Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Programs that focus on learning conversational Mandarin?


13cyberphoenix
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am looking for maybe a 6-month or 1-year course in Chinese, where the emphasis (at least in the beginning) is on improving one's conversational Chinese level. I care about that more than learning about the Chinese characters. I prefer to stay at a 1st-tier or 2nd-tier city in Taiwan or China. I think enrolling in a Chinese program would be better so I can meet other foreigners who also want to learn Chinese so I won't be alone in Taiwan or China. Any ideas as to how much these programs would cost? Can anyone offer any information about this? Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

If your aim is to learn fluent Chinese, which I assume it is if you want to go for 6 to 12 months for a program to China, then you will have to learn characters at some point, if you care about them or not, as your will need them for improving your spoken Mandarin level beyond a certain point.

The Chinese program I studied at LTL had a pretty good balance, with about 15 hours per week spoken and 5 hours per week reading/writing class. We learned more spoken Chinese and focused on that but didn't fall behind on characters too much to not be able to catch up later (which you need to once you get to HSK 4). The school in Beijing is not as big as some others, which makes for a pretty 舒服 (comfeaortable) atmosphere where it is easy to meet other foreigners learning Mandarin. I made a lot of friends there and the social life is pretty fun with a lot of dinners, trips etc. However most people who go there are quite serious about learning Mandarin so if your main aim is to get drunk and pull girls then maybe a university is a better choice. My main aim was to learn Chinese (I spoke no Mandarin when I arrived and passed HSK 5 - though only barely - after eight months there which I was very happy with) so it fit very well for me. If you want to improve your conversational Chinese quickly, go for the homestay option.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd suggest that you go to the Chinese North (Liaoning, for example); less foreigners there, and if they are, they are mostly Russians, Japanese and Korean. I went to Dalian Uni of Technology way way back then, and was very happy with the choice. I spoke Chinese in class and outside of class with my predominantly Chinese, Korean, Japanese friends. I went there after two years of Uni study, starting with maybe lower intermediate level, and leaving with HSK 8 (the old HSK) after a year. 

 

Also, they have central heating over there, not like Shanghai...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

The Chinese program I studied at LTL had a pretty good balance, with about 15 hours per week spoken and 5 hours per week reading/writing class. We learned more spoken Chinese and focused on that but didn't fall behind on characters too much to not be able to catch up later (which you need to once you get to HSK 4). The school in Beijing is not as big as some others, which makes for a pretty 舒服 (comfeaortable) atmosphere where it is easy to meet other foreigners learning Mandarin. I made a lot of friends there and the social life is pretty fun with a lot of dinners, trips etc. However most people who go there are quite serious about learning Mandarin so if your main aim is to get drunk and pull girls then maybe a university is a better choice. My main aim was to learn Chinese (I spoke no Mandarin when I arrived and passed HSK 5 - though only barely - after eight months there which I was very happy with) so it fit very well for me. 

 

thanks for the reply. However, I am more interested in studying in Taiwan, so it'd be nice to hear which programs in Taiwan are like this

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I know, any program in Taiwan that will give you an ARC will also require you to learn reading and writing. From a price-to-quality standpoint, the best option is probably the MTC. The CLC at National Chengchi University has a reputation for being more conversationally-focused than some others in Taipei, but the pace is also much slower.

 

Conversational ability is best learned through conversing with native speakers (and possibly other learners as long as you're vigilant in not picking up their errors), not in a classroom setting. At somewhere like the MTC, you'll have 3 hours of class per day and maybe 2 hours of homework, which leaves you plenty of time to get out and practice speaking.

 

You might look into picking up a copy of Barefoot Language Learning: An Approach through Involvement and Independence by Donald Larson. It has some great tips for how to learn a language in-country apart from or in addition to a formal program.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. I've looked at a few Chinese programs in Taiwan and for all of them, the soonest I can start taking classes is May or June. Anyone know of any programs where I can start sooner than that? Although I prefer studying in Taiwan, I'm open to China too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...