good chinese language schools in beijing?
in 3 weeks ill be going to china.. to visit my friend who lives in beijing. as she has 2 more weeks of school (while im there.. im staying 11 weeks.. for travelling and quality time:D) she suggested i could take a short time course.. for 2 weeks... i think it might be a good idea .. also to help me with chinesepod since im having difficulties to actually get the phrases right /(im actually not sure how im supposed to use cp. i ve developed a language learning system based on grammar instead of.. speaking/listening since i had ancient greek and latin in school.)
anyways so i am kind of looking for a school in beijing.. my friend knows someone who's taking classes in mandarinhouse which is supposed to be good.. but i was just wondering if you know any other schools you could recommend?
thanks for your help :D
lisa_tJune 08, 2009, 07:53 PM
unfortunately, I don't yet have any first hand experience, but I am planning to go to Beijing in September and I have done some reasearch. I am booking the travel trough a swiss agency, and they also suggest mandarinhouse. So this is probably where I will go.
I would be also interested in other user's recommendations :)
uauinaOctober 23, 2009, 03:29 AM
i chose blcu because i was really late signing up.. (i think i signed up the day befor classes started) and the would take me plus my friend is going there... plus: i tried to get in at blcu because it is a university that has been working with foreingers forever and i think they have a pretty good reputation for their language course. and since they print loads of languagelearning material...
i also checked some schools like mandarin house.. but they all appeard to be more expensive... there is one in wudaokou that is supposed to be good and not very expensive... but i forgot its name.. will ask my friend..
i d rather study chinese in beijing than in shenzhen/guangzhou(<3) (unless of course you wanna study cantonese..) because beijing s packed with endless beautiful spots and sights...
uauinaJune 11, 2009, 02:31 PM
uhm @ candidate..
my friend's been going to this school for 3 months now.. and she's been learning at a high level.... compared to my other friend who took a universitycourse.. (and its not about the ability of learning chinese.. they have the same foundation (from a chinesecourse in highschool)) plus i think the second one is more talented :D
anyways doesnt matter.. i just dont think the school can be that bad.. just because the woman is divorced etc.
anyways im gonna check with my friend about summer courses at university...
uauinaJune 22, 2009, 04:49 PM
i checked with my friend and she signed me up for privat lessons (3h a day i think) with her hsk teacher (who is supposed to be a really good teacher (says my friend))... and it only costs .. 52rmb for 1.5h... well ill c... if your interested in smth like that .. ill keep you posted :P if not: i hope you will find a good school!!(mandarinhouse cant b that bad..)
pretzellogicJune 23, 2009, 03:40 AM
Hi, I'm here in Beijing now, and I'm thinking of also taking language courses. I've talked to a few people, and it appears most of the Beijingers have or made the time to go to a formal university program to study. I don't have any feedback on Mandarinhouse, but that doesn't mean its not good. I think in my conversations with other foreigners here and in Lanzhou over the years is that the biggest impact on your learning will be how much time you put into it. I've noticed that most of the people (me included) that aren't really good at mandarin only put about 200 or so hours into the study. 200 hours is maybe about a 5 week course (8 hours per day * 5 days/week * 5 weeks). The foreigners here that are good mandarin speakers seem to have all put at least a full year studying mandarin full-time. So i'm realizing that it may not matter a lot where you go, Mandarinhouse or a university. what might matter more is how long you think you plan to study.
I've been studying with cpod on/off for a year, but i'd say i'd only have about 200 hours under my belt. I can get myself around Beijing without too much problem, but can't have a nuanced business conversation. If you plan to come to Beijing with the idea that you're just here this year, and might not come back, then certainly mandarinhouse sounds cheaper than a university. just some thoughts.
jeff_nihaoJune 23, 2009, 10:51 AM
I attended CLE for two weeks in Beijing. I wouldn't recommend the school. If I did it again I'd go with a private teacher. With a private teacher you can work off course material of your choice. Most private schools use the university work books, but some use others.
candidateJune 09, 2009, 01:22 PM
Most students go to Mandarinhouse to study because the marketing of Mandarinhouse is quite good.Mandarinhouse has lots of agency corporations（tuition devision）.Anyhow,most of the teachers working there are without teaching certificates.You can imagine how can a professional teacher be satisfied only with a 28-40rmb/h no matter 1-on-1 class or 1-on group class.While you students pay at least 180rmb for 1-on-1 class,or 90rmb for group class.
