I just extended my account for another year. I joined in the beginning of 2006 as a premium user, so I guess that makes me one of the veterans around here. When you extend your account you get the opportunity to give some feedback. I still think CP are doing a great job, but I couldn't refrain making the suggestion -again- to introduce a clear "lower intermediate" level.
All of this has been discussed before, here and on the forum. Am I really the only one to see the absolute need for this. The step-up from "elementary" to "intermediate" is simply to big. Especially now that a lot of these "elementary" lessons have become so easy. Take the last one "Don't Litter" as an example. That is really an advanced "Newbie" lesson. In fact I have known "Newbie" lessons that were more difficult...Imagine fooling yourself that you can handle "elementary" based on this and then trying an "Intermediate"...What a shock!
Sure, I can handle "intermediate". I have been studying Chinese now for 3,5 years, but if I want to study on this level, I find there is so much new vocabulary and finer grammar points to explore, that I need approximately 4 to 5 hours to complete a lesson. (I am learning the hanzi too, writing and reading), and that is simply too long. It becomes boring in the end. And demotivating, because there is too much. Stick with "elementary". You must be joking. I finished "Don't Litter" in less than 30 minutes. I write out the lesson and the expansion exercises while I listen to the banter. Then I spend some minutes on repeating the few characters I can not write and finish with the exercises...There is no real challenge anymore in this. Especially because all the banter is in English and at my level I really need to practice my listening skills.
So CP, please introduce this "lower intermediate" level. Or if it is such a taboo subject, as an alternative, consider maybe introducing a grading according to difficulty for every level
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