If you don’t use the language you’ve worked hard to learn, then you are wasting your time, effort, and energy!

RealTime Mandarin Conversation Pro is our premium membership tier.

It will help you dramatically improve your Chinese speaking skills, through weekly live conversations about current affairs in China, in Mandarin.

One of the biggest challenges as a learner of Mandarin is speaking: it’s tough enough to get to that illusive feeling of being “fluent”, and even harder to stay there. Let alone being able to converse with native speakers.

It’s a continuous battle to not forget what you’ve learned, apply and integrate them into your daily conversations, all while navigating the language in real time.

That’s because it is really hard to:

  • Dedicate time to study

  • Force yourself to speak

  • Progress beyond what you’ve learned

  • Get over the fear of saying things wrong

  • Find the opportunity to converse in Chinese

  • Talk about topics you’re not familiar with (filled with new vocab)

That’s why we created RTM Conversation Pro!

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

“RTM Pro provides a full immersive experience. Highly recommended.” (a Pro member)

How RTM Conversation Pro can help you

RTM Conversation Pro will help motivate you, inspire you, and gently push you, to overcome these challenges through weekly live group calls in Mandarin.

RTM Pro weekly discussions are about current affairs and news stories happening in China.

Themes are based on the RTM multi-media content published weekly, allowing you to put what you’ve learned through our fantastic resources into action.

With just a little effort from you to prepare and participate regularly, you will quickly improve your Mandarin speaking skills by:

  • Having a continuous study rhythm, and discipline to prepare for sessions.

  • Learning the weekly RTM article and podcast much more intentionally and deeply because you know you have to talk to people about it.

  • Practicing what you read and learn by speaking, and listening to other people's points of view, while fine-tuning your study to help your Chinese improve.

  • Giving you accountability, and a little bit of pressure, to keep learning, and maintaining regular study every week.

  • Trying out new words and getting feedback on how the terms are used by native speakers, from native speakers.

  • Interacting and connecting with people from different countries who you would otherwise never meet, and having an actual conversation with them, in Chinese!

Through live weekly discussions guided by a native speaker, you will gain more confidence, and feel your Mandarin improve, step-by-step, week by week.

It is a fantastic opportunity to dramatically improve your Mandarin speaking skills, deepen your China knowledge, and make connections with like-minded learners from around the world.

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

RealTime Mandarin has really found the next frontier in learning Chinese.” (Pro member)

What members of RTM Conversation Pro are saying

I can tell you all this because I’ve seen (and heard) it work for other members of RTM Conversation Pro.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Here’s what RTM Conversation Pro members are saying about their experience so far:

“I am impressed by your enthusiasm and dedication for the newsletter and now the Conversation Pro. I feel you are pulling out all the stops, which has given me a renewed momentum and inspiration.”

“I enjoyed the sessions very much. Even if I don't understand some of what others were saying, this only motivates me to try harder to improve. I have no idea when the time had passed. The classes are very engaging, the questions + breakout rooms approach makes it very dynamic. Love it!!!”

“I look forward each week to reading newsletter, listening to podcasts, and speaking with fellow RTM Pro friends. RTM Pro provides a full immersive experience. Highly recommended.”

“The conversation group is inspirational, and it’s made me do a lot more targeted reading. Andrew and his team are very committed to provide a structured and high quality discussion, and their enthusiasm has given me a new weekly purpose.”

“For me, dedicating time for preparation and actively participating in the conversation has consolidated my use and understanding of the weekly themes and new vocabulary.”

“This program is ideal for learners who strive to improve their knowledge of current affairs and ‘living’ language in China and build a consistent reading habit.”

“I was concerned at first that I wouldn't have time to prepare enough to make it worthwhile, but I find myself prioritizing listening to the article and studying the vocabulary

“I passed HSK-6 many years ago, and with that vocabulary plus the vocabulary I commonly use for work, and was stuck there. Real Time Mandarin's methods including listening, focused, current vocabulary, and speaking have helped me break through. I think Real Time Mandarin has really found the next frontier in learning Chinese.

“As an intermediate Chinese learner, Chinese Pro motivates me to consistently read engaging articles. When I first signed up, I doubted my ability to converse fluently in a group. However, through the kind and patient moderators, pleasant discussions, and thought-provoking questions, time flies by.”

“You've been learning Chinese for a while, you've achieved a fairly decent proficiency level - now what? You're probably sick of Dawei's adventures and want to go beyond a textbook and talk about real life. These sessions are just what you need! We discuss topics that are hot in China TODAY (not the 1990s), the sessions are engaging and fun, and we learn additional vocab / use cases beyond what we read in the newsletter.”

“Life is way too busy and my Chinese language skills deteriorate as a result. The clear, topical weekly lessons make learning feasible and fun. The Zoom meet ups then provide a space to discuss the weekly topic in a lively, supportive atmosphere.”

