An Extremely Honest Chineseclass101 Review [2024]

By J Maver

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Despite its reputation for being difficult to learn, many students are taking on the challenge of learning Mandarin for its numerous benefits. The Chinese language is the most spoken language by native speakers around the world. Chinese learners gain the ability to develop business relationships and tap into the Chinese market. People who possess an understanding of Mandarin will have an easier time in their travels through countries like China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Moreover, students who learn Chinese will acquire a deeper knowledge of Chinese culture.

The good news for anyone who wishes to reap the benefits of the Chinese language is that there are countless language learning options available. For those who want to learn Mandarin Chinese, it can be difficult to choose which course best fits your goal and learning style. To assist you with your decision, this article aims to honestly and thoroughly review ChineseClass101.

Chineseclass101 Review

(Please, follow this article – in terms of format and style and make it better. Please, make sure to mention all Alternative (especially ChinesePod) resources without inserting link into them)

ChineseClass101 is a great choice for students who want to learn Mandarin Chinese. Although it doesn’t particularly stand out against other Chinese language learning services, it shines in some regards.


Image from ChineseClass101



Overall, this Chineseclass101 review believes that this language learning service is not to be counted out. It is widely considered to be one of the top-rated Chinese learning services offered online. Admittedly, there are better and cheaper options available, but students can expect a good learning Chinese experience from Chineseclass101.



Image from ChineseClass101

Chineseclass101 offers a wide array of extra features for learning Chinese. It caters to both a beginner and advanced-level Chinese learner. The lessons provide cultural context enriching the student’s knowledge of the Chinese culture behind the language.


Advanced and intermediate level learners may not gain as much from Chineseclass101 as beginners. The structure of the course is sorted through difficulty, but other than that, the lessons follow no logical progression. The price is not clearly stated. Students have to sign up with their email to learn their pricing.



Image from ChineseClass101

Chineseclass101 has four subscription levels to suit various learning objectives and budgets. There is a free subscription, a basic subscription at $8/month, a premium plan at $25/month, and a premium plus subscription at $47/month.


First Impressions


Image from ChineseClass101

Although it is one of the most popular resources to learn Chinese, Chineseclass101 initially comes off as gimmicky in the way it requires potential students to sign up to view their lesson details and pricing plan. While it makes marketing sense to place their call to action at the top of the landing page, users who are trying to compare Chineseclass101 to other language learning services might become annoyed at the lack of readily available information.

Course Structure Details

After taking a closer look, Chineseclass101 is a heavily audio-based Chinese learning resource. They offer video lessons in addition to their extensive 1300 audio lesson collection.

The course is structured according to difficulty and experience level. This allows more advanced to skip through the bulk of the lessons.

The lesson structure begins with absolute beginner, followed by beginner, intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced. There is also a bonus section that contains extra features.


Image from ChineseClass101

Each pathway contains audio and video resources to help the student sharpen their Chinese skills based on the amount of knowledge they have acquired so far. Within each pathway, the lessons are sorted into alphabetical, recent, or popular order as opposed to a recommended and logical order of progression.

Chineseclass101 does offer an official curated pathway for each level, but students using Chineseclass101 can learn the rest of the resources based on their preferences. The resources can be sorted through media, either audio or video. In addition, the lessons can be filtered by categories such as conversation, reading and writing, vocabulary, grammar, and culture.


Image from ChineseClass101

There appears to be a lesson for almost every aspect of the Chinese language. One lesson discusses common words and phrases. Another lesson offers words in context. One of the lesson clusters explains the pinyin chart. However, the huge variety of resources is only available for the paid subscription plans.


Audio Lessons

Audio Lessons

Image from ChineseClass101

Audio lessons are where Chineseclass101 truly shines above its competitors. The service boasts a vast catalogue of innovative language audio lessons at each difficulty level, with the beginner level containing the most.

The selection of audio is extremely impressive. There are bite-sized lessons containing useful words and phrases. There is a lesson specifically for Chinese pronunciation that features a native speaker annunciating each word clearly.

Each audio dialogue is provided at normal speed then the dialogue is provided at a slower pace, allowing beginners to develop their listening skills. To build the student’s vocabulary, the audio pronounces the word in Chinese and repeats it in English.

