Discussion » Chinese Language & Culture » Chinese school advice

  • Iain Bonner
    Iain Bonner wrote:
    Hi i'm interested in doing an intensive chinese class for a month. I know some very basic stuff but want to learn a whole lot more, and was hoping to find one that doesn't cost too much. i hear a lot of stories of so so standard schools.

    does anyone have any advice where i might find such a place in Beijing ?

    peace and clear skies
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
  • Undermoonlight
    Lots of places, such as Beijing Language and Culture University...very good and patient teacher...and good place for socializing too...
    PS: I'm definitely not advertising for the school...
  • Iain Bonner
    Iain Bonner wrote:
    Cool, thanks.

    i'll chase these things up today.
  • Marion Rolland Sjøli
    check out nextstepchina.org, i've heard from friends that it's a great program. i'm going to be at beijing language and culture all next year
  • Shane
    Shane wrote:
    Do not do language and culture by any means, its way overpriced. I used to do some marketing for Sinoland, now i still keep their add on my page because I support the school and am friends with the boss. If you got the cash, go there and do 4 hours of 1 on 1 5 days a week with a 2 hour break in the middle, you'll be amazed at the progress you will make. One on one costs a bit much, but if you do your homework every day and listen to what the teacher says, they can help you a lot. Their teacher-training regimen is far superior to most the other schools i have investigated while i was working there checking out competitors.
  • Shane
    Shane wrote:
    I state that once more:

    If you like a bunch of people talkin englsih to you all day, and being in classes where most peoples main motivation is coming to china to get laid and drink, then go to BLCU.

    If you want to really learn chinese, do a private school, I think the most reasonably priced and dependable is sinoland, but feel free to check around. I did quite a bit of investigation before.

    And another thing to note: Usually the company with the strongest marketing budget isn't spending the money in training or benefits for the students. A big name doesn't really mean shit, especially in the education field.
  • Colin Friedman
    I have studied at Frontiers and am happy to recommend them. I agree with Shane that if you want intense do one on one lessons a couple of hours in the morning, long lunch break & siesta then a couple of hours in the afternoon.
  • Erik Aleksander Aas
    I'm currently enrolled at BLCU, frankly it's the crappiest educational institution I've ever studied at. The learning environment is completely wrong for studying Chinese. Some teachers are reasonably ok but most of the staff, teachers and administrators, are a bunch of idiots.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    I don't think it really matters where you go, as long as there aren't a bunch of people trying to speak English or your native language to you there.
    Actually almost all my good friends from when I was in school at MinDa could speak English excellently as a second or third language, but we always speak Chinese together, and I think that's the main factor behind improvement.

    There were no shortage of French, Korean, American, Japanese, and Soviet students who always spoke their native languages in their own national social groups and never improved a damn bit.
  • Robbie Fried
    Robbie Fried wrote:
    I can't offer any advice for Beijing, but Guilin is definitely an amazing place to learn chinese language. I help manage a Chinese language school there, the Chinese Language Institute, and we've helped many students go from absolute beginner to reach the upper intermediate and advanced levels in under one year. Beijing is great but definitely considering relocating to Guilin to study Chinese for a month!
  • Hugo Cato
    Hugo Cato wrote:
    How about good schools (not too expansive) in Beijing that prepare for HSK in small groups or private lessons and are NOT located in wudaokou? advice anyone?
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    Why would you want to take the HSK? Just learn Chinese instead. If just like most Chinese students you focus on tests like CET6 or HSK, then what you'll learn is tests. I don't think tests are very useful in real life communication or the working environment....

  • Simen Wangberg

    "I don't think tests are very useful in real life communication or the working environment...."

    This is true - and it is not unlike the Chinese students that cram for the IELTS/TOEFL/CET/etc...

    However - having that HSK score on your resume gives you a serious edge on the competition, Chinese employers love that shit. Plus if you have a high enough score, that gives you opportunities for translation and other related occupations.

    But yeah, if you're just some regular dude that wants to learn Chinese and isn't out for some kind of resume boost, it isn't necessary to take (or pass) the HSK.

    I can recommend Frontiers as well; they do five-week intensive courses. I didn't necessarily learn a ton of new words there since I just took their beginner course, but the class did wonders for my pronunciation.

  • Hugo Cato
    Hugo Cato wrote:
    I agree with you guys! HSK would be a plus on my CV , but it can wait, and i think it can be practiced with books What i would like is is really improve on the next level, especially with writing (and to end this impression to talk like a child) Frontiers looks interesting, Mec school too http://www.mecglobal.com/mec-china-beijing/ , anyone has been there before? Actully i didn't mention my level, i'd say intermediate..
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    "However - having that HSK score on your resume gives you a serious edge on the competition, Chinese employers love that shit."

    I write on my [English] cover letter that I'm fluent in Chinese, and I speak Chinese to the interviewers. I would say that has more value, since I've never met anyone who knows what the HSK is. It's rare that I'm not offered a job, although it's also rare that they can offer my American salary level.

     

  • Simen Wangberg

    "...I've never met anyone who knows what the HSK is."

    Really? That's interesting, most of my Chinese friends are well-aware of it. Although I suppose actually speaking fluent Chinese during your interview is much more impressive than just listing a qualification on your resume.

  • Robbie Fried
    Robbie Fried wrote:

    If you're going to learn Chinese in China I definitely recommend focusing on spoken ability. The HSK could be important if you're applying to a specialized program (i.e. graduate school or a government position), but the majority of the time employers, and people in general, are most concerned with your spoken ability.

  • Krister Thonerud

    中原厚土 (Sinoland),also near 五道口 and has an incredible managment staff that keeps teachers organized, on task, and really emphasizes results.  I've recommended it to many friends and have usually been sought out by them to tell me how awesome it is.  They don't use some magic method, they are just ruthless about establishing good habits in the beginning (pronunciation, etc.) and have dedicated, knowledgable teachers who spend time preparing well for class.

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    Harmonious, are you saying I would need a certification to teach English? I thought the main requirement to be an English teacher was just not being Chinese. People would run up to me on the street when I was in China and offer me English teaching jobs.

    But I guess if you wanted an English teaching job, it would help for you to have CET 8 and a 对外汉语 degree. Or you could come to the states and we wouldn't care either. (Although if I were to run up to you on the street, it would probably be for something besides Chinese lessons...)

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    Hmm, I thought most English teachers in China only make 15000 RMB/month? Otherwise, maybe I will consider it...

    I wish I could be an English teacher and get paid to pick from a selection of my students.......

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