Anyone have an opinion about ICLP at Taida?

Has anyone heard any good/bad things or had any experience with ICLP at Taida? I’m thinking of going there in the future.

Here’s a link to another thread that had some comments about it. … ight=taida

Dunno if anyone’s still reading this thread, but…

I studied at the Stanford Center, back when it was the Stanford Center (7 years ago or so). I think my experience is still relevant – the staff haven’t changed much, just the name.

It’s a very good program – as others have noted, it’s very intensive. However, for what I wanted (Classical and Literary Chinese), it wasn’t that good. The pedagogy was very much in the standard Chinese mode – “Ignore that character, it doesn’t mean anything,” “Classical Chinese had no grammar,” etc. I think you might need to actually enroll in NTU’s Chinese program for a strong Classical program.

But for modern Mandarin, they were quite good. Not nearly as student-centered as some of the English schools around, but then, that’s Chinese pedagogy for you. Teachers well-versed in a variety of subjects, good at clarifying Taiwanese Mandarin vs. Beijing Mandarin, all able to use Hanyu Pinyin and MPS, thoroughly competent in English (though they don’t let it show in class), etc.

It also depends a lot on your level. If you’re at the level where you can learn by, for example, watching TV and chatting with people in the office, you may not need intensive study. If you haven’t learned the core principles of Mandarin yet, though, a classroom environment can be very, very helpful.

And it depends on your purposes – if, like me, you wanted to be able to sight-read Classical and Literary texts, they won’t be able to help much. If you want to learn Mandarin composition, they’ll help lots. If you want to learn to dispute social issues in Mandarin, they’ll help tons.

Finally, the biggest consideration is money. The ICLP (sp?) (sorry, I still think of it as the Stanford Center) is gui debudeliao, so think long and hard before you invest in it.

And maybe ask them – I’m sure they’d be willing to help you with questions you’ve got.

If you’re interested in studying literary Chinese but aren’t ready for a graduate program in Taiwan yet, there is one very good teacher who I have studied with at NTNU. As far as I know, he’s the only really qualified classical Chinese teacher there. His name is Tang Jiuchong, he’s about 60 years old, and originally from Beijing. He’s been teaching “High School Chinese” (the same text books used by high school students here, and composed mostly of classical texts), as well as “Shi Ji” (Sima Qian’s “Historical Records”). I think next semester he will be teaching “Han Shu” (Records of the Han Dynasty). He emphasizes grammar a lot, so if you’re tired of hearing “forget about that character, it doesn’t mean anything”, he won’t do that to you.