence without having to open it (that is without reading the translation or the pinyin first)
- On my iPad 3 mini the sentences in the dialog do not show fully unless I open them and the close them again. Please look into that.
Some improvements regarding the lessons altogether:
5) I understand that the actors try to talk naturally, but they really talk too fast (much faster than my Chinese colleagues among them in everyday life). Even at higher levels, we are still learners!
6) Perhaps restrict the vocabulary to more standard than Taiwan specific
7) In the exercise section also include open-end questions, rather than only multiple choice.
8) In the listening exercises include other sentences too, not only repetition of what is already present (one can simply copy and paste).
9) Very important: Create repetition exercises comprising of several lessons.
10) Create vocabulary lists of (a) relevant words, (b) phonetic series. But please restrict them to the respective level.
11) I know this is a personal thing: please also include occasional explanation of the character etymology or simplification processes. This can help tremendously remember how they are written.
12) When discussing new characters, sometimes also discuss (or remind us) of some relevant words (two-character words typically) and also give exercises for this. This is a standard technique to help strengthen vocabulary.
13) Whenever new characters are introduced, please also make listening exercises to train distinguish them from other similar ones (especially homonyms with different tones, or from a different context).
14) In video lessons (especially the newer ones), I sometimes wish more information than simply watching the presenters talk. For instance some mind-maps. I know you have them, because often you can see them in the background!
14) Include more complete vocabulary exercises (i.e., antonyms, words with similar meaning, words that are colloquially used differently, groups of words, etc.)