My foreign friends,if you really want to study Mandarin,pls go to the real universities.Don't be tricked by flashy but not substantial advertisement.The boss of Mandarinhouse divorced with her Chinese husband and married a canadian to get immediately a canadian passport to easily travel around the world to push her business.Mandarinhouse is just a money making machine for the woman not a good place to study.
pretzellogicOctober 21, 2009, 01:59 AM
Hi lisatiyamiyu, good feedback. It would be interesting to know how you felt you did when you went outside the classroom into the city, and tried using the mandarin you learned. What was that like? Also, in your 3 weeks at mh, what language topics did you cover?
uauinaOctober 21, 2009, 01:18 PM
hey pretzellogic, are you still in beijing? (you said something in your post june22) when i started this discussion i thought id stay in china until september.. but china kept me.. im living in beijing at the moment attending a language program at blcu (beijing language and culture university).
about the program i am doing: it is a 12 weeks program (there is intensive and normal (either 6 or 4 hours a day)) Im taking the 6 hours cours.. and i think its pretty good. I think we are supposed to walk out there knowing at least 800 words. The thing i like about the cours is that we actually have to learn how to write the hanzi .. we have speaking listening and general.. gramarish classes... and are moving pretty fast. its hard work but i think its quite rewarding. after travelling through china without knowing any chinese but still trying to catch some things.. this is really good because i can actually feel how i am progressing now. I know some small talk now haha. well and the final exam is in 6 weeks so still loads of stuff to learn... will write a better feedback thingy then.
pretzellogicOctober 21, 2009, 05:46 PM
catrina/uauina - thanks for that feedback. btw, yes i'm in Beijing. i'd be interested to hear about why you selected BLCU. I can do small conversations too, but it never feels like enough. And of course, you know CPOD's capabilities.
syd5707October 21, 2009, 06:06 PM
Not certainly wants Beijing/actually in the Chinese many city study Chinese is also the good for instance China's Shenzhen! Guangdong here is also good! Hong Kong there is very probably also good!
Dragon good world!
lisa_tOctober 22, 2009, 04:04 PM
speaking to beijingers, I feel it depends very much how much they are used to speaking to foreigners. When I was shopping or going to restaurants in chaoyang and asked about stuff I wanted to buy or different dishes, the staff almost always understood what I meant, and I also understood them. But talking to the mother of my host family, who speaks no english at all and never speaks to foreigners, in the beginning we did not understand each other at all. In the third week it was much better, though.
I took an intensive course at mh wich consists of 6 hours lessons a day. in the morning we followed the book, which had one grammar part in every lesson, and than it was mainly practising the grammar with little dialogues. in the afternook we learned hanzi and practised listening comprehension.
the level I was was called elementary 2 and the grammar stuff we covered was mostly how to use some structures correctly like shi .. de or de shihou, or how to explain the location of things relative to other things or and so on. we also learned the names of all the rooms in a flat, all kinds of furniture, body parts, and little everyday situations like how to exchange money at a bank or how it works when you have to go to the hospital.
hope that was helpful,
pretzellogicOctober 22, 2009, 04:47 PM
yeah, that was helpful, thanks. I'm personally somewhat tentative around Beijingers when I speak, but i'm starting more to push myself out of my comfort zone. For example, talking with the staff at a health club I go to, or at a coffeeshop. It helps that much of the time, my mandarin goes toe-to-toe with their english. It's funny, there's this Chinese woman at the 798 art zone who lived in England for 9 years, and she speaks english with a British accent. I consistently lose to her in the english/mandarin fight.
lisa_tOctober 20, 2009, 09:53 AM
just wanted to give an update about mandarinhouse, I was there for 3 weeks, and I liked the classes and I learned a lot. I have no comparison to university courses of course, but I think the classes at mh where really good.