We have a Flexi FAQ section https://flexiclasses.com/online-classes-faq/ that currently has answers to some questions, but not that many.
I would like to answer more questions on there, but I don’t know what students are asking (or do not understand).
Are there any questions about Flexi you want to be answered?
Or were there any questions you wish you had an answer for previously?
Let me know, all questions will be answered straight away (by me).
Is the 3 credits/40 € a regular subscription or only a starter/tester subscription?
I wonder because it says it will renew.
If so I would stay with this subscription and buy additional lessons, this would be 1€ cheaper than the 5 credits subscription.
I buy the 15 credits subscription, try to plan lessons ahead for let’s say, the next two or three months. As I understood only the booking has to be within the subscription month. At the end of the booking month I cancel the subscription and wait until I have done all my lessons and then buy a new subscription.
Is it meant like that?
Can I still cancel a class and get a new date when the lessons belong to an older month’s subscription? (cancelled in time of course, at least 72 hours before)
is there any reason why some classes are 1 credit and others are 1.5?
These are great questions and I am pretty sure you are not the only one wondering about this.
Let me answer
The three hours Tester subscription is only available at sign up and meant just for the first month to try it out but it is a regular subscription. So if you want you can just stay on it, no problem at all.
Yes you can do get the 15 credit subscription, get the credits and immediately cancel it. The Subscriptions effectively can work as a single purchase. You can get the subscription, get the credits and immediately cancel it. I think quite a few people use it that way, because I quite often see people cancelling their subscriptions (and me freaking out - why, what, did we do something wrong?) and then subscribe again.
The system isn’t really meant to be used that way, as the idea is to regularly study to get steady progress, but it’ a little “Flexi hack” you can use of it works for you.
You can use the credits to book classes as far into the future as you want to and that is not limited to this month at all.
The only thing to pay attention to is that after the month that credit is effectively “expired” so if you cancel a class after the credits validity you cannot use the credit again, because it is expired already. So if you think you might have to cancel classes it could make sense to go for a smaller subscription and make sure you use up all the credits during this month.
We have the credit system explained also on www.flexiclasses.com/credits
More great points, thank you
Yes at some times there are two different lessons offered for the same level. This is usually because two Full Courses overlap at a time. We have a lot of Full Courses running and while we try to organise them with as little overlap as possible, because there are just so many, this is sometimes impossible to avoid.
You can then book either class.
Thats due to the Flexi Classes History. When we started due to the first Chinese lockdown in February/March 2020 our Shanghai school was completely closed and had no students at all (all the foreigners had left Shanghai to flee Covid). So the Shanghai team built the first Flexi Classes teaching materials. We wanted to build it all the way up to HSK 4 before creating more city versions. We currently only have Beijing and Taipei versions for the intro level but will launch them soon for HSK 1. The idea is that students will be able to study the same topic again but with a different pdf so it’s more interesting.
Also there is some local flavor in them, for example Taipei city versions having both simplified and traditional characters.
I hope this will make Flexi Classes more interesting and useful for students.
Really looking forward to some feedback once we have them up for HSK 1.
Yes, our groups are super small and about 70% of them only have one student in them. That makes them a very good deal for students of course as it’s a group price but with just one student. We decided to run every group even if it just had one student even though financially this of course is not a very wise decision. Our aim is to build an amazing system that gets people to fluency fast.
I don’t even dare to advertise that fact on the website because I worry people wouldn’t actually believe us, so we say the average group size is two students, even though in reality it’s even smaller (1.29 at the moment to be exact).
We set the six students maximum a year ago based on the maximum group size at LTL schools in China. I by now think it might be too big for an online group though and we might reduce it a bit. So far this is not an issue though as I dont think we ever had a group class with more than three students, so we just left it like this for the moment
That is a very good question. Thanks for asking it.
This is a Shanghainese specific thing. We started Shanghainese Flexi Classes as a passion project because we think there really need to be better Shanghainese studying options out there. At the moment there is just way too little available.
The costs for building this, teaching etc are no less than (or even more) than Mandarin, with a lot fewer students. So we thought it would be fair to increase the price for a group class to 1.5 credits - and didn’t think too much more about it as getting all the technology and teaching materials, teacher training etc was out first and main priority.
After we finished that and went online, I thought, well actually our main aim is to grow this Shanghainese students community and the last thing we want to do is have prices that might not allow someone who wants to study to not do so.
So we then decided to reduce the prices for Shanghainese to the same level as Mandarin (1 credit per group and 3 credits per 1on1 class).
By then the first few weeks of classes for Shanghainese had been generated already though and we couldn’t change those prices anymore.