“Joining RTM Conversation Pro has increased my consistency and motivation in learning and speaking Mandarin. Initially, I was uncertain about paying for another language learning resource that I might end up not using. However, the weekly calls and their structure provide just enough accountability for me to engage with the newsletter in a way that fits into my lifestyle as a working mom.”

“It's fun to learn with others in a relaxed setting while getting feedback on usage of new terms from native speakers. This program would suit intermediate to advanced learners who would like to practice speaking skills and to stay motivated to continuing learning Mandarin.”

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

What’s inside RTM Conversation Pro

RTM Conversation Pro meetings are “Mandarin only”, hosted on Zoom.

When you join RTM Conversation Pro, this is what you get:

📞Welcome call

30-minute onboarding call with me to understand your needs and set your learning goals for the year.

📆Weekly meetings

Invites to a live, weekly one-hour “Mandarin only” Pro sessions with other members, and native speakers who help guide the conversations.

📄Structured conversations

Each meet-up is based around three questions you receive in advance of the call which are discussed in breakout rooms.

👩‍🎓Learning prompts

Ahead of each call you get two emails every week with the content for the next session, and the discussion questions so you have time to prepare.

💬Guidance and feedback

On the call, because we breakout into small groups each with a native speaker, you have time and space to ask questions about the language, the first question is always based on what challenges you had in learning the language of that week..

💡Deeper insights

Pro sessions are an opportunity to learn more about the wider topic in the context of Chinese society, and how it is being discussed, as well as additional language to talk about it

📚Additional resources

After every session, you get a list of additional words discussed during each live session (usually 10-20 extra words), and links to any other resources mentioned during the session.

🗣Ongoing support

Contact us directly 24/7 on email, or by DM through the Substack app

So, join us!

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

“We discuss topics that are hot in China TODAY (not the 1990s), and the sessions are engaging and fun!” (a Pro member)

Who RTM Pro is for

This program is for you if you are one or more of the following:

  • ✅ You've studied Chinese for at least 4 years

  • ✅ You work with Chinese as part of your job or research

  • ✅ You have HSK4 to HSK6 proficiency or a Chinese language degree

  • ✅ You're describe yourself as an "intermediate" or "advanced" learner

  • ✅ You've studied Chinese on-and-off for years, but haven’t improved for ages

  • ✅ You want to improve your language but lack motivation, discipline, and routine

Members of RTM Pro are dedicated, motivated to learn, and have skin the game.

They are are serious about investing in improving their Mandarin, are willing to put themselves out of their comfort zone, make mistakes, and improve.

If you are of that mindset, you’ll fit right in!

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

As an intermediate Chinese learner, Chinese Pro motivates me to consistently read engaging articles. (a Pro member)

How to join, and what it costs

The investment required to join RTM Conversation Pro is a total $550/year.

We are offering the introductory price of $500/year for people who join before 15th July.

This investment also includes your membership of RTM Plus ($180/year), a multi-media resource language learning tool updated every week.

You join by upgrading your current subscription to Conversation Pro.

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

“Initially, I was uncertain about paying for another language learning resource that I might end up not using. However, the weekly calls and their structure provide just enough accountability for me.”

FAQs: Your Questions Answered

Still not sure? Have questions?

Here are answers to questions other RTM Pro members asked before they joined:

Q: What is the format of the Pro live sessions?

The format of sessions follows this structure of a guided discussion based around three questions which you receive in advance.

You prepare based on those questions. Each question is discussed in a breakout room during the session.

This is typical agenda of the live sessions:

  • Kick-off (5 mins): Short intros and chat in the main room at the start

  • Breakouts (50 mins):

    • Split into break-out rooms to discuss three pre-sent questions

    • Hosted by a native speaker, each breakout room is open for 12-15 minutes, to discuss each of the three questions

    • Participants have time to express their views, ask questions, and engage in conversations with the native speaker and other participants

    • After the allotted time of the breakout, all participants return to the main room, and have a quick debrief on what was said in each room

    • After two minutes the group is split into breakout rooms again to discuss the next of the three questions (participants are selected randomly so you get to meet everyone)

  • Close (5 mins): At the end of each meeting we have a quick free chat, a reminder of details of the next session, and close around the one hour mark.

Q: I am based in Pacific Standard Time, do you cater for this and other timezones?

All RTM Pro sessions are currently held on Saturdays. This is to avoid clashes with busy working schedules.

We have members based in Pacific Time, Eastern Time, UK Time, Central European Time, China Standard Time, and all the way down in Australia and New Zealand.

So it’s impossible to cover all timezones and be social for everyone at the same time. So, to give all members an equal opportunity to join, we rotate sessions across three time slots, eight hours apart.

These are:

  • 10am UK time: 11am CET, 5pm CST, 7pm AEST, 9pm NZST [2am PST, 4am CST, 5am EST]

  • 6pm UK time: 10am PST, 12pm CST, 1pm EST, 7pm CET [1am CST, 3am AEST, 5am NZST]

  • 2am UK time: 6pm PST, 8pm CST, 9pm EST, 9am CST, 11am AEST, 1pm NZST [2am UK time, 3am CET]

So every month you should get at least three sessions which you can join at reasonably sociable times.

