Somewhere to chat
Is anyone aware of a group that is just for chat? That could be used like the old activity pages?
I find myself constrained to trying to stay on topic and thus also not confident enough to do anything but discussing in English.
I'm looking for a way to get back to exchanging inconsequential comments about everything and anything with the community here. I liked the activity stream thing when it was really busy at the beginning.
simonpetterssonSeptember 07, 2010, 01:56 AM
If you're looking to do it in Mandarin, there's a group called "中文吧" for that.
I looked there but felt a bit intimidated but the understanding displayed.
Also sometimes its interesting when you post in pidgeon because you don't quite know how to say a sentence and others dive in to explain or suggest.
Its that spontaneousness I miss
hamshankSeptember 07, 2010, 02:30 AM
How about starting a group for guessing games and things like that? 20 questions etc...I think you would get to say some pretty random things doing that in Chinese.
I did think about starting a group for this but wondered if anyone would really want to join in, and if they don't then the whole thing doesn't work so i thought I'd ask first.
Honestly I find it hard to discover groups I'd be interested in.
Well I would join up for one. Maybe it doesn't need to be a new group. You can always start a thread in another group as a trail run.
I think the only thing this site is missing is putting the things you have learnt into practice. Perhaps Chinesepod can learn something from LiveMocha in that sense.
I saw Cpod trying to sign up people for a skype-based language exchange at one point. It looked like they were trying to put a toe into the livemocha pond. But only about 3 people signed up. Not sure what happened with that effort, and cpod certainly didn't promote it on the website, so it appears they might have their hands full with language lesson creation and support.
That Group was for getting together enough students to open a Virtual School class, not language exchange (the word "Partner" was confusing though probably).
ChinesePod have been expanding and diversifying their Teacher Services over the past year including the launch of Virtual School. We often see Guided Plan students comment about how helpful and supportive their teachers are, but don't really hear about Virtual School in the community so I have no idea how that's gone so far, how that has been received by users.
In any case, the Teacher Services products are the offering here in response to student needs for speaking practice and correction by qualified native speakers (who understand the mistakes learners make, as opposed to inexperienced native speakers off the street). I'm not CPod of course, but it seems to me the decision was to offer dedicated quality and reliability as a product, and not a LiveMocha type of environment. Makes perfect sense, to me anyway. And of course we've never been discouraged in any way from interacting with native speaker users and visitors in the community.
I agree with you Zhenlijiang - ChinesePod complements engagement with teachers in person or practice with native speakers beautifully (I hope that is what you meant.) Practice with fellow learners can be fun but is best conducted under conditions that avoid 'the blind leading the blind'.
I also understand the desire for more speaking practice at a reasonable price - it is a difficult one.