Course Information & FAQ

  • Before signing up for the course, it is recommended that a potential student should try out the sample lessons first to determine whether the course meets your expectations. Please drop a note in the "Contact LMS" page if there are any queries on the course.
  • When you decide to enroll in the course, go to the "Available Courses" section on the home page and click on the  "Click to Order" button to initiate the payment process.
  • For Singapore-based student, you can pay the course fee in SGD via Internet Banking to save on the currency conversion fee. For details, please see the section "How do I pay?".
  • For students who are not based in Singapore, you can use Paypal to pay the course fee in USD.
  • After you have paid for the course, please allow some time for the financial institution to process the payment.  There is also the administration process of granting the course's access to the student.
  • You will be informed that you can begin BCMIP course via an email from the school.
  • Note that once you have completed the FINAL QUIZ, it is deemed that you have completed the course. Once the cash rewards (if any) has been dispatched to the student, the student's access would be removed from the website.
Privacy
  • The Privacy Policy of this website uses the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) framework as a reference for its content.
Security
  • Some of the policies/tools this website uses to enhance its overall security:
    • Auto-lockout after FIVE unsuccessful login attempts
    • Using secure version of HTTP i.e. HTTPS. You can see the padlock icon on the URL address bar
    • Implemented Google reCAPTCHA which is a security service that protects LeMS website from fraud and abuse.
    • Incorporated some rules in the Firewall for protection against attackers
  • A student has 270 days or about 9 months to finish the course and therefore has sufficient time to learn it at his/her own pace. There will be lesson materials for the student to download.
  • The course fee is US$99 which is very affordable since the student has to pay only about US$0.37 per day for the course.
  • The teaching videos are streamed from Vimeo, a popular professional video hosting site. However, it is known that China and Indonesia have banned Vimeo as of Aug 2020. However, you can use approved VPN from these two countries to access Vimeo videos.
  • The course will be conducted in English and the student just needs to have basic grammar knowledge like an understanding of noun, verb, adjective etc.
  • The student does not need to be IT savvy to do the e-learning course as it is very intuitive.There is a detailed student guide to help the students in using the e-learning software. The only requirement is that for oral quiz, the student is expected to record an MP3 file for his/her answer and upload it into the system. To record an MP3 file, the student can use the recorder app in the mobile phone.
  • There are altogether 9 lessons, 165 topics, 207 quizzes and 1238 quiz questions.
  • No. of videos = 169 with an average duration of 1.66 minutes. So the video is byte-size which is ideal for e-learning using PC/mobile phones.
  • Course Methodology

This class adopts a structured pedagogy that ensures a student has learnt the essentials in a lesson first before proceeding to the next lesson. It also boasts of a social learning element as the instructor and the students can interact with each other in a virtual environment.

  • Cash Rewards

Early finisher i.e. those who complete within 180 days will be given a US$5 cash reward.

There is a cash reward of US$5 for good performances in interim quiz and either US$5 or US$10 for the final quiz. For the interim quiz which appears in lesson 4, you will be given the reward if you attain a grade of 60% or more. As for the final quiz, you will get US$5 if you attain a grade between 60% to 70% and US$10 if you score above 70%. Both quizzes are timed quiz and the student is only allowed to take it once.

The total cash reward will be transferred via Paypal as a single transaction after the Final Quiz.

  • There are topics and quizzes for every lesson.
  • Lesson 1 & 2 are fundamental lessons in Pinyin and Lessons 3-8 focus on vocabulary building, grammar understanding and their application in daily situations.
  • Lessons 3-8 will have the below structure:
  1. Vocabulary for that lesson. Students will learn the pronunciation and the meanings of the vocabulary, followed by a practice session.
  2. The students will be taught the application in the various topics and there are quizzes at the end of each topic to evaluate the student's understanding.
  3. There is a final quiz at the end of the topic in the following format:
  1. Summary Quiz. Students are to select one correct answer or multiple correct answers in the multiple choice questions. The questions include listening comprehension questions.
  2. Listening Comprehension. Students are to key in the Pinyin of an audio file.
  3. Written Pinyin. Filling in blank with appropriate Pinyin in a sentence.
  4. Graded Questions. The questions here will be graded by the Instructor. Students will be tested for their pronunciation, understanding of the pinyin sentence via translation into English, and general understanding of grammar and vocabulary through sentence constructing.
  • The Course Instructor will be actively engaging with the students along the way via electronic means such as messaging, discussion forums, blog articles, activity feed etc.
  • He will also monitor the student's progress via the below reporting tool and so he is able to proactively manage the student's progress during the duration of the course. In so doing, the instructor is able to spend his time effectively to focus on the student's learning issues.
  • Because the definition of e-learning course varies across countries, the Instructor i.e David BK Tan wants to set the record straight here to avoid misunderstanding on the tax issue since BCMIP is an e-learning course which can be purchased globally.
  • To determine whether some e-learning course do require taxes to be imposed, most countries would require such courses to be automatic, delivered electronically, and has no human interaction. Do note that BCMIP is not fully automated as the Instructor has to grade the essay questions himself. He also has to interact with the students through e-messages and discussion forums on lesson content and quizzes.
  • To avoid any misunderstanding, the Instructor is highlighting why BCMIP e-learning course does not qualify for digital tax in some countries that he is aware of:
  • EU

