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Say It Right Series

Upgrading Old Lessons

Posted by John February 19, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

I'm responsible for the content and academic quality of the lessons at ChinesePod. ChinesePod has been growing and evolving for some time now, and it has made tremendous progress in many areas. For this reason, it is necessary for us to take a critical look at some of the earliest lessons.

The earliest lessons (starting with 0007) are quite different from what we do now. At that time, Ken and Jenny were still coming to grips with the lesson format and the learning method.

For many reasons, I have decided to have Ken and Jenny re-record some of the earliest lessons and remove the old version from the archive. The benefits include:

  • Raising lesson standards across the board.
  • Applying everything we have learned in the past two years to the same lesson content.
  • Eliminating the minor inaccuracies and pronunciation/tonal blunders that plague some of the early lessons (and having only native speakers for the dialogues).
  • Removing references to parts of the site that no longer exist, and making the lesson content more modular (as all lessons are now).

If you love those early lessons (mistakes and all), then please go and download them and save them to your hard drive (re-recordings will use new lesson IDs, not the old lesson IDs). The main disadvantage that I see with removing old lessons is the loss of the comments that accompany the lessons. What we will do is make sure to incorporate the best material from the comments into the new lessons.

Anyway, I hope I have the support of the community on this decision. We have some quality issues with the oldest lessons, and we WILL fix them. But fixing the academic issues is even more important than making sure all audio loads. Many new users start with the oldest lessons, and we want to make sure no matter where they start they get the highest quality ChinesePod lessons.

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