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International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) - 5 years later


The Dumpling King

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Jan Finster

This is a very nice review.

 

If I may add a suggestion: it would help the reader if you could edit your post and include a paragraph on your Chinese experience before going to ICLP (your level, HSK level (?), known character count; what kind of material were you able to read prior to going there) 

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The Dumpling King
2 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

 

If I may add a suggestion: it would help the reader if you could edit your post and include a paragraph on your Chinese experience before going to ICLP (your level, HSK level (?), known character count; what kind of material were you able to read prior to going there) 

 

Will do. Great suggestion.

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Tomsima

Thanks for putting in so much effort writing this - I did at one stage seriously consider the programme, but it was just out of my budget in the end. The level of detail does also been the question: were you asked to post by ICLP? I don't think there was any disclosure on this, and it's not necessarily a good or bad thing, just would be nice to know for reference.

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The Dumpling King
12 minutes ago, Tomsima said:

Thanks for putting in so much effort writing this - I did at one stage seriously consider the programme, but it was just out of my budget in the end. The level of detail does also been the question: were you asked to post by ICLP? I don't think there was any disclosure on this, and it's not necessarily a good or bad thing, just would be nice to know for reference.

 

Totally a fair question. I was not asked by anybody at ICLP or affiliated to post this. I was simply reflecting on life a little bit and decided to post. I relied on this forum a lot when studying Chinese and making study abroad decisions. There is little information about ICLP and IUP, especially for those outside of academic programs, and thought I would contribute.

 

There are shortcomings with any program. I hope I made that somewhat clear regarding my references to formal vs colloquial Chinese, intensity, and cost. 😀

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The Dumpling King
13 minutes ago, realmayo said:

Do you mind saying which level you started at in your first term?

 

I started at the 400 level - Talks on Chinese Culture. This is an intermediate text at ICLP and is used elsewhere in Taipei I believe. As I said in my main post, I knew most of the vocab and grammar already - big blow to my ego going from "advanced" books to an "intermediate" course. However, after self study, I really needed to consolidate and polish what I had learned. My electives were 500 level. I actually always took electives one level higher.

 

Second term was 500 level - Thought and Society. I also took a Classical Chinese course this term. My Chinese really progressed this term.

 

Third term was 600 level - Aspects of Life in Taiwan. People take different core classes at 600 level and above. I was able to begin bridging into native material this term.

 

ICLP uses the quarter system. The fourth term is the summer term.

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The Dumpling King
9 hours ago, abcdefg said:

And now, how about some tips on making dumplings?

 

Its definitely all in the flour you use! Don't think you can substitute. Thats true for everything from 饺子 to 汤圆. The filling is the "easy" part IMHO. I think the wrapper/skin/etc makes the dumpling like good bread makes a good sandwich.

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realmayo
13 hours ago, The Dumpling King said:

I started at the 400 level

 

Interesting. I spend two months in the summer there a few years ago, at the Thought and Society level. Would love to have done a full year - maybe in the future....

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Thanks for the interesting read, stuff like this is why I like this forum.

On 11/10/2020 at 1:54 AM, The Dumpling King said:

You can "stretch" your chinese by taking an elective a level up from your core class (sometimes). I do not recommend this.

16 hours ago, The Dumpling King said:

I actually always took electives one level higher.

So... not recommended but doing it anyway?

 

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abcdefg
On 11/10/2020 at 5:15 PM, The Dumpling King said:

Its definitely all in the flour you use! Don't think you can substitute.

 

Thanks! That's interesting. I realize that dumplings are not the main thrust of this thread, but if you feel inclined to expand on the topic, I and several others would be eager to read what you have to say in a separate post in the Food and Drink section of the forum. 

 

Here is a link. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/forum/11-food-and-drink/ 

 

When living in China I was always an indifferent dumpling maker, I never excelled at it. Sometimes I made my own wrappers and other times I bought them from a vendor at the nearby neighborhood wet market who made round 饺子皮 and square 馄饨皮 every morning fresh. Five Yuan would buy enough for a large batch (sold by weight.)

 

When making the wrappers from scratch, I just used All Purpose flour 多用途面粉 from the supermarket. Your comment makes me wonder if I should have been using a high-gluten flour 高筋面粉 instead, perhaps searching out flour ground from "hard" northern 东北 wheat. 

 

 

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The Dumpling King
4 hours ago, wibr said:

So... not recommended but doing it anyway?

 

Good catch! Do as I say and not as I do. I say not recommended based on my experience and feedback from classmates.

 

First term was not a problem as I was really consolidating/polishing what I already knew. However, by my third term I bit off more than I could chew and it caught up with me. I got a little burnt out keeping up with all of my classes and was happy I did not to a 4th summer term.

 

7 hours ago, realmayo said:
20 hours ago, The Dumpling King said:

I started at the 400 level

 

Interesting. I spend two months in the summer there a few years ago, at the Thought and Society level. Would love to have done a full year - maybe in the future...

 

How was your experience?

Yeah I was not happy at the time starting at the 400 level. However, by the end of the year I was satisfied with my progress and had no regrets.

 

 

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realmayo
14 hours ago, The Dumpling King said:

How was your experience?

 

At the time I was a bit disappointed because I didn't feel I got as much benefit to my spoken Chinese as I'd expected: the Thought & Society textbook was easy from a grammar/vocab point of view but I'd barely spoken any Chinese at all for the previous few years so was a bit out of my depth trying to contribute with coherent and structured sentences in the actual classes.

 

However a couple of months later I realised that, spookily, just that one summer term at ICLP had made reading Chinese easier by a huge step or two, very gratifying. And - perhaps echoing what you wrote at the top - those improvements didn't seem to really fade away much over time.

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