Q: I’d like to try it but I don’t know if it’s for me. Can I get a refund if I don’t like it?

Yes, you can.

The Pro format might not work for everyone, and it’s a significant investment. So you get a one-month “trial period” where you can participate in the live sessions and try it out.

Within that month if you decide it’s not for you, just let us know and we’ll refund your upgrade amount and you will go back onto the standard RTM+ tier.

Q: How do I pay for the subscription?

If you are not yet a member of RTM, you pay for your annual RTM Pro subscription by selecting the Pro option on our subscribe page.

If you are a member of the RTM community, you upgrade your membership to the Pro tier. So you will pay the difference between your current subscription and the upgraded Pro price.

It is charged on a pro-rata basis. So for example, if you are on the $180/year RTM membership, and are six months into your subscription, then you will be charged half of the difference (50% of $370 = $185) for the rest of that year, and then the full Pro annual subscription will be charged when you come to renew in six months time. (you will keep your cheaper annual rate if you join before 30th June).

Q: Can I pay in instalments, or can I join for a few months?

Becoming a member of RTM Pro is a one-year investment. For this investment you get the opportunity to attend one live meet-up every week to practice your Mandarin. That’s 50 sessions in one year.

To really see improvement in your spoken Mandarin you need to work on it consistently for at least one year. If you’re going to invest, you might as well do it properly!

So at this time we don’t currently offer shorter subscription periods.

However, to put this into context, even if you were only able to attend half of those (25 meet-ups in one year), you will be paying the equivalent of less than $15 per session. Which is cheaper than the price of one cocktail in London or New York every other week, but much better for you, and, to be honest, much more fun too!

(Of course, if you can join every session, then your per-session cost comes down to $7

Q: I’m worried my Chinese isn’t good enough. Should I join?

Yes you should try it out!

There’s a real mix of people who describe themselves as ‘advanced’ and ‘intermediate’. And there are lots of descriptions involving the word “but...” 🤩.  

My advice is to get stuck in and try it out. The purpose is to create opportunities to speak and engage with other participants, and enable a deeper engagement with the newsletter content. If it really doesn't work for you, you'll get a full refund. So there is no risk for you.

Q: What if I can’t join the sessions?

Because we have participants in every timezone, we rotate times at 8-hour intervals over a three-week period.

This ensures you will be able to join at least three Pro sessions per month (which are at sociable times!).

Current members of RTM Pro say they aim to attend at least two sessions each month as life can get busy at times.

Q: I am concerned about confidentiality. Do you record calls?

No, we do not record calls, or share information of anyone who is included in the Pro membership (You will see we don’t even include names of people who provide testimonials).

It’s a discrete group of committed China watchers and Mandarin enthusiasts who have a wide range of opinions about and experiences in China.

We respect all opinions (as long as they are delivered in a respectful way), and operate under Chatham House Rules so nothing discussed on the calls goes any further.

Q: I already pay for Chinese lessons. Why should I invest in another resource?

RTM Pro sessions are not “lessons”.

They are conversations in Chinese guided by a native speaker, creating a space to speak freely, try out the language you have learned, and ask questions about the words and phrases, the wider topic, as well as connect with other members of the community.

This format is more free-flowing and varied than a typical language lesson.

It’s not for everyone, which is why we offer a one-month trial period.

Our experience tells us this format is a great supplement to varied study program.

Q: I’m worried I won’t have time to prepare - what support do you offer?

We know you’re busy so we offer a clear structure for communications before and after sessions.

This is how it works:

  • Pre-communications

    • At the start of every month you will get dates and times for the next five sessions to put them in your diary, including the Zoom link for that month.

    • On the Wednesday before each Saturday session you get a reminder email with the three discussion questions, the Zoom link (again), and links to the content we’ll be discussing.

    • 15 minutes before each Saturday session you’ll get a short reminder email with the Zoom link, questions, and content links.

  • Post-communications

    • After each session, you get a follow-on email with the additional words and phrases we discussed in the session (normally between 10 and 20 extra words), and the link, content, details for the next session

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

The classes are very engaging, the questions + breakout rooms approach makes it very dynamic. Love it!!!”

Now it’s your turn!

By now, you know that RTM Conversation Pro the key to transforming your spoken Mandarin.

Your membership will help you create structure, leverage the power of a learning routine, and engage with your learning like never before.

The only question left is: Are you ready to take the leap?

Upgrade to Conversation Pro!

“Joining RTM Conversation Pro has increased my consistency and motivation in learning and speaking Mandarin.

Initially, I was uncertain about paying for another language learning resource that I might end up not using.

However, the weekly calls and their structure provide just enough accountability for me to engage with the newsletter in a way that fits into my lifestyle as a working mom.”