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trevelyan

Global Village Language Institute, Diqiucun, 地球村

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trevelyan

There have been a few mentions of private commercial schools on the boards in the last few weeks, so I thought I'd write up my experience with one I've been attending for about a week. The school is called the Global Village Language Institute (地球村语言学院) and is based up in Wudaokou, right near the subway station. They have a webpage, but it's apparently all in Korean.

Initial feeling are really positive. I was recommended the school by a fellow student at BCLU, who had enrolled for about half a year and is attending both it and BCLU. She had positive things to say, so I checked it out last week and now wish I'd found out about it earlier. Here's why:

(1) Class sizes are comparable with the Chinese universities I've attended. BCLU currently has me in a class of about 20 students, while Qinghua formerly had about 12. The classes I've tried here have generally been smaller. The smallest I've seen is a class of 3-4 students in a late afternoon lecture on Chinese history and a group of 6 in a "Pronounciation Correction" course mid-afternoon.

(2) If the class sizes are smaller, the teaching material is comparable to that at both Qinghua and BCLU -- the textbooks are identical at least. The texts for the oral conversation classes are the ones from Beida with the

photos of awkward foreigners on the covers. Classes are divided by textbook... so there are two advanced classes (shang and xia). This only holds for courses being taught from textbooks though -- if you're attending a lecture of sorts, you can probably count on it being taught by someone not terribly experienced.

(3) Class scheduling is a breeze. Classes run from nine in the morning until nine in the evening, and there are always multiple classes running at each level all day. The standard courses at the various levels seem

to be (1) Oral Chinese, (2) HSK preparation, and (3) Chinese grammar, but there are many other classes geared at different levels as well: Pronunciation Correction, Writing Courses, Chinese Films, etc. I didn't have a hard time putting together six hours of afternoon classes suited to my comfort level. There are also weekend classes in things like Chinese cooking, as well as a few other languages like Japanese and Korean, which I thought was cool.

(4) There's a difference in the teaching method which might be good or bad. With a few exceptions, most of the classes are based on rote-learning: mimicing the teacher first and learning to speak the material in the textbook naturally. In contrast, I find the classes at BCLU to be more question-and-answer style. BCLU focuses more on teaching general sentence patterns which can be reused. One result is that class moves much faster at the private school, and I find myself speaking more.

(5) Tuition is cheap. Classes cost between 12-15 RMB, per hour, depending on how many you book at a time. Two hours of class a day costs about 500 RMB/month. To put that in perspective, I'm currently forking out about the same in USD to BCLU for August. It's possible to book classes a few minutes before attending too, and there aren't any issues with paperwork: I get the feeling you could register as Liu Dehua as long as you coughed up the cash.

(6) The school seems to provide ancilliary services. There are signs all over the school advertising VISA services: F-visa extensions for around 500 RMB and F/X Visas for around 900 RMB. They apparently do tourist visa conversions too, although the price wasn't posted, so maybe it's possible to show up on a tourist visa and get things handled there. There is also a small cafeteria and -- praise be -- a small and free computer lab on the 5th floor so people can check email, etc. between classes.

(7) For single men, it's worth noting that women really outnumber men at the Advanced Level.

Negative things... not much yet. The only thing that has actually irritated me so far has been a lecture I attended on survey history. The problem was that the teacher was spouting Leninist theoriest of imperialism. Maybe this is to be expected given the textbook, but it irritated me to be told in one moment that Britain and France were plotting to destroy the Qing government and deeply insulting the Chinese people ("arrg.. wo qisile!"), while omitting any mention of the Ever Victorious Army, British foreign policy post 1860, etc. in the next breath. Much of what was said was reflexive anti-foreign, and particularly anti-Japanese sentiment. Maybe it flies with Korean students, but it got on my nerves. At the least, any discussion of the Boxer Rebellion which starts with the Allied Invasion of Beijing and doesn't mention missionaries at all is missing something. If this was a discussion class it might have been interesting, but it wasn't.

