Frequently Asked Questions
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What is unique about Mandarin eSpeak?
There are many options for acquiring language theory – through tapes, CDs, DVDs, online platforms, podcasts, classrooms, books, etc. However, confidence and fluency in conversation can only be developed in a sustained environment where people around you speak the language you want to learn, and not the language you know. Lack of practice is the critical factor.

Total immersion in an Chinese speaking environment is ideal, but it is logistically difficult and expensive. Mandarin eSpeak is intended to simulate this environment using the power of technology and the internet.
How do I get started with Mandarin eSpeak?
Give us your email address and contact phone numbers, and we will schedule you for a 50-minute live online assessment at your convenience. During this time, we will also check your hardware, software and internet connection, as well as establish your preferred schedule for your Mandarin eSpeak sessions.
What do I need in order to start with Mandarin eSpeak?
You will need:
  • A PC with a webcam, and a headset with microphone. You should not use speakers as they might feedback into your microphone. And you should not use the built-in microphone in your PC, as it could pick up ambient noise. We will be using multimedia tools during the session, and tapping on your keyboard will be picked up by your built-in microphone. There are a range of affordable headsets with noise-cancelling microphones.
  • Skype, which you can download from www.skype.com.
  • An internet connection with at least 1 Mbps download speed, and 400 Kbps upload speed.
  • A quiet location, with no interruptions.
Why do you use the term 'coaches' rather than 'tutors' or 'teachers', and what are their qualifications?
Traditional teachers and tutors teach technical knowledge of the language, but Mandarin eSpeak is also about building confidence and improving conversational Chinese.

Our coaches are carefully selected and trained so that they can not only help students with no prior Chinese knowledge build a good Chinese Language foundation but also help the students with basic Chinese speaking skills to improve their confidence, and to motivate and encourage them to use the language.
Where are your coaches from?
Our coaches are all native Chinese speakers. They are recruited from mainland China and undergo a very strict multi-screening process to ensure that their accent is suitable to be a Mandarin eSpeak coach. All of our coaches speak Mandarin which is widely used and popularised by the China government. Don't just take our word for it - listen to our coaches' accents here.
What is the duration of each Mandarin eSpeak session?
Each session starts 5 minutes past the hour, and ends 5 minutes to the hour. In the 5 minutes before the session starts, the coach will read the student's folder, to prepare for the session. The student folder will contain information about the student, his/her progress in past sessions, the preferences of the student, and any homework which has been given to the student. After the session, the coach will assess the progress of the student, and update the student folder. The coach hence works for at least an hour for each session.

We believe that shorter sessions will not push the student sufficiently to develop fluency in the language. Sustained use of the language is necessary.
Why will I be assigned different coaches for different sessions, rather than have a dedicated coach?
The objective is to improve your confidence and fluency in conversation. Everyone will speak with different tones, speeds and style, and will pronounce words slightly different. It is hence critically important that you get used to speaking to different people. This is a simulation of "total immersion", which is the ideal way to become conversant in a language.
How will Mandarin eSpeak help me with HSK?
HSK (Chinese Level Test) is the only official Chinese test which foreigners are requested to pass if they are planning to study or work in mainland China. We have worked with companies and academic institutions to help their employees/students prepare for both of the written and oral parts of this test.

We have researched extensively on how this test is run, and use officially recommended content to help students improve their written and oral skills.
Content Generation for Mandarin eSpeak
Based on the student's current Chinese level, needs and industry requirements, we customise the Mandarin eSpeak course outline and detailed content for each client, and even for each student.

We also have set courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced students, and also have special content focusing on business, travelling, hotels, traditional Chinese culture, news, etc.
Certification, Assessments, Quality
Finding a gauge to measure conversational fluency in any language is very difficult. Other than the initial assessment before students start Mandarin eSpeak, our coaches also make an assessment of every student for every session, gauging different factors such as grammar, pronunciation and fluency.

We do have certain programmes that are focused on the HSK, which are being used by renowned academic institutions (such as Taylor's University).

Our Quality Assurance and Quality Systems is the hallmark of Mandarin eSpeak. This is necessary as most of our clients are multinational companies or prominent academic institutions.
Pricing
We have priced our services very competitively, considering that we provide a premium product, with significant quality processes. There is a wide range of offerings in the market, and we are happy to make a comparison upon request.

We have a professional team that develops and customises content. Every session is recorded, and we have a QA team reviewing these recordings. We ask the student to give an evaluation for every session, and our QA team reviews these evaluations, and take corrective actions where required.

It is easy to start with Mandarin eSpeak. We do not bind you with contracts, or make you pay upfront lump sum payments. Just take one or a few sessions, and we are sure you will want to continue learning with us!
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If our staff are currently unavailable for live chat, you can leave your message on the provided form below and we'll get back to you shortly. You can also send emails to info@mandarin-espeak.com or via Skype ID: mandarin-espeak
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