government recently launched an interesting website called Linese ( I think it is
supposed to stand for Learn Chinese - go figure).
It is designed to help meet the surging demand for Mandarin learning around the world. It is full of podcast, vidcasts and other on demand methods including intercative classes and games, all designed to help people learn Madarin.
Zheng Zhongxiu, head of the website, said "The site features multimedia technologies including on-line interactive courses, virtual communities, and blogs and pods, rather than traditional Mandarin classroom activities."
It looks pretty good to me at my first look around. I listened to a couple of pod casts and watched a video. They seem to have managed to get in the education component as well as some good cultural information.
I think it is likely to give Chinesepod (a paid Mandarin podcasting program) a run for its money - but I think Chinesepod has the edge with the content, style and ability to download the transcript of lessons as pdfs as well (plus they got Jenny Zhu - thats a big plus ;)