Each lesson in the Learn section has a layout similar to the one seen in the image below. Each lesson has a video, a Practice section, and a Quiz*. (*Note: a few select lessons, especially intro lessons without much material to practice, may not have a practice and/or quiz section) You can navigate between lessons without completing the quiz by selecting a lesson within the current unit from the dropdown menu in the header: And click the hyperlinks under the video player to navigate to the current Unit page or back to the Course page:
The practice section for each lesson page will contain some or all of the following sub-sections:
Most lessons have flashcards, but not all. Flashcards can be both individual words or phrases and sometimes even sentences as well. If a new word or phrase was taught in a lesson, you can expect it to have a flashcard in the practice section.
- List View
- View all of the flashcards from the lesson in a list-view directly from the Flashcards sub-section while watching the video lesson.
- Language Preferences
- From here you can adjust the toggles to show/hide the English, pinyin, and Chinese characters in the way that works best for you.
- You can choose your default toggle settings from your settings page so that each new lesson page always opens with your preferred toggle settings.
- Audio Speed
- You can also adjust the audio speed of the flashcard audio using the rabbit and turtle icons (the rabbit being the 'normal' speed and the turtle being the 'slow' speed).
- Like with the language toggles, you can also choose your default audio toggle settings from your settings page.
- Play All
- Click the Play All button at the bottom left of the screen to hear the audio of each card played in succession .
- Card-by-Card Practice
- Click 'Practice' to study the cards one-by-one in a card-by-card view.
- Press and hold the microphone recording button to record your own audio and compare it to the native speaker audio in the recording (make sure your microphone permissions are enabled for this feature to work)
- Click the settings cogwheel to adjust your study settings and choose how to review the cards, i.e. what is shown on side 1 versus side 2 of each card.
Some lessons in Beginner Conversational Level 1 have a 'pinyin' section instead of a flashcards section. These are distinct from flashcards in that the intention is not to memorize the meaning of the words, but instead to practice their pinyin, tones, and pronunciation.
- Language Preferences
- Like Flashcards and Dialogue, you can adjust the toggles to choose how you view the pinyin 'cards' in list view.
- The Pinyin and Numbers toggle will switch between seeing the pinyin for the card or using numbers for the tones, while the Tones toggle will show/hide tone marks.
- *Tip: try turning off the pinyin and practice guessing the correct pinyin spelling and likewise try turning off the tones/numbers to work on your tone skills.
- Card-by-Card Practice
- Like with Flashcards, Click 'Practice' to study the cards one-by-one in a card-by-card view.
- Click the settings cogwheel to adjust your study settings. Pinyin practice has a unique set of choices in settings so be sure to take a look and choose the style that works for you.
When a lesson contains a 'Dialogue', i.e. a spoken exchange between two speakers, you'll find a Dialogue sub-section inside the Practice section. The Dialogue section (for now at least! 😉😎 ) is identical to the Flashcards practice section in every way other than the 'cards' each being full sentences. '*Tip: the audio speed toggle is particularly useful with dialogues where the native speaker audio (the 'normal' speed) can be quite fast and difficult to understand at first. Remember to compare both audio files and to practice using the slow speed audio before moving onto the regular speed when you're having trouble with the regular speed audio.
Many lessons also have an 'Audio' practice section. In Audio you'll find a pre-recorded audio file that will help you practice both recall and listening/speaking by asking you to remember how to say words or phrases from the lesson.
- View Lecture Notes
- Each audio file is made using the lesson summary content found in the Lecture Notes, a downloadable PDF that contains the key points and vocab from the lesson.
- *Tip: if you're having trouble recalling the vocab during the audio practice, open the lecture notes in another tab to use as reference before trying again without them.
- Download Audio
- You can also download the audio file to use on the go and/or at a later time.
Some lessons don't have an audio, but do have Lecture Notes. You'll find a Notes subsection on lessons like these. *Tip: you can download Lecture Notes in zipped batches from the Download Center.
The FAQ section is where you'll find frequently asked questions about the lesson content.
- 'Ask' Button
- To submit a question you can't find an existing answer to, click the 'Ask' button and ask away! We'll feature your question and answer if it would be helpful to other future students on that lesson.
With a few exceptions, each lesson contains a 10-question Quiz with questions of a variety of types and formats that covers the material in the lesson.
- You can take the quiz anytime, but we suggest following our recommended study flow.
- Completing a quiz for the first time will earn you experience points, aka 'XP'. If you get a 10 out of 10 score, you'll earn a gold medal and a bit of additional XP.
- You can re-take a quiz as many times as you'd like (though you won't earn additional XP once you've completed it and earned a gold medal)
- When you answer incorrectly, check the feedback section in the footer for the correct answer and/or additional information about the question.
Recommended Study Flow
Each lesson is designed to be flexible enough so that you can choose how you study each lesson. That said, we recommend the following lesson study flow for each lesson:1. Watch the video lesson
- Step one is watch the video! It may be tempting to jump into practice or quiz early before finishing the lesson, but we recommend watching the entire lesson before doing any practice or quiz.
2. Check out the FAQ section
- After watching the video, check out the FAQ section. You'll often find the very questions you have answered already, and if not, you can send our student support team a new question using the Ask button.
3. Review and practice the Flashcards
- Go over each flashcard in the lesson in the list view first. Click each card to hear the audio and use the toggles to show/hide parts of the vocab to give yourself an extra challenge.
- After you've finished reviewing in list view, hit the 'start practice' button and review the vocab card-by-card. Though this can take a while sometimes, the card-by-card practice can be a huge help to memorizing vocab as you're forced to test yourself before continuing and also have access to the Study Settings to help you target the parts of the vocab you're having the hardest time memorizing.
4. Review and practice the Dialogue
- Just like with flashcards, start in the list view and see how much of the dialogue lines you can recall and understand.
- The audio toggles are particularly helpful here when dialogue lines are spoken by fast-talking native speakers. Use the slow speed audio to practice the lines before switching to normal speed.
5. Complete the Audio practice
- The audio practice file is one of the most useful features in the practice section. It may seem simple and at times tedious, but it trains multiple skills that are essential to learning Chinese, specifically listening, comprehension and speaking, as well as recall generally.
- *Tip: for particularly long audio practices, download the files from the Download Center so you can save you place more easily.
6. Take the Quiz
- Once you've done all of the practice activities, it's time for the Quiz! Click Start Quiz and see how many questions you can answer correctly on your first try.
- Whenever you get a score of less than 6 out of 10 on a Quiz, review the lesson again (in the same recommended flow above) before moving on to the next lesson. Although it's not necessary to get a perfect score on each lesson's quiz on the first go, it is good to make sure you are able to successfully use/apply the material from each lesson before moving on because the course will build on that same content.
- If you don't get a score of 10 out of 10 on your first try, try waiting a while before going back and doing the quiz again. For example, try finishing an entire level or unit before going back and trying to get gold medals on each lesson as a way to track if you've reviewed a particular section or not.
- Try experimenting with your own study flows if you find our recommended flow isn't working great for you. For example, you can do the audio practice first, then drill the flashcards and dialogue before doing the quiz, etc.