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feihong

Did you study Chinese in Chicago?

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feihong

So, this question is rather ironic because I myself live in Chicago, but allow me to explain. Through my meetup I've met a lot of people who speak Chinese, but pretty much none of them learned the language here in the city. I do sometimes run into beginners who ask me what classes are good, but I have no idea either. I am aware of schools that offer classes here, but I've yet to meet any of their students so I have no firsthand accounts of people's experiences with these programs. So, if you studied Chinese in Chicago, please leave a comment about which program you took, how the teachers were, how well it prepared you for conversation with native speakers, etc. My primary goal in getting this information is figuring out which, if any, programs of study to recommend to others. Thanks in advance!

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dtcamero

maybe i'm a little biased, but beyond intro courses I don't think there is such a thing as a curriculum that will take you to a high level of chinese.

self-study and time spent in the L2 environment are the only ways that I have seen people get really good.

 

maybe it's just my experience but pretty much eveyone I know that did language classes only got good if they then lived in their target environment after, & the others pretty universally failed...which seems to reinforce my opinion.

 

intro courses are totally a good use of time tho, like a 101 and 102 level in college for example.

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feihong

I don't think there are any advanced courses in Chicago other than those offered by universities, but that is not what people are asking me about. Since we are talking about beginners, it would be introductory classes that give you a basic feel for the language.

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dtcamero

well since the majority of the work will eventually need to be self-directed, again my opinion but I think it doesn't really matter.

 

languages are all pretty easy to explain at that level, especially if the student is motivated enough to succeed eventually on his/her own.

 

if your goal is to make a million dollars, it doesn't really matter if you start out with 50 cents or a couple dollars.

 

my two jiao.

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TheWind

hey Feihong.

I also am from Chicago and checked out the courses there a couple of years ago.

In all honesty, it'll be cheaper hour per hour and in my opinion more worthwhile if you just go abroad to China and do a 1 year program at a university.

feel free to pm me if you have more specific questions.

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snowflake

I’m in the Chicago area and have been studying Mandarin on my own for a number of years.  For people like me who have job and family responsibilities, it’s not always feasible to move overseas to learn the language.  It might be interesting to survey people who have been studying Chinese outside of the mainland and Taiwan to look at what worked for them and over how long a period.  

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