So this is a short term thing. It’s just the first few weeks where classes for Shanghainese cost 1.5 credits. Afterwards all classes will be only one credit.
If you send an email to [email protected] with the information of any group classes you took for 1.5 and mention this thread they will give you the 0.5 extra credits you paid back.
This is amazing, thanks so much for doing this!
I admit that I change my subscription level when I have too many credits left over in the previous month or I have holidays planned. It’s never a reflection of interest in studying Mandarin, just a reflection of the real world and other obligations.
Thank you. We get a lot of great feedback and see students progressing very quickly, which is what it’s all about. Our teachers - many of whom mainly taught offline before Covid - are actually regularly amazed how quickly students progress with online classes. They (and me to be honest) wouldn’t have thought that is really possible before Covid made us all try it out
With the introduction of the new HSK 3+ level last month group classes actually just got smaller again because there are more classes to choose from.
We are currently working on HSK 4+ which will have a similar effect for higher level students, but I think they are necessary because we want to be able to take students all the way from beginner level to fluency.
Hehe that’s perfectly fine and I see many people do that. It freaked me out at the beginning when I saw so many people cancel their subscriptions right after getting them, but when I saw them all sign up again for another one later I realized what was happening.
I think receiving a steady number of credits to book classes can be helpful with creating a study habit though. I am worried that one of the dangers of Flexi Classes and being able to study any time you want is that when you can study any time you end up never doing it because there is too pressure to have to do it “right now”.
Do you guys think that’s correct? I might be completely wrong, it’s just a thought of mine…
It depends on why people want to study Chinese. If you need to for work you will do any course and maybe your company will even pay for it.
The Flexi system makes it easy to dare to try LTL for everybody else. I have weeks and months when I have a lot of free time, (especially now) but in autumn there will be months again when I have no time at all. In my spare time I usually learn languages, and at the moment Chinese is number one. With the Flexi system and the possibility to pause the subscription, I have this nice feeling that I can stay with LTL.
For me, it’s about figuring out the right number of credits for me in a given month. For example, now that things are opening back up in my country, my schedule is changing a bit. So I went with a more conservative estimate knowing I can always add more credits if I need them. Personally, knowing that I do have flexibility in scheduling LTL classes has enabled me to maintain a more consistent study routine. Also, I love the structure of a course without being locked into the sequence. I’ve studied HSK 4 before (unfortunately, more than once ), so it’s great to know that I could schedule classes according to my availability on a particular week, without having to miss class entirely if my work schedule is busy. I imagine I’ll be able to get into a more predictable routine once things settle down here, but looking forward to continuing my subscription either way!
That is very interesting and I am very happy the concept works for you. I fully agree at HSK 4evel there is little need to follow the order.
Thanks for the praise and posting it here. Made my morning better
All the Flexi classes fit into the “Full-Course” and are HSK right? How about added some new classes every week that are outside of the course program and are not necessarily Hsk related but maybe just by level(elementary, intermediate, etc) on various topics. Something like Chinese pod kind of topics.
Hi Phillip, I have learnt all of HSK1 and 2 official lists’ vocab and most of the grammar. The HSK lessons are much more than HSK, more vocab, more grammar, etc. The topics come first and are quite useful, especially if you are in the country, the HSK level is second. But the HSK level is a hint what is possible for me. I still have to prepare a lot.
Thanks a lot for the question
We follow the HSK in general, but not religiously as @Sonja-Mandarin-HSK_3 correctly pointed out. The HSK level is a general indication of the level because people understand what it means, but we improve on them to make sure we teach real life Mandarin and not academic textbook exams.
Many Lessons are part of a Full Course, but not all of them. If they are part of a course you can see which one on the Classes page.
It takes a lot of time creating teaching materials, so adding several new ones a week at the moment would not be possible, especially with our super small group classes (average student count per group class at the moment: 1.28). We are not a Chinese learning App but only have live taught classes. That means the choice of topics will always be more limited than an App that does not have live teachers, but is simply created once and then repeats forever without anyone teaching it.
Having said that,there is the idea to create a level for free speaking classes where we dont create a topic, but always discuss the top newspaper article in an online newspaper of that day for example. The content would change every day. We are not sure how much demand there will be for that though.
I am super interested in the free speaking classes now that I am done with my HSK 4 classes (well, just missing one topic and the review classes). By the way, is there an ETA for HSK4+?
I think HSK 4+ is at least another 2 months away, so that will take a little while.
It’s worth taking a topic a 2nd time by the way.
We will look into the free speaking ones. There seems to be a lot of interest
I am interested in the free speaking classes also, it can be selected according to levels and sheduled according to our times.