On the negative side, none of the classes seem to have any homework. So if you're at a stage learning Chinese where you're learning things like how to write characters, etc., the curriculum is probably not well-suited to what you need. I also think that the Advanced Newspaper Course at BCLU is harder than anything I've seen at this school. Maybe they'll have harder stuff in the fall.

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Long Pan

Mind! this post is about Wudaokou Diqiucun; it completes the very useful post of Jparry. But I assume that all what I say about the schedule and the registration process should be the same in Wangjing.

As it has been already said, you can register in less than 5 minutes : nothing but the cash is needed. The only problem for new comers is to understand the registration process especially when your chinese is not that good, with a registration room often very busy and the 5 girls in charge not being the most patient Chinese I met (which I can understand with the mess around). So here are a few tips to facilitate your way in:

- This link provided by Jparry gives you the updated schedule of all courses available. The schedule format you get on the web is the one you’ll see at the registration desk - so better know how this matrix works. On this website, next to the Western guy with a book in his right hand, you'll find 6 links pointing to the schedules of the different kind of courses

  • 初级课程 beginner level courses
  • 中级课程 intermediate level courses
  • 高级课程 advanced level courses
  • HSK
  • 外语课程 foreign language (English, Korean...) courses
  • 周末班课程 week end courses

- The schedule matrix works this way:

  • the first column shows the time schedule (from 8:00 to 21:00)
  • the first line (A, B, C....M) has no special meaning except that it shows the different courses available during the same period of time
  • each square represents a course with:

  1. the name of the course which is also the name of
    . Teachers follow the book and do one lesson every 1 or 2 days

  2. the date when the course started : for instance 2月12日 (or 2.12) means that the first lesson was given on December 12th. You may also find an anticipated date which means that the course will start in the next future (up to 1 week)

  3. the number below refers to the lesson number in the book which is currently being studied – as lessons in the books are quite independent it does not really matter to start in the middle, except maybe for beginners courses.

  4. not shown on the website schedules but written on the one printed in Diquicun: the room number+ the name of the teacher

- To know which lesson suits you the best, I highly recommend you to go there a day in advance and ask to look at the books of the different courses. For example in the intermediate level you have 3 different courses for the speaking (中级汉语口语 1, 2, 3 - so mind the number on the schedule), one for the listening (中级汉语听和说) and 2 reading courses (which are called 桥梁上 et 下).

- In the registration room (first floor on the left), remark that the first desk just on your left is the cashier who only deals with the payment. Information about courses, books and registration is to be done at the desks in front of the entrance. Once you’ve made your choice, they give you a paper slip which is needed to pay at the cashier. Registration is fully computerised and thus quite efficient – after payment you immediately get a blue hard paper student card with your name, the name of the course, the room number, teacher name and duration of the study. I however don’t think it can be considered as a “student card” in Beijing; but you can always try.

- Books, tapes or CD (only available with the latest issues) can be bought through the same process.

- Note that a lesson is not really 2 hours but 2*45 minutes - indeed there is a 15 minutes break every 45 minutes.

- In case you do not feel comfortable with the level of your class you can easily change – go to the registration for the same process, but without paying

- Prices are as indicated above by Jparry. But there are currently (March 2007) no possibility for private lessons – only classes available

- Courses in the morning (8:00 to 10:00) tend to be less busy than the ones from 10:00 to 12:00

My opinion is that Diqiucun is an excellent option especially for intermediate / advance levels who know what they want – there are many courses available, the teachers are good, the price low and the flexibility just great. For real beginner I would recommend a regular university (like BLCU) except if you do not suit their schedules or that the money is a problem for you. But if you are beginner and you have a year to study, you could book the first semester in the university and then go to Diqiucun (many here did that)

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leifkarlen

Thanks for the excellent post! I am strongly considering going to Diqiucun in the near future.

