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

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Zeppa

Intermediate Mandarin classes in London (1) SOAS

Recommended Posts

Flickserve
20 hours ago, amytheorangutan said:

The amount of people dropping class is incredible considering at the start of Beginner 1 they have class every day of the week except Sunday around 10-12 people per class. 

 

No surprise. Unless you have some compelling reason for a group class (prefer socialising to learning), or CI (maybe a certificate), you would be better off striking out on your own. Having a private tutor just to help you on pronunciation will crush your confidence until you realise the effort of all those drills actually makes you understandable compared to xyz hours group classes. I think I did around 12hours one to one on Skype just on pronunciation. It was worth it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
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.

amytheorangutan

Thanks @Flickserve I’m leaning towards private lessons at the moment. Pronunciation is definitely one area I would like to improve. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christa

I've tried courses at three different UK universities. The quality of the teachers varies but ultimately it always seems to add up to the same thing. I don't think you'll find somewhere that is particularly better than any other. The teaching is always mediocre and ultimately the learning is left up to you.

 

Now that I know that I prefer to just study by myself. There just seems little point to me in attending those classes other than that it might force you to do something if you're struggling with motivation.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

You guys should have a little London meet-up, btw.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
somethingfunny

Or you could go to the London Mandarin-English language exchange meetup.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zander1
2 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Or you could go to the London Mandarin-English language exchange meetup.

 

Have you been? Any good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christa
2 hours ago, roddy said:

You guys should have a little London meet-up, btw.

 

2 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Or you could go to the London Mandarin-English language exchange meetup.

 

Yes, I agree. These sorts of things combined with self-study are a far more effective route for study than poorly planned evening courses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeppa

Obviously my description of the SOAS courses (posted at Roddy's suggestion) was dated December 2014. I have since given up classes and I am fully of the opinion that I should continue on my own. I am not doing anything at the moment but I certainly know how to learn languages, even if Chinese does have its particular difficulties in that the writing system is not alphabetical, so writing and speaking have to be practised separately.

 

I did try three online teachers, without finding one I liked. The last one had studied how to teach Chinese to foreigners and therefore knew everything about how to teach me, with no reference to what I wanted. The last straw was when he told me that the English call black tea 'yellow tea'. He apparently got this from a posh tea called Lipton's Yellow Label. He was unable to believe me that we say 'black tea', that is, I as the student was a complete ignoramus even about English usage. After that I went a few times to a teacher locally, but I was not in a state to exploit her - got on well although it was hell parking near her house - my brain cells I think had been killed off by the final course at the University of Westminster where the teacher disliked me (I am still trying to work that out).

 

Flickserve's suggestion of using a teacher online very specifically for pronunciation is a good one. But I would also be happy if I could read Chinese and interact on the internet. I have reached an age where I should give up Chinese but I find it just too interesting for that, so I will be starting my own approach soon, I hope.

 

But looking back at my descriptions of courses, including the Meridian School I must have described in a separate thread, I am amazed at how I failed to recognize that all these courses are useless. As Flickserve writes: ' Unless you have some compelling reason for a group class (prefer socialising to learning), or CI (maybe a certificate), you would be better off striking out on your own.' Well actually, when I started in 2013 I had just come back from living abroad for years and needed to get out of the house, so going to a class appealed to me, but I have done much better with a long  photography course and a course on trees. 

 

It is totally obvious that classes, perhaps apart from beginners' classes, are bound to be useless. But in 2014 I was still comparing them and saying 'It's hard to find an intermediate class that suits me'. 

 

In the early 1970s I did a couple of university courses in Germany on classical poetry and reading newspaper texts (all pure Communist jargon at that time) and these were OK, as indeed would a reading group on this list be if I were up to it. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LiMo

@Zeppa

Have you ever used meetup.com? I was also doing the rounds of Chinese language learning in 2014 and I found a lot of interesting classes and groups. Most were once again very bottom heavy with beginners and advanced classes were far from advanced, but I had a wonderful time meeting new people. I think I'll reinstall the Meetup app on my phone and try to reconnect with people. 

 

@somethingfunny

I have been to the London Mandarin-English Language Exchange Meetup, I think. Is that the one at the Slug and Lettuce off Regents Street or the one formerly off Trafalger Square which then moved to The College Arms (?) near UCL?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
somethingfunny

Yes, that's it LiMo.  I'd say it's worth a try, but you'll have to put some effort in.  The Chinese learners are generally more interested in socialising and the Chinese people rotate a lot so you might end up having the same conversation over and over again.  But hey, that's London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeppa

@LiMo

I'm not doing much with my Chinese at the moment so a meetup would be something I would consider if I got back into it. Although I am used to teaching English so I could do that part of it.

 

I lived in Germany for 30 years and my German was fluent even before then, so I did go to a German meetup when I came back to London. I didn't find time to go again, but it was quite pleasant. Although we were in one of those pubs that call themselves German and there was a whole table of annoying young English speakers wearing Lederhosen and jumping on the table so you couldn't hear yourself speaking. I remember the three British women sitting opposite me all worked in cake decorating. All very strange. They had an opera cake with them, which they were looking at critically but not actually eating.

 

More than you wanted to know.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
芒果乾

@LiMo @somethingfunny

If you two are talking about the meetup that was ran by the Taiwanese girl, then that was taken over by the Canary Wharf meetup a year or two ago. They now have their meet at The Folly near Bank or Monument stations.. on tomorrow. The one in the College Arms still exists.. on next Saturday I think.

 

I think these events are social drinks to improve spoken Mandarin or English or a meat market for some people 🤣. If you want to do reading then there is a group that meets on Tuesday every two or three weeks in Central London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bobby69
Quote

If you two are talking about the meetup that was ran by the Taiwanese girl, then that was taken over by the Canary Wharf meetup a year or two ago. They now have their meet at The Folly near Bank or Monument stations.. on tomorrow. The one in the College Arms still exists.. on next Saturday I think.

 

I think these events are social drinks to improve spoken Mandarin or English or a meat market for some people 🤣. If you want to do reading then there is a group that meets on Tuesday every two or three weeks in Central London.

 

Very little language exchange goes on at these events because's its a free for all. There's no organisation at all.

Chinese people end up speaking with Chinese people and the foreigners with other foreigners, there is the occasional overlap between the two groups. If you are beginner level or just starting out don't even bother coming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×