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Chris333

"That's Mandarin" in Beijing

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Zukhov

:-)

Edited by Zukhov
Erased because the person who asked for advice already knows how I feel.

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Hüsker Dü
In other threads you have been advertising That's Mandarin quite a lot. I wonder what your motivations are.

Nope. Just here and one other thread. Motivations? I think it's a good school.

I do know EXCELLENT other choices, but if I listed them here it would appear as if I was trying to promote some schools and not giving my honest opinion about That's Mandarin.

No, it wouldn't. List a few.

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Chris333

Okay gang- I think the original intent of this thread has been pretty much satisfied. There are some good arguments pro and con, and I think anyone reading it in the future can decide for him/herself whether or not to go with this school. Let's try to keep it at that, and not head toward a discussion about who has a better grasp of the English language and so forth.

Thanks very much for your input. It has been helpful.

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Zukhov

:-)

Edited by Zukhov
Erased because the person who asked for advice already knows how I feel.

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roddy

Just post about those excellent schools in the relevant topics (or start them), and readers can make their own minds up about who's advertising who and what all your motives are. You seem to have got plenty of good info over the last two years, I'm sure you'd like to put some back.

I'm unclear as to what actually went wrong here - what changed after the trial class and first week of classes? The school might not be for everyone - no school could be - but they've always seemed to me to have a pretty clear idea of what it is they do and to stick to it.

And to put my admin hat on for a moment, there's more than one person here making dubious use of the edit function - think twice, post once, if possible. Spelling mistakes excepted.

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Zukhov

:-)

Edited by Zukhov
Erased because the person who asked for advice already knows how I feel.

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Chris333

Teaching methodology and various experiences aside, I think the school could benefit from a more reasonable refund policy.

Considering an investment of RMB10,000, they should offer more than a 'one week' policy. If it were my business, I don't think I could sleep well at night knowing that I'm taking someone's hard-earned 10K and saying 'take a hike' if (s)he doesn't like it after a few classes. Like most colleges, at least in my experience, a tuition refund policy should be graduated. For example: if, after the first week you decide you don't like it, you get a 90% refund; after two weeks you get 75% refund, etc.. If you haven't figured out by the third or fourth week that you don't like it...well...too bad, you get 50% or maybe nothing.

Their refund policy was what drove me to request structured payments. I wasn't comfortable with giving them that kind of cash up front (nor do I have 10k sitting around to give,) without an option for quitting if it didn't work for me. It was for this reason they lost my business.

I hope others reading this in the future will weigh all the options (and risk) and be able to make an educated decision.

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ruimu

Here is my 2.5 cents about That's Mandarin's teaching methodology after spending a year with them.

First time that I checked them out was a couple years ago when my Mandarin was non-existent. Then, for some reason I thought that their teaching method wouldn't suit me and ended up joining another school that used books and conventional methods. After spending a year with them, I barely could speak anything. Interestingly, I was able to say some complicated sentences but couldn't say something basic like "Put that book here and leave". I then knew that there was something wrong with the conventional methods and needed to find something more effective.

I researched online to find out the best ways learn a new language. I also read about how children learn to speak. Isn't it amazing a child can speak so much even before they can read or write. Even before speaking anything the babies listen to their parents for more than year or so. Then I started thinking about the That's Mandarin's methodology. Their method kind of made sense to me and I decided to try them out as it came closest to the way children learn a language - remember our moms reading stories for us.

I signed up with That's Mandarin and within few months my Mandarin started improving. In the class I would tell an incident related to me, a joke or some incident. Many a times either I didn't know which word to use or I didn't know the right word at all. The teacher helped me to use new/right words and sentences and later recorded the audio for these new sentences. Then I would listen to the audio repeatedly. This helped me remember the new words and sentences better. I was using my dead-time (thanks to line 13) to listen to the audio. I never studied at home. It was too boring to study Chinese after work. Now that there are no books or homework, all I needed to do was listen and listen..

Lately I did more research language acquisition and I found something very interesting. According some research they say two things are very important for learning a new language are - 1. Listening repeatedly to the same audio repeatedly 2. Listening to the content of your interest. The That's Mandarin's method fits this perfectly. During the class, I would always talk about something of my interest and then listen back to my corrected sentences repeatedly. I always was happy to listen to these sentences because they are either related to me or something of my interest. This kept me going and also speeded up the memorization process. So the key is listening, listening, listening and listening some content of your interest. Also, during the class use your new words for practice.

After a year with them I am able to speak about a wide variety of things with so much confidence. I am so happy to have found them. I have to say this method has worked really well for me. Of course, there is also a burden on the student to make use of the method effectively eg: choosing the interesting/relevant topics, and then listening to the audio hundreds of times and then using the new words in the class for practice.

Hope this helps.

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