Please refer to EU’s explanatory notes https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/resources/documents/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/telecom/explanatory_notes_2015_en.pdf,

On page 88, it states that an e-learning course is taxable based on the below condition:

(5) Point (5) of Annex II to Directive 2006/112/EC: (a) Automated distance teaching dependent on the Internet or similar electronic network to function and the supply of which requires limited or no human intervention, including virtual classrooms, except where the Internet or similar electronic network is used as a tool simply for communication between the teacher and student; (b) workbooks completed by pupils online and marked in an automated fashion without human intervention

As there are teacher-student interactions in BCMIP and essay questions that are marked by the Instructor, so VAT is not imposed on EU students who purchase this course.

  • U.S.

Based on Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) adopted by 24 U.S. states, one condition states that “The sales tax is not applicable if the participant is evaluated by an instructor".  As there are essay questions in BCMIP that require the evaluation by the Instructor, so you need not pay tax if you are from one of the 24 states. The 24 U.S. states (23 full members and and 1 associated member) are Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Regretfully, geographical restriction has to be imposed on the rest of the U.S. states not under SSUTA. This is because the collection of tax imposes a huge cost burden on Le Mandarin School and the business will be unsustainable in the short run.

  • Singapore

Do take note that the conditions of imposing digital tax are different in each country and they could change over time.  For e.g., in the case of Singapore, overseas digital service providers with a yearly global turnover of more than S$1 million and sold more than S$100,000 worth of digital services to customers in Singapore are required to pay digital tax. If we treat Le Mandarin School (LeMS) as an overseas SME with a small turnover, then it is exempted from Singapore's digital tax in this case.

For Singapore residents who purchase this e-learning course, you need not pay GST as LeMS does not qualify as a GST-registered company.

In conclusion, if you are not residing in Singapore, do check on your country’s definition of e-learning course to determine whether BCMIP is taxable or not. The Instructor is glad to discuss with potential students on this matter; do drop him a note in the "Contact LMS" page in this case. Thank you!

  • Do note that the main transaction currency for payment is US$. You can pay using SGD if you are based in Singapore. The methods of payment are :

i. Paypal

ii. Credit Card via Paypal Platform

iii. Direct Bank Transfer (for Singapore-based customers only)

  • Singapore-based students will save the conversion fees by paying in SGD if they use Direct Bank Transfer mechanism. The exchange rate will be based on the data provided by Google Finance and updated once per day.
  • To select Direct Bank Transfer, click on the SGD icon as shown below.
  • You will see the course fee displayed in SGD as depicted below.
  • After you have submitted you payment for the course fee, you can register for an account first while waiting for the financial institution to process the payment.
  • The registration page is at https://lemandarinschool.com/register/.   You will see the below page when you click on it:

