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Go East Review: Live Mandarin Classes

After GoEast reached out to us, we at Ninchanese decided to review their services to see if their live sessions could interest you little dragons. The results are in. Let’s dive right in.


Go East Review by Ninchanese
What’s GoEast and for who is it?

GoEast Mandarin is a dynamic Chinese teaching School based in China. They have two campuses in Shanghai. They offer both Chinese classes there and live online lessons. This is a legit school with a good track record and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of over 84, which is no small feat. They teach Chinese to adults and children alike and offer several different types of lessons.

All Go East lessons start the same way:

First, you book a free language assessment through a convenient online tool. Then, input your available times, and wait for a match. In my case, Liz.

Live Language Assessment with Liz over Zoom

During the language assessment, we spoke together in Mandarin Chinese for about 40 minutes. Yes, she went straight for Chinese, and we stuck to it for the entire assessment session, something I enjoyed. Part of it was free-flow conversation, and the rest was her saying sentences and asking me to repeat them and translate them. This exercise of repeating and translating sentences allowed her to check my level of comprehension, expression, and understanding. At the end of the session, she rightly assessed that my current need was more spoken Chinese, as opportunities to speak Chinese are rarer at the moment.

If you’re a beginner in Chinese, not to worry, the assessment won’t be entirely in Chinese for you! The whole point is for GoEast to understand your needs in Chinese and what goals you have. From there, they can put together a study plan and suggest a course of action for you.

The whole proposal is sent to you by email for your consideration.

Classes at all levels

Levels 1 to 4:
You get a double combo, from Chinese levels 1 to 4: online content to prepare each upcoming class, including audio and some video content (what they call self-study), and then a live session/group class to discuss and drive home the content you explored beforehand.

As they say, this saves the teacher (and you!) time, as they don’t need to teach you vocabulary live, time better spent using the language in context and learning to make sentences with it. GoEast calls it, their ESA method: study at home, engage, and activate (what you learned) in class.

From level 5 and on, there’s no online content to rely on. That’s because, as GoEast put it, at this level, each student has different needs, and it’s best for each teacher to figure it out with the student directly. GoEast has different high-level paths to offer: one for academic needs, one for business needs, and one that places the focus on Spoken Chinese.

In-person or over zoom GoEast offers a wide range of live lessons

You can do sessions in person, in their Shanghai-based schools, or over zoom, which is convenient in these covid-stricken times.

Choose the style that suits you best, from one-to-one classes to group classes. Group classes can be composed of other Chinese learners at the same level as you (up to 4 per class) – great if you’re more into studying when others are learning with you. Group classes can also be composed of students you know! Gather three other students and make your own group class. Pretty neat!

The choice also depends on whether there’s a group class at a time that’s convenient for you. Group class times depend on the level you’re at and what group is starting soon. There are a lot of time slots at levels HSK 1 to 3 and fewer as you go up in levels, which is understandable. In my case, a group class at my level would have been in the morning, China Time so not at all convenient for me considering my time zone.

One-to-one classes offer more flexibility in terms of when they can take place, so that’s what I tried.

How a Live Class goes

Each live class is 50 minutes long. First, you determine when it’s best to have a lesson and then, GoEast gets back to you with a timeframe and a teacher. As much as possible, GoEast tries to match you with one teacher and stick to that to ensure continuity in your learning.

GoEast’s teaching style

GoEast offers a free language lesson for you to try out their teaching style. I tried an intermediate Spoken Chinese, as per my assessment recommended.

The teacher I had, Dany, spoke Chinese the most during the session. She only relied on English, which she spoke very well, when needed, to explain a concept I didn’t know yet, for instance, or to help me find the words I needed to talk. This way of doing things ensures you’re spending your time primarily speaking in Chinese, which is the whole purpose.

The Spoken Chinese class relies on a book (Mastering Chinese) for topics of discussion and questions, and its goal is undeniably to get you talking in Chinese. In each session, you cover one lesson. GoEast explained that 100 sessions were needed to go through the whole book. My test lesson centered around 职业病 (zhí yè bìng), occupational diseases, i.e. afflictions that can ail you at work. For instance, if you spend your workday sitting at the computer like me. It was pretty fitting, and I learned a few new words that I put directly in a Nincha Deck for later reviewing and reinforcement.

A Nincha Deck of Chinese words around occupational diseasesPricing

Good for: you if you learn better with a teacher and with someone to drive your learning.
Pricing-wise, Go East explains that the cost of a session depends on:
– whether you are taking a one-to-one class
– or a group class
– and on the level you want to take classes at.

As expected, rates for group classes are cheaper (although I wasn’t given the rates) and one-to-one classes are pricier. They do demand a sizable investment. But perhaps, that’s the price to pay for a personalized approach and flexible hours, with real human beings teaching you (and not lovely cats that teach you Chinese).

Summary

Based on what I tried, lessons look well-prepared, and teachers know what they’re doing. So if you’re looking for a live teacher, check out GoEast. They offer a free language assessment and a free class so you can try out their services at no cost.

Our recommendation: GoEast could be a good complement to Ninchanese. Use Ninchanese at your level to focus on vocabulary acquisition, sentence practice, and speaking training. And use GoEast to give you live interaction with teachers and speaking practice.

Have fun learning Chinese, little dragons!

Sarah, from the Nincha Team

Sarah Aberman is one of Ninchanese‘s co-founders. She loves learning languages, particularly Chinese, and traveling. She’s passionate about furthering her understanding of Chinese culture. She’s also fascinated by Japanese and Korean and so enjoys discovering and exploring those cultures too. When she’s not writing up Chinese grammar lessons or blog posts for the Nincha blog, Sarah can be found holed up at home with a good book or a Cdrama/Kdrama/Anime.

NinchaneseGo East Review: Live Mandarin Classes
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