Every line audio is available in English, Simplified Chinese characters, Traditional Chinese characters, and Pinyin. It does a great job at clarifying the various Chinese tones, tone changes and rules, as well as explaining the more challenging pinyin phonetics.

Free Podcast

In addition to the lessons available to subscribers, Chineseclass101 offers a free podcast available on most platforms. Each episode offers a lesson an innovative language learning experience at the convenience and preferred pacing of the individual student.

The hosts excel at providing insight into Chinese culture through conversations. They ensure to explain new grammar points and vocabulary that organically come up during the conversation. The hosts rely on humour and a relaxed approach to keep learners entertained while they learn Chinese.

It is one of the most highly rated Mandarin Chinese podcasts available due to its well-structured lessons, unique approaches to Chinese concepts, friendly and relaxed tone, and various hacks and tips for mastering the Chinese language.


Video Lessons

Video Lessons

Image from ChineseClass101

The video lessons offer an opportunity to watch a native speaker explain grammar, words, phrases, and other questions students may have about the Chinese language. Although not as extensive as their audio collection, there is a wide array of video resources available.

There is a video lesson for each desired learning pace and objective. One video lesson teaches grammar, new vocabulary, and phrases on a whiteboard. Another is structured into a question-and-answer format.

Perhaps, most importantly, the video resources allow students to develop a better understanding of the Chinese writing system. Premium subscribers gain access to writing practices and assessments that are graded with feedback.

Available Dialogues

Chineseclass101 offers dialogue lessons in the Traditional, Simplified, and Pinyin Chinese system of pronunciation.

Image from ChineseClass101

Each dialogue is also transcribed and explained in English. Listening to the different dialogues is an excellent way for learners to develop a better understanding of the language.

The multiple dialogue lessons and the way it breaks down sounds make it easy for Chineseclass101 students to master the pronunciation of the language.



Image from ChineseClass101

Chinese vocabulary is strengthened at every level. Each lesson in the official curated pathway at every level is designed to review and contribute to the student’s existing vocabulary knowledge.

After each level, students are guaranteed to have a better vocabulary than they previously had. Chineseclass101 does an excellent job at drilling vocabulary into each lesson without losing the student’s interest.

They also provide a Chinese Vocab Builder course that reinforces Chinese vocabulary through different themed lessons. These lessons include common words found in sports, holidays, and various real-life scenarios.



Image from ChineseClass101

In the same way that vocabulary is prioritized throughout the Chineseclass101 pathways, grammar is as well. Almost every lesson at each level explains grammar points and rules in an organic and relaxed manner so as not to bore the student.

The available lesson notes also provide in-depth grammar explanations for students keen on the rules of the language.

Overall, it does an excellent job of making Chinese grammar fun for students to learn. There is even a course dedicated to helping beginner-level students master grammar rules.




Image from ChineseClass101

There is a vast collection of Chinese cultural lessons. Chineseclass101 offers a comprehensive guide not only into the language but the culture that shaped it.

They offer courses that are intended to help students connect with Chinese-speaking family members, connect with Chinese heritage, explain various superstitions and beliefs, discuss Chinese holidays, traditions, and history, and so much more.

Students have the privilege of listening to a native speaker talk about their own culture.

Reading & Writing


Image from ChineseClass101

The official curated Chineseclass101 pathways at each level offer writing practice for students. With a premium subscription, learners can even submit their writing practice for feedback from a teacher.

In terms of reading, Chineseclass101 provides a lot of opportunities for students to hone their reading skills while listening to various short stories and books. Moreover, there are lessons dedicated specifically to reading comprehension.

Extra Features

Chineseclass101 provides its paid subscribers with many resources to master Master Chinese.

One of the best features is a spaced repetition flashcard system. The flashcard decks cover a wide array of topics from the real world such as holiday words and pop culture reference words. The words are accompanied by an image, sample sentences, and pronunciation guides. This is a fantastic way for students to learn Chinese words through real-life examples.