Nickname is your login username

  • Fill in the details as required. Please take note that you can log in using your nickname or email. Your nickname is your system username during registration. So if your name is John Smith and you decide to use JSmith as your nickname, you have to use JSmith to log in. But do take note you cannot change this username (JSmith) for login purpose but you can change your nickname subsequently, for e.g. to "JohnSmith".
  • Also, the nickname you have assigned will be your URL profile name i.e. the URL will show "https://lemandarinschool.com/members/jsmith/" in the above example when fellow students access John's profile. You cannot change this URL even if you subsequently change your nickname.
  • Once you log into the system, you are allowed to change to any of the three social profile ids (if you have its account) : Facebook, Google and Twitter. You will be informed on the procedure in the Student Guide.
  • The traditional method of learning Chinese : Pinyin + Character memorisation is difficult if you do not start from young. This is because the brains of mature learners whose mother tongues are Latin alphabet languages (phonograms) such as English, French, Spanish, German etc have difficulty to adapt to a system of phonograms (pinyin) + logograms (Chinese written characters) since their brains have been attuned to the Latin alphabet language system.
  • Therefore a good strategy of learning Mandarin is to master Pinyin first as this is similar to Latin alphabet language.
  • The Pinyin method is suitable for beginners who do not want to spend a lot of time and money to learn Mandarin as you can use it in common day-to-day scenarios. If the student wishes to proceed further in learning Mandarin, then learning the written characters would help to avoid the confusion arising from similar sounds.
  • For those who intend to take the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (Chinese Proficiency Test), a complete list of Chinese characters associated with the Pinyin is provided. You will have the detailed information which include the meaning, grammar type, HSK category etc. A sample is shown below:
Lesson 1 Topics (T stands for Topic)
  • T1 – Understand the nature of Chinese Language
  • T2 – Why Pinyin (Spelling Sound)
  • T3 – Learn the Four Tones
  • T4 – How to use Pinyin effectively
Lesson 2 Topics
  • T1 – English Proxy Sound Method for learning initials (An Alternative to Pinyin)
  • T2 – Pinyin
  • T3 – Practice
Lesson 3 Topics
  • T1 - Vocabulary
  • T2 – Basic word order (subject-verb-object)
  • T3 – to be (shì)
  • T4 – Adjectival verb
  • T5 – yes-no question (ma)
  • T6 – yes-no question (verb-not-verb)
  • T7– Implied comparison
  • T8 – Omitting known information
Lesson 4 Topics
  • T1 – Vocabulary
  • T2 – Classifiers
  • T3 – Demonstrative Pronouns (this, that)
  • T4 – Numbers I (one to ninety-nine)
  • T5 – Possession (de)
  • T6 – Tag Questions
  • T7 – Naming in Mandarin
Lesson 5 Topics
  • T1 – Vocabulary
  • T2 – Numbers II (Hundred bǎi, Thousand qiān, Ten Thousand wàn)
  • T3 – Zero (Líng)
  • T4 – How many?
  • T5 – Modal Verb ‘Can’
  • T6 – Common Adverb dōu (all/both)
  • T7 – Choice Questions (hái.shi)
  • T8 – Follow-up questions with ne
Lesson 6 Topics
  • T1 – Vocabulary
  • T2 – Money and Prices
  • T3 – Unit price
  • T4 – Half (bàn)
  • T5 – Something plus (duō)
  • T6 – Each /Every (měi)
  • T7 – “Only” (zhǐ)
  • T8 – Must (děi, negation - bùbì)
  • T9 – Change in situation using le
Lesson 7 Topics
  • T1 – Vocabulary
  • T2 – Year, Seasons
  • T3 – Months
  • T4 – Days of the Month and Time Ordering
  • T5 – Days of the Week
  • T6 – Parts of the day
  • T7 – Last, This and Next
  • T8 – Ordinal Numbers
Lesson 8 Topics
  • T1 – Vocabulary
  • T2 – Clock Time
  • T3 – Common Time Expressions
  • T4 – Completion Marker le
  • T5 – Past/Present/Future
  • T6 – Before/During/After of an action/event
  • T7 – Verbal Duplication
  • T8 – Colours
Lesson 9 Topics
  • Summary of Key Points of this course
  • Tips for self-learners who want to proceed further
  • Final quiz which will determine the student is eligible for learning bonus
You will benefit from your course if you are :
  • A beginner, either an adult or a teenager, who wants to learn basic Mandarin without incurring hefty fees.
  • Someone who wants to learn Mandarin on his/her own. You cannot master pinyin (the spelling sound) on you own as you need a teacher to guide you on your pronunciation. Once you have learnt pinyin in this course, you will differentiate the similar sounds in Mandarin and avoid making embarrassing mistakes that are common for foreigners as they are new to a tonal language like Mandarin.
  • Someone who is busy and so a Learning Management System (LMS) is good as you can spend your idle time learning Mandarin. Examples of idle time are taking the subway, waiting for someone etc.
  • Chinese Singaporeans who want to communiate effectively with Mainland Chinese or speak with their children/grandchildren to help them improve their Mandarin.
  • There is  a full refund policy based on if you write in an email request within 7 calendar days when the first calendar day is the course start date subject to the below condition :
    • You are allowed to claim a full refund only if only if you have not yet started Lesson Two of the Basic Conversational Mandarin Using Pinyin (BCMIP) online course.
  • The above condition is imposed to protect our interests because there are sample lessons for you to determine whether the course meets your requirement. Also, after completion of Lesson One of BCMIP, it will be sufficient for you to determine whether BCMIP online course does meet your expectations.
  • Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application for automation and delivery of educational courses and the Instructor is supported with tools in administration, tracking, reporting etc.
  • As the content is recorded and posted online, you can access it anytime and so it is very flexible for the student. Because the instructor is not bogged down with teaching, he can spend his time productively with his students to focus on their issues in learning and monitor their progress.
  • A pictorial form of BCMIP LMS is shown below: