Seeking a Taipei based Mandarin Tutor

Here is some background on my situation. My other half is Taiwanese, and I’ve developed a pretty good ear for Mandarin and am able to reproduce tones properly and read back new words and phrases, but my problem is retaining vocabulary and building usable language skills. I’ve decided to start studying the language seriously with the longer term goal of reaching fluency especially as I can practice with my other half every day. I tried the basic level of Rosetta Stone some time ago, but found issue retaining new vocabulary given their teaching method doesn’t really involve sentence creation, so it became an issue of ‘in one ear, out the other (to make room for the next batch of words)’.

I’ve decided on a plan of action:

  1. between April and August, work through as much of the online “CLO” program as I can (or the Melnyk version - not sure which is better) to get myself revved up and ready to advance my learning.
  2. during the summer (specific date TBD), I will come back to Taipei for 2-3 weeks for intensive one-on-one tutoring - the goal of these sessions is to take my beginner level as far as possible and move my skills into position for advanced learning with a combo of skype-tutor sessions and talking with the other half

I need a tutor who is flexible and will not just follow a pre-packaged set of steps from a language school - but be able to understand my skill level, goals, weaknesses and strengths and figure out how to nudge me along and determine the best path I should take for future learning. I would probably return periodically for additional tutoring.

My schedule is going to be the challenge to work around. Since I can’t take 2-3 weeks off from work, I need to maintain an Eastern Time lifestyle while in TW, at least Mon-Fri (I am a telecommute worker, so I have some flexibility in my schedule). I would work from 9pm to 530am, sleep from 6am to around 1pm, then do the tutor sessions from about 2pm to 6pm or 3pm to 7pm before dinner, then work again. During evening downtime between meetings and paperwork, I will have time to practice, and have local friends I can practice with as well. Figure about 3-4 hr per day, 5 days a week for 2-3 weeks, so about 60 hours or so max.

I would prefer a professional teacher or tutor (not a student or someone practicing tutoring) with a few years experience, but most importantly, someone able to figure out the best teaching plan for me that would offer the most benefit - I don’t want to end up learning pre-packaged communication packets (“riding on the bus”, “going to the market”, “asking for directions”, etc), but instead continually evaluate and enhance general conversational skills - perhaps integrating the comprehensible input method.

If you’re in the Eastern US timezone, why don’t you just find a teacher in the US? There’s nothing magical about Taiwan for learning Mandarin. If you want to get fluent, I can make you conversationally proficient in a couple of months via Skype, and I’m in your time zone. If you’ve perused these forums at all, you’ll know that I teach Comprehensible Input (though why you’re looking for CI and saying that R$ failed you because you weren’t creating new sentences…? perhaps you just mean that R$ was terribly predictible, which it is, if you can figure out exactly what it means in the first place.)

I find it much easier to ‘re-tune’ my brain to Mandarin when I’m in Taiwan, and with lots of free time this summer, I’d like to be over there to get as much intensive practice as possible. I have lots of friends in Taipei I can practice with, and being around people who are actively speaking Mandarin vs being by myself in Florida during summer season is a going to be a better experience for me.

Can you PM me your pricing and program terms - after the Taiwan stay I will be looking to move forward at an enhanced pace via a skype tutor.

Not sure that will be a good match. I prefer to focus on beginners or folks who start out as beginners – people who pop into TPRS and CI after doing “traditional” teaching methods like the online stuff you mention tend to be significantly less satisfied with CI-based teaching as non-beginners, as they feel they know things that they have not acquired. “Enhanced pace” also doesn’t sound much like it will fit well with a TPRS/CI model of acquisition.