Chineseclass101 has an extensive and customizable word bank of the most common Chinese words. The words can be conveniently filtered by category. Students also have the option to build their word arsenal by adding new words.

In addition to learning keywords, students can expand their knowledge of common phrases with the list of key phrases that Chineseclass101 provides students with a paid subscription. The phrases are provided in context so students can develop a better understanding of how to use the phrase in a real conversation with someone. The phrases are offered in various dialogues as well.

The interactive quizzes feature is an amazing study tool for students who need to be tested in order to fully understand what they learned.

The 1-on-1 lessons that are accessed through the highest-paid subscription model are especially beneficial for students who thrive with a personal instructor. In addition to grading your assessments and providing helpful feedback, the teachers also personalize your learning program to become more suitable for your needs and objectives.

Additionally, Chineseclass101 offers PDF lesson notes, a lesson transcript for each episode, a line-by-line translation, and a pinyin chart.


Subscription Plans

Chineseclass101 has four different subscription models to suit every learner’s goal and budget.


With the free plan, students get access to the first three lessons in every pathway. In addition, new lessons are made available each week for the learner.


The basic plan costs $8/month.

With the basic plan, students get access to the complete lesson library that Chineseclass101 boasts. Students also gain access to in-depth lesson notes as well as a study tool that guides students through each core word and phrase in the language.


The premium plan costs $25/month.

With the premium plan, students get access to all the features that the basic plan offers. In addition, they get line-by-line audio dialogue, HD video, a custom word bank, a grammar bank, interactive quizzes and other helpful review study tools.

Premium Plus

The premium plus plan costs $47/month.

With the premium plus plan, students get access to all the features offered by the premium plan. In addition, they have 1-on-1 access to a teacher, a personalized learning program, and graded assignments.

What ChineseClass101 Excels At

Chineseclass101 is one of the most popular Chinese language resources for a good reason.

Their collection of lessons is comprehensive and highly detailed. It does an amazing job at catering to beginner-level students and guiding them through the language with its many helpful review features. They also add new lessons every week.

The dialogue lesson structure feels authentic and entertaining most of the time. It covers a wide range of topics to help the learner understand real conversations in Chinese. The audio lessons excel at strengthening the student’s listening, reading, and pronunciation skills.

In terms of content, Chineseclass101 does a good job of offering students multiple courses that describe some aspects of Chinese culture. Students can gain a lot of cultural insight regardless of which pathway they are studying. Knowledge of the language as well as the culture will benefit students who choose Chineseclass101 as their language service.

What most students will like about Chineseclass101 is the ability to choose how you learn the language. Their pathways can be sorted into useful categories depending on the student’s learning style and interest.

While they offer officially curated pathways, the student is not obligated to learn this way. If they choose, they can skip the pathways altogether and just learn the courses that pique their interest. Learners who love learning without a forced structure will thrive with this service.

Chineseclass101 is one of the cheaper alternatives available to students. Its four subscription models offer cost flexibility to its students. In addition to the free plan, they also provide a podcast for those who can’t afford the paid subscription plans.


What ChineseClass101 Lacks

Although Chineseclass101 is one of the most comprehensive resources available to students learning Chinese, some of its video courses lack the quality of their audio counterparts. While the quality of the videos has gotten better over time, there are other services that consistently offer high-quality video lessons.

The sheer amount of resources available to paid subscribers might be overwhelming to some. The lack of guidance could also confuse new learners. Its lack of structure could discourage students who prefer a clear and organized system of learning a language.

Students who are hoping to learn how to write Chinese in a structured manner might be disappointed with this service. Although writing practice and writing assessments are offered with the more costly plan, there are no courses specifically dedicated to the writing system. Writing is clumped together with reading courses.

Moreover, while it is an invaluable resource to learners at the beginner level, this is not the case for more advanced learners. The pathways are conveniently arranged based on difficulty levels but as you advance further, the content becomes gradually more sparse and disorganized.

English is a constant in the lessons, regardless of level, which could potentially annoy some more advanced students.

Reasons To Choose ChineseClass101

New Mandarin learners will not go wrong by choosing Chineseclass101. This service provides a comprehensive guide to the language. The collection of video and audio classes is generous and impressive.

