I think most users will attest that Chinesepod is already a fantastic tool for learning Chinese. But as with all things there is room for improvement. Here are a few suggestions of mine. I hope others will throw in their own as well.
- Chinesepod searchable dictionary that tells you what lesson the word or phrase appears in so you can go back and look at that particular lesson.
- A vocab tracking system that tells you if you've already added a word to your vocab list from a previous lesson.
bababardwanJune 27, 2011, 02:40 AM
"Chinesepod searchable dictionary that tells you what lesson the word or phrase appears in so you can go back and look at that particular lesson"
...have you tried the glossary?...it does this
My dream along the lines of this request is that I could click on a word and up would come the expansion sentences for that word.
When I want to dig into a word, I usually don't want a whole lesson that contains it somewhere, but some examples of its usage.
I also usually don't want to be bothered with going to a glossary section. It would be more convenient to just click on it in the lesson dialog, and then get all the related sentences written out and with their recordings.
"up would come the expansion sentences for that word"
Mark, not sure if you've checked it out or not but that's what the glossary has...a list of all the expansion sentences for that word with a link to the lesson it came from. But I agree that your suggestion of being able to click on it directly would be more fangbian.
zhoudageJune 27, 2011, 03:11 AM
ha, guess I should invesitage the site more thouroughly before I make any further suggestions ;) Thanks baba!
Suggestions are very welcomed since we definitely have a lot of room for improvement. Baba has answered your first question. With the second question, we are working on an intelligent lesson recommendation engine which will be able to recommend lessons to you based on your previous knowledge, i.e. vocab and sentences you have studied. I am not 100% sure of the specific features, but I can tell you that to reduce search cost for users is what we are trying to achieve.
Awesome! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. As always, thank you Jenny for the quick feedback. I'll try to do my part and think of more things to complain about, but it's getting kind of hard. I'm running out...
watyamacallitJune 27, 2011, 08:13 AM
How about a useful Grammar Guide.
The current one mentions only verbs and adverbs, and the information available on these is very sparse. The examples give only sample sentences, without definitions.
We will overhaul how we are presenting grammar now. The current Grammar Guide will be taken down because the top down structure is not user friendly. Instead we are going to add "grammar" tab to each lesson and tag the grammar points within that lesson. Each grammar point will have a few sample sentences to illustrate the usage, working in a way quite similar to expansion sentences. The changes are planned for around August. New lessons coming out after we launch the change will have a grammar section.
That sounds brilliant Jenny! My grasp grammar is shocking (even in english!), so I'm doubly keen to use the grammar guide, but I always found it a little hard to get to grips with. A grammar tab sounds perfect.
zhoudageJuly 01, 2011, 04:20 AM
Another thing that might be nice would be to have word classes next to vocabulary words in the pdfs or on the vocab list online. It's helpful to know, for instance, when a word is an adjective or verb or both and even further if it is a transative or instransative verb.
bababardwanJuly 01, 2011, 06:23 AM
I've been thinking about this for some time. Namely, the problems in getting adequate speaking practice when you live outside of China. By speaking practice, I'm here referring just to the act of saying the words, or preferably sentences, not conversational practice which is also important but requires another person such as skype calls from your guided teacher. I listen to the lessons way more than I ever speak and a natural consequence of this is that speaking lags way behind. This is a big ask, but I often think how great it would be with the dialogue file you can download if there was a long pause between each line of the dialogue so you can practice repeating it. Actually, the dialogue files are fine as is, what I mean is another file to download with such gaps for speaking practice. The review files from memory just go a word at a time or ask you to construct some new sentence. I just want straight repetition practice. I know you could probably put this through an audio edit programme like audacity, but I don't know if I'd ever get around to doing that and wondered if CPod would consider it.
iaingJuly 01, 2011, 01:06 PM
"Expansion" tab audio download as mp3 file.
*doesn't bother to hold breath*
babyeggplantJuly 03, 2011, 03:46 AM
I really wish I didn't have to bring this up on this type of forum, but I wish there was an option to block certain users' posts. I find the vast majority of the users here on Chinesepod friendly, welcoming, and helpful, but there are certain users who make rude, and even sexually inappropriate, comments that I would rather avoid seeing altogether. If that's not possible, perhaps a reporting system might work. I know some forums temporarily hide a user's post after a certain number of people have reported it until a mod has time to verify the post. This would also bring the negative post to your attention. Again, I find participating in the forum to be extremely positive and helpful most of the time, but I still feel the forums should be moderated a little more closely.
darkstar94July 03, 2011, 05:57 AM
I think the automatic function on the flashcards could be improved, as in like it just keeps on rolling through them instead of waiting for a tick or cross. It would be cool (but also I imagine quite hard) if there was a system for your vocabulary list like Skritter where it tells you which ones need to be reviewed.