I was hoping someone could give me some insight on the Mandarin study program at Ming Chuan University in Taipei. I would like to go there next year as a full time student. What are the classes like? Are they more writing based or do they focus on speaking? Also what is the average age of the students studying there? Just in general does this school have a good reputation when it comes to teaching Mandarin? Thanks for any comments.
I have been a Mandarin student at Ming Chuan University (MCU), at the Jihe Rd Taipei campus, since March 2008.
My overall experience has been very good. I have generally had one-on-one classes, which are relatively cheap at NT$350 per hour. I also joined the group classes for culture classes and outings to make sure I satisfied the scholarship requirements.
“What are the classes like?”
Small classes, around eight students.
“Are they more writing based or do they focus on speaking?”
My experience was with younger teachers. They were flexible and asked the students what they wanted. For example, BoPoMoFo or Hanyu Pinyin, lots of writing or more speaking focus.
There was a strong use of technology in my classes. For me this made the classes much more interesting. I can type very well in Chinese… my writing is very poor. But that is what I wanted.
“Also what is the average age of the students studying there?”
It varies a lot 17 to 50, very international too. The groups I studied with had Thai, Korean, Russian, Japanese, German, Czech, Slovenian, English, Australian etc.
“Just in general does this school have a good reputation when it comes to teaching Mandarin?”
My experience with universities around the world is that the ones with “good reputations” are very inflexible. Newer universities, on the other hand, are willing to change and adapt. Learning a language comes down to the student’s personal effort. My personal experience with MCU teachers has been excellent.
I have not heard any good things about the university dormitories.
You may find more useful info on my blog: http://mandarinscholarship.com/
Well that is not the only key. Maybe learning writing and grammar some teachers can help but if one is interested in actually speaking Mandarin, I don’t think there is much any teacher can do except give you the basic tools to get started. The rest depends on how much you actually use Mandarin outside the classroom. People who actually try to watch Taiwanese TV or Chinese movies probably learn faster too.
I studied at TLI for one year and now I am at 師大. I have heard people who have studied at Shida for one or two years. Some of them don’t speak Mandarin that well. Of course part of the reason is those people spend most of their time outside of class talking to their friends from their own country. To really speak Mandarin you need to find ways to actually use Mandarin outside of class. Let’s say that in a 100 minute 師大 class, every student speaks an equal 16 minutes. Do you think that speaking 16 minutes a day is enough to speak Mandarin well?
I’m also considering MingChuan University for Spring Sem 2009 (march to june).
Anybody who studied in Mingchuan? Or anybody who can answer my question?
Are you guaranteed a slot in the dormitories? or are the slots limited?
i am also interested in the dormitory housing. is it guaranteed?
and if anyone knows, what is the difference between the campuses, aside from the price? do you still have an opportunity to meet students at the other campuses?