Do you know if Diqiucun is has classes year-round, or if they are closed during the Chinese university breaks in Jan/Feb and Jul/Aug? I have tried sending them an email about this but to no avail...

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roddy

Do we have a bit of confusion here? The original post is about the branch in Wangjing, but I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that Long Pan's (detailed and much appreciated) post is about the 'default' Wudaokou school. Am I wrong?

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Long Pan

Yes Roddy, I am talking about Wudaokou - just forgot about the main title and posted it here because jpharry post was already quite complete so I did not want to create another thread. I'll change the title of my post to avoid confusion.

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Long Pan

Leifkarlen, Diqiucun was closed 10 days (from saturday to the next sunday - so I fact one week) during the last Chinese New Year. It seems that they also close once or twice more during the year - but never more than a week.

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roddy

Have shifted posts around a bit to keep Wudaokou / Wangjing stuff separate. The stuff on Wangjing is here.

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yonitabonita

Hi folks,

I've been looking at the HSK class timetables here:

http://diqiucunschool.co.kr/class/shijianbiao.php

Under some classes there are starting dates. Under others, there are just numbers like 3:12, or 1:09. Does anyone know what these numbers refer to?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Y

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gato
Under others, there are just numbers like 3:12, or 1:09

It's actually a period, not a colon, in the schedule. Just another way of giving the month and day.

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yonitabonita

Gees - so simple. Thanks for that.

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ffswoo

This is a very helpful thread - thanks for all the info! I'm looking into options for this summer, and at first I thought I'd be going to either Beida or BLCU, but Diqiucun seems to be getting a lot of good reviews. Its flexibility definitely appeals to me.

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feebie

I met someone who was very happy with global village. apparently they don't have much homework.

I know someone who is at Beiyu (BLCU) and they are always doing homework. (maybe they are in a hard level??) Don't know. I had the impression that BLCU was 'party town'. I am not studying but I mix with alot of language students.

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abuck

Hey everyone,

I'm just wondering if Diqiucun still exists - it looks like a good place to study for someone at my level. What arrangements would I have to make in advance - i.e., do classes fill up, or can one just show up? Does anyone know of a working website (I'm getting an error)? Also, I take it this is a Beijing only organization?

Thanks much!

毕逸诗

Amy

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eddie9684

it exists, ive hard about it just few days ago from a friend, sayin theres dormitories also....

i find this pretty weird but can anyone confirm that ?if diqiucun has dormitory?

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elvisrules

Some people have said how they would not recommend Global Village Diqiucun for beginners. Well what about those who have completed HSK level 1, would you recommend it then?

This place seems like a good choice for me in terms of price and flexibility, and I hope I can study there for 1-2 months next summer at an equivalent level to HSK 2.

Comments and advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

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xiexieniii

DOes anyone know how I can e-mail this school? I cannot navigate their website, it's all in Korean! I want to ask about classes...

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chawke

I just signed up for and started classes at the WuDaoKou Global village. I am at the beginner-intermediate level. The classes are currently 300 RNB for 10 90 minute classes.

My class size is 3 people. My teacher is great. We are using the same textbooks that BeiWai and CUC used.

I think this school is great. Same methods and materials as the universities, smaller classes.

So far, highly recommended. And they have a million classes of all levels.

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lilbun

i heard from my friends that went there, that you also have to pay for classes 6 months in advance to go to diqiucun. or is this only if you want them to help you get a longer-term visa (ie. one that is 6+ months). is that the only reason you would have to pay 6 months in advance?

because a lot you sound like you were able to just go for as long as you felt and paid accordingly. just wondering.

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Menino80

Bump. I tried to fill out their form but they never got back me. Anybody know if they'll sponsor from outside Korea or China?

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bigtops

Menino: I went in there last year and I didn't find anybody in the office who spoke English, so that may be why they didn't reply to you (unless you used Chinese or Korean on the form).

Could you clarify your question? I am looking for an affordable school that will sponsor a visa for the summer for me, so I may be able to get info for your at the same time.

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