Going from group classes to 1-on-1 ... equivalent times?

As you might have seen in that writing thread, I’m also getting pretty fed up of all the homework and character writing and would much rather just focus on speaking, listening and reading.

I appreciate that doing everything would of course be a more “all round” choice, however, the writing is really taking the enjoyment out of my learning so I’m looking at other options, one of which would be to switch to TLI (I’m at NTU now) and go with a private one on one session.

At present I’m doing the M-F 3 hours a day regime at NTU, but I’m wondering how much 1 on 1 time would be equal to that?

If I was to do M, W, F all at 2 hours each is that a pretty good amount of time? Or ideally should I be doing the whole M-F? (I dont want to do more than 2 hours a day as I feel that seems to be the “can properly concentrate” cut off point)

If you’re a beginner, you may find 2 hours straight to be quite a lot in a 1-on-1 situation. But what “full time” is only really applies if you need a student visa. Usually for a school, “full-time” study as a 1-on-1 student will involve fewer hours than if you were in a group. If you need a school visa, you’ll have to maintain full-time hours. If you have nothing else going on, you might want to split the 2 hours a day, though if you’re working or doing other things that could get time-consuming.

I don’t know the “functional” equivalence of group to 1-on-1 hours – that would depend on how much time and attention you got in the old group, and how good your new 1-on-1 teacher is. Do not expect the methodology to be significantly different just because it is a 1-on-1 class, though you may be able to avoid the characters (make sure this is understood before you commit to expensive 1-on-1 classes!) I can say that my 1-on-1s tend to move ahead faster than group classes do because it is easier to confirm comprehension for a single student, and easier to tailor the content to that student’s goals and interests, both of which tend to make things “stick” better. However, group classes tend to get more “extra” vocabulary as there is more scope for elaborating on what we’re talking about, and the “extra” items tend to stick better as they get more repetitions than they would with a single student as there are more people to bounce them off of.

Thanks Ironlady - you make a good point about the 2 hours straight bit, I didn’t think of that - I guess I could book it with a 30min break in the middle.

I was originally going for the ARC, but to be honest, my attendance is so bad I doubt I would get it anyway, so I’ve given up on that idea now - I also like the idea of 2 days of freedom with which I can use to get on with my work and any other tasks I need to do.

What I was thinking was - I would take the NTU books to a place like TLI - and tell them I want to be taught from them, but just ignore all the writing aspect. I would like to still learn how to read, so I can do all the reading tasks in the book - plus have stuff to read for homework … just none of the laborious copy copy copy to revise them. This way, if in the future I realise it was a mistake, I could rejoin NTU at the next semester :slight_smile:

Ugh. No kidding.
I feel like I’ve run a marathon at the end of my 1.5hr tutoring session.

@monokuro: If your attendance is very poor, you will not be able to keep your visa anyway (I believe).
Also, TLI may make you use their textbooks, especially at a lower level.

Hmm, that’s certainly food for thought :slight_smile: I suppose that’s partly as there is only so much stuff you can go over before you need to keep repeating?

Do you feel a break in the middle would help?

As for the visa, I’m on a tourist one anyway - been the same way for the last 4 years :slight_smile: I thought this would finally be the time I switched … but it seems not!

Well, basically your choices are to go to another language center (TLI being one of the most cooperative in Taipei) and ask for speaking/listening and reading only, using standard materials, or jump ship entirely and go to another approach, in which case I am guilty of shameless self-promotion because as far as I am now aware, I’m the only game in town for CI-based Mandarin. Although I’m not actually in town – it’s over Skype if you’re in Taiwan.

Ha - so I went today to NTU to cancel the course - they said the deadline for doing so was yesterday, so I couldn’t have my money back.

Spoke to my teacher, who has said as long as I can follow the text books and be able to do the reading work, she has no problem with me skipping the writing (so homework, tests etc) - and as long as I can keep up with the other students, then I can stay in the class :slight_smile:

This has cheered me up somewhat, as I do like it there - just didn’t like the stress of needing to do all the writing revision.