Intensive Chinese Courses in Taiwan?

I’ve been studying Chinese for 7 years and I still don’t speak it very well. I passed HSK4 two years ago but since leaving China I’ve only done self-study which isn’t getting me very far. Where can I go to take classes so that I finally can speak fluently. I want in person classes.

I was going to recommend the program I attended, but I just realized it left Taiwan and moved to China years ago. :sweat_smile:

Definitely not NTNU’s MTC. They call it intensive, I call it crap.

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I’ve literally never heard a good word spoken about MTC.


It was in your article. Didn’t want people to get the wrong idea. Helping to spread the bad word to protect people.


Apparently, there’s still a Chinese language program at NTU. I guess it replaced the one I attended. No idea how good it is though.

Pretty chintzy video…students seem to be speaking at a decent level though, so I guess the new program works.

ICLP has been there for years. I looked at it way back when I moved to Taiwan. The cost turned me off, but now I realise I get what I pay for.

I paid little at MTC, I received little.

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Yeah, I’m just noticing now, ha. It was called the IUP or Stanford Center back when I went, although the current program seems to have kept the same format as the IUP, and I even noticed a couple of the texts I used in the video.

Looks great, but way too expensive.

Yeah, looks quite a bit more expensive than when I went (30 years ago!), and I seem to remember getting some kind of financial aid too.

Back in the day when Tai Da was still Cow-Ed

I listened to the video and was surprised teachers with otherwise Taiwanese accents were teaching the students erhua… 一點兒…

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No, dont worry about it. You didn’t miss out by not going to ICLP instead. I know a lot of teachers at ICLP and they all have masters in teaching Chinese from 師大. Yet they all tell me that “theres no classes” at my level. They dont know what im talking about when I mention ACTFL or CEFR standards. They dont believe me when i say that the “A Course in Contemporary Chinese” book 4 is only “a little easy for me” and that book 5 is chock full of vocabulary that I dont know. I’m “way beyond that” according to them. The teachers in that program only know what lesson they are supposed to assign on which day and show up to make sure the students prepared it when the time comes. They dont need to know about assessment of actual ability to or how to find an appropriate text for their students. They might have to explain a grammar pattern here or there, but the students who go to ICLP are expected to do their learning on their own. Thus, the teachers dont need to do any teaching or understand how to prepare to instruct in a meaningful way.

All intensive programs for Chinese, as I’ve said in other threads, are “here’s the text. You’re lucky if you understand 60% of it. Learn it all on our own. Show up tomorrow for the test where every wrong stroke, tone, or translation that doesn’t follow the textbook or our personal standards is just totally wrong. Fail too much and you’re outta here”

As ive said in other threads, intensives are you paying someone else to light a fire under your butt for you to self study. Your learning is on you. Showing up to class “unprepared” (which means you didn’t memorize the entire text and learn how to use all the grammar patterns and new vocabulary perfectly the day before) means your classmates and teachers get annoyed with you. But you dont learn anything in the classroom. You just review what you already taught yourself when you’re in the classroom. How much you learn is always on you and your own self-study habits.

I read this article: ICLP: What It’s Like Attending The “World’s Premier Chinese Language Institution” | by Laurence Hoch | Medium and nearly keeled over with laughter about the “student centered learning” claim. Yeah, the students are expected to prepare the text the day before so they can use everything in class without the notes. So what function does the teacher have other than to tell them what to prepare? Everyone was supposed to prepare all the material ahead of time, so theres nothing for the teacher to teach!!! And not using notes? I did a program like that. The words I didnt memorize the day before never got learned in class because circumlocution was my bestest friend when i didnt know the word I actually needed.

I just finished reading Terry Waltz’s “TPRS with Chinese Characteristics”. That was an eye opener for me. Im already quite familiar with TPRS and CI, but I can’t believe I subjected myself to what I subjected myself to with my own Chinese language intensive studies. Cuz there was a much better way!


This is pretty much how it was back when it was the IUP. A blunt instrument, yes, but it took me from low intermediate to pretty close to fluent in three semesters, so I’m not complaining. I’m sure I did at the time though.

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They do it at my school too. Every single instance of 一點 (in the text book etc becomes 一點兒.
Drives me up the wall. Everyone knows its not used in taiwan, taiwanese do not appreciate er hua and seem to hate it when foreigners use it but they insist to use it to teach us chinese.

Well, their mission is training future Sinologists, so it kind of makes sense.

Well erhua in words like 一點兒 is only common only in northern China and it’s not used in the most formal CCTV “Winnie the Pooh visits a honey pot factory” type putonghua news emissions. So if the goal is to teach standard putonghua, there’s still no need to teach erhua. And presumably the teachers don’t speak standard putonghua at all, they’re still using standard Taiwanese guoyu tones (fa4 guo2 and not putonghua fa3guo2 etc etc) but just throwing in erhua

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You’ve never been to a cocktail party of Sinologists? The erhuayuns are thick enough to cut with a knife!

When I was there, I had several teachers from China who spoke with perfect Northern accents. They may be retired by now though.

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Believe it or not I’ve never been to a sinologist cocktail party — I mustn’t be cool enough to get an invite :frowning: I’d love to 聊天兒 about obscure pre-modern Chinese texts in a safe, erhuayin-friendly environment. Living in Taiwan I’ve had to hide my erhuayin, hide the real me. I still say 串兒 though, because 串 doesn’t sound anywhere near as tasty


As someone who lived in Dongbei for 3 years, I’m very pro-兒.

Careful…that could get you shivved in a Taiwanese prison. :slightly_smiling_face: