AllSet Learning was founded in 2010 in Shanghai by John Pasden. Having lived in Shanghai since the year 2000 and spent a lot of time becoming fluent in Chinese "the hard way," John was eager to create a system which truly personalized its curriculum for each learner, while still retaining the core of what attracts most learners in the first place: actual face-to-face communication with real live Chinese people.

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John Pasden

Founder & Lead Consultant

Fluent in Chinese, John earned his master's degree in Applied Linguistics in an all-Chinese program for native speakers at East China Normal University in Shanghai. As a non-native speaker who learned Chinese to an advanced level as an adult, John has infused his learner perspective into the AllSet Learning approach to learning Mandarin Chinese. He is the lead consultant at AllSet Learning, and oversees the custom courses of all clients.

AllSet Learning teachers are professional teachers and native speakers of Mandarin, but have been trained to be especially attentive to the needs of the modern learner. Because AllSet Learning courses are tailor-built for each learner by the lead consultant, teachers don't have to hunt for material for each lesson; instead, they spend their prep time making sure each lesson is interesting and provokes discussion. In this way, lessons with AllSet Learning focus relentlessly on the real needs of the learner, not on the structure of a textbook or the limitations of classroom instruction.

AllSet Learning courses, whether fully custom-built or designed around a theme, are designed to stimulate discussion, provide corrective feedback, and hold each learner to a high standard of correct pronunciation. While AllSetL earning frequently incorporates its own materials, such as the Chinese Grammar Wiki or the pronunciation exercises, these are optional modules selected according to the needs of each learner. AllSet Learning's courses are just as likely to use materials from online news articles or ChinesePod lessons, and supports other services like Pleco and Skritter as well. With AllSet Learning, the learner's needs are front and center.

For more on John background, see his personal website, Sinosplice. For more on AllSet Learning's pedagogical principles, see the AllSet Learning Blog.