Online courses are great. In fact, they’re amazing. I went through my online transactions the other day and found out that one of my major spending areas is online education. How nerdy, am I right?
I’m kidding. About the nerdy part, of course – I really do spend a lot of money on online courses. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Learning things that interest me is one of my favorite things.
Okay, that does admittedly sound very nerdy, but I embrace it.
At any rate, there are times when there may not be an online course for what you need or you need some custom, 1-on-1 attention for your learning needs.
Enter GoEast Online Mandarin School.
Late 2019, I had plans of going abroad to Asia to study Chinese in 2020. But, the world had different plans so that was post-poned (probably until 2021). Anyway, to prepare for my trip, I was Googling places I could study Chinese in China, and one of those places was GoEast. Although they have a physical location in Shanghai, they also offer online Mandarin classes, which is what I have been taking.
So, do I recommend them? 100%. 200%. But it may just be because I have an awesome teacher (thanks Jane!). Though, I’m sure the other instructors are awesome, too!
In this guide, I will evaluate GoEast based on my 6+ month experience with their platform and the teacher I was paired with.
GoEast Review Summary
GoEast provides exceptional online Mandarin instructors to guide students through a pre-made or custom curriculum.
Pros of GoEast
Cons of GoEast
Now, let’s take a deeper look into GoEast and see what they have to offer and if it is the right solution for you. For your convenience, use the table of contents to navigate to different sections of the review.
What is GoEast?
GoEast is an online Mandarin school that connects you with the best teachers that will help you reach your Chinese-language goals. They do have a physical presence in Shanghai, but this review is focused on my experience with their online offering.
Here are the benefits you can expect when working with GoEast:
Courses Offered by GoEast
As of 2020, GoEast offers courses for all ranges of Chinese learners, from beginners to advanced, business Chinese, and customized courses. I personally opted for the tailored course, to begin with, to practice my conversational Chinese and have now transitioned into learned HSK 5 with my teacher Jane.
1. Onboarding Process
I wanted to note that, inevitably, the teaching style for each of the teachers will be different and your individual experience will likely differ. But, I will outline my own experience here.
One aspect I was very impressed with was how I was onboarded to work with my teacher.
After signing up for a discovery session, I filled out a quick questionnaire and met with a language consultant who learned more in-depth about my language learning goals. Once the meeting was completed, she sent over a customized language-learning plan based on my individual needs. With this, they immediately separated themselves from other organizations by showing just how particular and detailed they are when it comes to setting students up for success. I really feel like, especially after seeing my learning proposal, that they knew what my goals were and outlined a clear plan on how we were going to get there together.
After the proposal, I had a trial lesson with my matched teacher. The lesson went beyond my expectations and I signed up to be a student with GoEast – and the journey officially began.
2. Class Structure
Again, I want to re-emphasize that not every teacher is the same and I’m sure even my teacher adjusts the class format to optimize it for how I learn. Okay, with that out of the way, this is how a typical lesson works with my teacher Jane and I.
Each lesson is 45 minutes and conducted on a Zoom video call. The first 5 minutes are general small talk and catching up with what has been going on since we last met. We conduct our lessons completely in Chinese and this is a great way for me to get warmed up. After that, we go over the homework that I was assigned to do. (Note: I actually asked my teacher to provide me with homework because it helps me as a learner). She gently corrects errors I make/made and answers any questions I have.
After homework review is over, we dive into the new section of the textbook which I have previewed. Unless I haven’t previewed it because I’m not always a great student, in which case I beg for forgiveness from my teacher and promise to not let it happen again (surely I’m not the only one?).
Either way, we go to the next lesson and she explains the important vocabulary and phrases, oftentimes tag-teaming the dialogue reading parts. She may ask me to re-tell the main text in my own words or we may play a game to practice vocabulary, too. Then, we wind down the lesson by assigning homework and begin parting ways from our Zoom call. Currently, we meet once a week.
I really enjoy the structure of the lessons. It’s a nice blend of casual conversation, accountability, progress on new lessons, and answering questions. The duration is great and I feel like it doesn’t drag and I genuinely enjoy and look forward to each of the lessons.
3. GoEast vs. iTalki or Other Tutoring Services?
Before signing up with GoEast, my main question I had was:
“What’s the difference between signing up for a package of lessons from an iTalki teacher and a GoEast teacher?”
Truthfully, with the wide-range of iTalki teachers teaching for sometimes less than $10 an hour, a more cost-effective solution could be iTalki. So, why not go that route?
Now, I don’t want this to sound like I’m bashing iTalki because I have used and actually highly recommend iTalki, too. It’s a great resource to connect learners with teachers and tutors.
GoEast differentiates itself from iTalki and other online tutoring services with its cast of professional teachers that are certified and trained to take you from where you are to where you want to be. If you want to find a high-quality teacher without having to sift through pages of tutors online, GoEast is a great option. I can definitely say that there is a huge difference between a GoEast teacher and on on iTalki.
In addition, if your intent is to just have a few lessons for a few weeks or so, iTalki may be a better solution for you. If you are looking for a long-term teacher for longer than a few months, then GoEast is an excellent option.
For those looking for a professional Chinese teacher to guide you, no matter what level of Chinese you are at, GoEast is an excellent solution. It’s a fantastic option for serious language learners that want the best Chinese teachers that can take you where you want to go on your language journey.
If you want to give GoEast a try, you can sign up for a trial lesson below.
Happy learning and I hope this review was helpful for you!