There appears to be a course for every possible topic and they continue to add new lessons each week so learners will never run out of material to study. Their endless study tools are specifically designed to aid those with no prior knowledge of the language.

Audio learners will benefit a lot from the extensive library collection that this service offers. A lot of the courses sound like a conversation so students who learn best by listening will master the language in no time.

Chineseclass101 excels at enriching their student’s knowledge of Chinese culture. Through their discussions of Chinese traditions, history, and customs, the teachers reveal a lot of insights into the cultures of the people in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and other Mandarin Chinese-speaking nations. Learners who are interested in the culture that formed the language should choose this service.

Students who prefer a more relaxed and learning style should choose Chineseclass101. Asides from the official curated pathways at each level, which students can decide to follow or not, there is little guidance offered.

Learners can choose to do the courses that match their interests and learning styles while ignoring the rest. It is also self-paced so there is no rush to advance to the next level. This is perfect for students who like to take their time and absorb the language.

Alternatives To Chineseclass101



Image from ChinesePod-Beginner

ChinesePod is a free podcast alternative to Chineseclass101 and is considered to be one of its biggest competitors. It provides beginner and intermediate level learners with audio lessons at no cost. Their lessons cover a wide array of topics such as the history of China, pop culture, and other stories related to daily Chinese life. Each audio episode includes an English translation making it perfect for beginners.

For students who want to take their language learning journey a step further, they offer a subscription-based membership. The basic plan is $14/month and grants access to more than 4000 audio and video lessons as well as lesson notes in Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. On the other hand, the premium plan priced at $29/month provides in-depth dialogue lessons and downloadable content for offline learning.




Image from Maayot

Maayot is another great alternative to Chineseclass101. The classes are available at no cost. It is perfect for new learners who love learning through stories and are hoping to improve their listening skills through short 1-5 minute long episodes. Their aim is to teach Mandarin through the power of stories. Each story is brief and simple. Students have the option to test their reading comprehension with a quiz. It provides an interactive tool for learning new characters in context through sample sentences. The best part is that the stories are completely free!


Chinese Colloquialised

Chinese Colloquialised

Image from Chinese Colloquialised

For more advanced learners, Chinese Colloquialised is a fantastic alternative. The podcast discusses current and past events that influenced the course of China’s history. In addition to daily news, the host covers the latest trends and the hottest issues in the country.

This course is perfect for students who find themselves less than satisfied with the courses available for more advanced students at Chineseclass101. This resource is a great way to learn about China’s history, culture, and slang. Students can also pick up various expressions used in everyday conversations from this free resource.


Harbin Mandarin – Video

Harbin Mandarin

Image from Harbin Mandarin

Harbin Mandarin is a resource for learning Chinese that offers video lessons on YouTube. Each video lesson covers a basic aspect of Mandarin making it perfect for an absolute beginner. There are playlists for building your Chinese vocabulary, Chinese pinyin pronunciation, and useful phrases in Chinese.

While the video lessons are completely free, one-on-one private Mandarin lessons are available for $30/hour for learners who want a more personalized and interactive learning experience.


HelloChinese – App

HelloChinese - App

Image from HelloChinese

HelloChinese is a beginner-level app for learning Mandarin Chinese. Students at the absolute beginner level will gain a lot from the progressive structure of this course. Each lesson is designed to build the student’s knowledge by gradually adding new vocabulary, exposing them to grammar rules, and explaining how to read pinyin.

The app offers free lessons but for those who want to progress at a faster rate, there is a premium membership available at $9/month.



Learning Chinese has never been easier or more accessible. Chineseclass101 is one of many Chinese language services available to prospective students. This Chineseclass101 review concludes that this service is a top-rated option on the cheaper end of the spectrum. New students can’t go wrong in choosing this service due to its comprehensive courses and extremely useful study tool features. However, there are undoubtedly better and less expensive alternatives to Chineseclass101. Ultimately, it is up to the student to decide if this service is a good fit for their learning style and learning objectives.


J Maver

Passionate in tech, software and gadgets. I enjoy reviewing and comparing products & services, uncovering new trends and digging up little known products that deserve an audience.

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