Part time programs for Mandarin learner please

Good to know. I need a new place to learn and I had thought about them

Pinyin is fine for me, as its what I learned and I learned it correctly with a standard Chinese pronunciation. Seeing the pinyin works better than zhuyin for me, which might technically make distinctions between “z” and “zh” and “j”, but Taiwanese dont distinguish them, so it doesn’t matter unless you’re typing. And I can type way faster than native Chinese speakers in my QWERTY keyboard.

This shouldn’t be happening in higher levels.

I mean they didn’t encourage anyone to learn to read actual Chinese characters. Every school i have been to has taught with pinyin.

Like ever, or at the beginning?

My first Chinese class, looking back and also from reading @ironlady’s own research on the matter, was probably the best intro to Chinese method you can use — intro the words in listening and speaking with pinyin as guidance for how to say them, then intro the characters once you know what the sounds associated with them mean. Cold Character Reading.

If they never intro characters then they’re just stupid. Classes cost way too much money to never be expected to learn characters in a Chinese class in Taiwan.

I feel like characters should always be presented if just even for reference to have students exposed to them. Even if in the beginning the emphasis is more on the sounds/meaning.

Lots of people have many opinions on the matter, but it would seem that @ironlady’s research would indicate that TPRS + cold character reading is more effective. Im sure there is other research out there that indicates otherwise, but I myself am glad I had to focus on speaking and listening for a few weeks before ever being distracted by the characters. Once we got into characters, my tones went right out the window.

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I have been thinking about this too. When you are an advanced learner, is it worth going to class or should I just be teaching myself more with reading? Do you continue to take classes?

I did OPI like 10 years ago for grad school and got advanced high so who knows now. I enjoy the discipline that class forces on me and don’t feel I progress much with just reading my interests or talking to the same people in my social circle.

Perhaps I didn’t explain clearly enough. Most schools I have been to have taught using pinyin and characters simultaneously. Which is what they should be doing, its useless to teach you the pinyin without the characters, Taiwanese people do not use pinyin.

I can’t remember exactly what TMI did, I just remember one student didn’t learn a single character over the course of the whole semester. Waste of time.

Remembering the characters for reading and typing is not particularly hard, plus you will need to read / type to live in Taiwan. I see no benefit in skipping it. Writing is a whole nother discussion however.

Writing isn’t too hard. Just 20 minutes a day for maybe 9 months and you’re golden. I find it super helpful in learning new words. If I see a new word in subtitles I can memorize it quickly and write it in pleco when I have the chance.

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I question the value of anything but an intensive class that you can pour your heart and soul (and time and money) into at this level. The problem with being quite advanced is that you can get away with not knowing specific words because you can describe what you mean in clear detail.

I signed up for classes using a “C1” level textbook, but I learned, after attending class for three weeks, that they spend “at least 8 class hours per lesson”. Who wants to spend over a month talking about only the vocabulary related to the death penalty x2 hour classes x5 weeks!? 無聊死。

What I think I need to do to light a fire under my butt is make a clear list of what I need to continue to improve my Chinese, find a tutor, be clear that I am not here to waste my time and money, and make it clear that I will quit if the tutor is unable to provide me with what I need. For me, that’s focus on pronunciation (what’s officially correct and not the lazy pronunciation I’ve adapted in TW), tones (point out to me when I am using the wrong ones, damnit!), and composition writing. But I think I also need to make a list of what I do not want and will not accept, which is things like asking me to read a text aloud, which is 100% never something a teacher should ever ask a student to do ever, unless the express goal is to prepare to read that text aloud (because focus turns to pronunciation and cadence and zero comprehension takes place)

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Don’t go to a language school. Get a one-on-one class from the Chinese as a foreign language department at NTU or NTNU. They employ actual teachers who use actual textbooks. These guys don’t care about how many cool new words you can use to talk about k-pop bands or celebrity gossip. They care about drilling the shit out of the textbook content. Drill, drill, drill. You suffer, but you learn.

Yep. That is my concern @nz too.
I’m starting in a few weeks at a language school and decided I’m just going to go with it and let them know my goal is to pass the TOCFL tests. I think that is the only way I will be able to keep things on track in a methodical manner. Especially if I have to change instructors or language school.

Try it. You would not believe the difference in literacy we get.

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How do I do that personally? I’m already advanced meaning I can read a newspaper so why would I want to learn only learn pinyin. How would that help advanced learners?

Perhaps it’s effective for beginners but those of us who have been studying for years?

No, it’s of no use for someone who’s already reading. I’m talking about people new to reading and to Chinese language in general. Makes an enormous difference as they advance.