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Yes, ChinesePod is Changing!


So it turns out Fiona and Gwilym have just joined Skritter…


Awesome! We love working with Skritter and encourage all growth in the Chinese language!


I’m not panicking yet. It seems ChinesePod is no stranger to PR troubles. Like when 凯恩 schools folded, and Ken skipped the country. Wow, do I remember that!

Or when the entire old production team seemed to vanish at the end of 2014 with little explanation - just an “oh-by-the-way” goodbye from Jenny and David buried in a Media lesson.

Once I realized Jenny and the talent were gone, I did actually think ChinesePod was probably over. But now that Fiona and Constance are gone, it seems everyone is (again!) thinking ChinesePod is over.

We’ll see what’s next!


Thank you ewilc773 for your positivity. ChinesePod sure has been around a while and this isn’t our first set of changes! We have great shoes to fill and are excited about the future. :slight_smile:


Are you guys going to post a general introduction describing who you are? You already have lessons up but I do not know who anyone is. Is that up somewhere? The only thing I have seen is Grace’s general advert for Chinesepod, but who is Grace?


Hello! Yes, I’ve been kind of behind the scenes with ChinesePod but was encouraged to get out in front a little more! What else can I answer for you? :slight_smile:


Grace, can we hope that Chinesepod management has plans to hire a deep bench of talent for the future? As we have seen, nothing is more disruptive to a business when you only have a few talented people and then lose them all at once. Hire a nice-size pool of talent, treat them well and pay them well, and you’re on the road to success. And if you lose a few along the way, that’s unfortunate, but at least you’ve got more talent on deck to cover while you’re looking for replacements.


I like where your head is at toolsen!


I used to be able to learn the vocabulary for each lesson using Skritter light. Is this function still available?


Why do my forum posts have to be moderated?


Hi, @dorothycowling, we are working on our own version of this app!


@dorothycowling, we had an unfortunate series of posts which needed to be censored. They were inappropriate for the Forum (totally unrelated topics, mostly sexual in nature, totally embarrassing!) and so we decided to moderate the comments for a bit until we can clear out the “violators.” We expect to open it back up shortly. Thank you for understanding. We try to keep our site free of robots, spammers and hijackers - but as you know…it is practically impossible!


Ok, quite some time ago we were asked for suggestions and now I am finally back. I signed up for one month of basic. So far I am thinking I might go back to my 3 month subscription again as I am fairly happy with the new content.

But frankly, I don’t see much of anything has changed. Pricing/levels/features all the same.

My main points of contention was that the jump from Basic to Premium was extreme and some features in premium should really be in basic.

I was reminded of this today when I installed the app. I really think the app should be available to all and simply limit what you can do depending on your subscription level.

I ‘CAN’ listen on my phone by going to the webpage but it would be slightly nicer to have the app. Are you really providing that much more value (with the app) to justify me going from 14/mo to 29/mo? I am simply not a learner that needs/wants the premium but locking me out of the app, only irritates me.

Thanks for what you done so far–ck


Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you are back, and hope you will try Premium. There are a lot of extra features you may enjoy.

Let us know what you think of the new lessons.


There’s been a lot of negativity on this post.

For my part, I’ve been with Cpod almost since it’s beginning, on and of. Cpod has had so many changes and trial ideas, it’s almost comparable to an Operating System company. That being said, the core hasn’t changed. That being the lessons. Some changes have been good, most a waste of time and, to be honest, annoying. As long as lessons are regular, content is good, presenters are likeable and the app can remain stable, nothing needs changing or adding.

But if you are really thinking of change, my advice would be multiple presenters again. Fiona and Gwilym were great, and I think the teaching was actually better under them than it I had ever been. Yet people do often speak of the “old days” on Cpod as being the golden time, and for a reason. Figure out why and nothing ever needs changing ever again.

As for stretches of time with little or no new content, I think at 4,000 lessons, this is to be expected. Still, communication has been a problem ever since Ken left, and more communication is what many have asked for for a long time now. I’m sure you have a team behind the scenes working away, why not get them involved. Cpod used to be a physical place one could visit, meet the team and get a free cpod coffee mug. We all knew the faces, the names, the team and who worked on what.

Times change, I know that. The format Cpod is the best anywhere online and is in no danger of being bettered anytime soon. It is probably one of the most advised Chinese courses, and the sheer volume of lessons makes it highly desirable. Yet, maybe a little less corporate-ness and more of that, “Cpod is our hobby,” kind of thing. That would go a long way I think.


Hi, Antony,

Thank you for your comments. We are in agreement with you that we should have multiple hosts. We are currently creating multiple studios with multiple hosts. Our new Taiwan location will be the sort of place Cpod subscribers could drop by and have a cup of coffee.

We appreciate your feedback and positive reflections. I am confused by your statement "Yet, maybe a little less corporate-ness and more of that “CPod is our hobby.” Can you please explain what you meant?

I believe most of the negative comments have been resolved with the new lessons rolling out. I hope that is the case and we can close out this forum topic.


Hi there, and thanks for replying!

You asked me to clarify a few words in my original post.

The shows before included the members from the writing team, production and occasionally office workers whose work had nothing to do with actual teaching. Even Ken, the pioneer of the Chinese Podcast format was heavily involved in co-presenting. Whether or not it was a true reflection, there was a sense of the ChinesePod ‘Team.’ If during a lesson, the presenter spoke of another person in the office, we’d all know who they were talking about, and probably even knew their face. Apart from the quality of the lessons, which is very high and still getting better, it was this community spirit that helped propel this great format.

If my words were chosen poorly in my original post, I do apologize. I still hold Cpod in very regard and always recommend it. I live in China, and have lived here for seven years, and when I’ve met a foreigner whose Chinese is good and very natural sounding, usually that person has learned form ChinesePod. This speaks volumes for what you do at Cpod. But talking about about change, the subject of this post, I thought it might be useful to reflect back on the very thing that did propel Cpod to its current status, which was more than quality lessons. Quality lessons are enough and very enjoyable, yet I thought it worth mentioning how it used to be.

Let me finish by saying that I understand that user’s interest in community and posting on the boards is also not what it was, (I include myself in that). The boards used to be so busy that presenters and users knew each other quite well and users got mentioneded in shows.

Things just change. But moving forward, it is sometimes good to reflect back on what made things work… well… good for Apple, not so good for Microsoft.


Hi. I’m hoping that you can PLEASE put the “dialogue” and vocabulary words for each lesson in a printable format (like you do for the “grammar” and “expanded content.” That would help IMMENSELY!


Hi there, this is a great suggestion. We will let you know soon if it is possible.


I’m really happy with the services provided by ChinesePod but I also agree with the earlier suggestions about extending subscriptions for a few months or so to compensate for the duration of time in which new lessons were not provided.

In terms of things that could be done differently, it would be great if there was a way to download the expanded vocabulary sentences for each lesson in one file (rather than only combined with the vocabulary practice). While the vocabulary part is useful, I find the expanded sentences the most useful and often like to listen to them on repeat.