Discovering Chinese is now available for the iPad!
We're launching the Discovering Chinese app today, and we’re pretty excited because it makes Chinese learning a lot more accessible and engaging. The app has been a year in the making, and I'd like to share with you the back story behind its development.
From its beginnings as an app piloted at the Palo Alto STARTALK program to its release today, we've had a lot of interest from teachers and parents. During the pilot programs, we saw students who were actively participating in their own education on the iPad, even students who previously had problems focusing in class.
In the classroom, I saw one student asking his teacher when he would get to "play" with the app so that he could practice further. Students wanted to use the app during recess and outside the classroom. Their parents even said that they were practicing at home! They looked forward to their Chinese classes and to doing all the things that students of Chinese usually dread: writing characters, practicing grammar, refining pronunciation. Technology was making learning Chinese--a language known for its emphasis on rote memorization--fun.
That was how we first realized how this app could revolutionize the language learning environment. Since then, we've added many features specific to Chinese language learning. After six months of showing the pre-release version to students, teachers, and anyone who wants to learn Chinese, we're excited to share what we've done with everyone. This iPad app has been the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort from not only the Better Chinese team, but everyone involved, including the many teachers and schools that participated in the pilot program.
Better Chinese has been working in the textbook industry for many years now, and we've never seen the level of interest and engagement from students like we've seen here. We can't wait to see how this is going to change Chinese language in and outside of the classroom--not just for students, but for anyone who is interested in learning Chinese.
Please feel free to share your feedback and thoughts on the app with me and the team. This doesn't stop here; we've got even more in store over the next few months. Thank you to everyone for your patience and support.