I posted the following comments in another thread, but I'm curious if other people wonder about such things.
I am skeptical of claims from language organizations saying "fastest way to learn a language", or other claim from a language school or website. But I would love quantifiable metrics that demonstrate that certain methods to learn a language (in our case, Chinese) are more effective than other methods. Cpod subscribers seem to get a lot out of Qing Wen, but I remember a time when I first subscribed that I thought my progress in learning Chinese was fastest when I was using newbie lessons. I'm working at the upper intermediate level, but there are times that intermediate lessons "seem" best, and other times elementary level lessons "seem" best. But for the purpose of this post, I'm more interested in quantifying this need to jump around lesson level because its been demonstrated to be effective, not because it "seems" best.
Across the thousands of Cpod subscribers, there's enough information about how fast people are progressing in learning Chinese. Sadly, there's no simple way to collect the data. I would love that data to be captured, so that we could have metrics like:
- reading the hanzi in 3 chinese lessons seems to provide 10% retention in hanzi.
- Using Qing Wen to learn a sentence pattern benefits 90% of chinese learners to learn Chinese even over existing cpod newbie lessons.
- Newbie lessons take on average 30 minutes to study completely, but retention is the highest across all lesson types, from newbie to advanced.
I've been a fan of Cpod since I started subscribing back in March 2008. But I also thought that I would subscribe to any language program if it could tell me that the students using their program on average take 1000 hours to learn mandarin using its methods, and students using the next best website/university/language institute take 1500 hours to learn mandarin to the same level.
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