Chinese learning options abroad

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Chinese learning options abroad

Postby Icon » 16 Apr 2012, 11:27

After reading this:
One problem is that the people in these programs (faculty and students) are True Believers in Chinese culture. In their world view, a foreigner is simply incapable of penetrating the ineffable mystery of it all. This is evidenced most clearly when he has the temerity to ask questions. Another problem is that most of the pre-modern faculty in literature or history are actually philologists, not historians or literary scholars that you would find teaching those subjects in North America.

Feiren

I realized that that deep insatisfaction I have with my learning Chinese here in Taiwan is shared, not just a product of the bad experiences I had while studying at MTC. I am quite jealous of the skills my fellow coworkers who have studies abroad -they did a couple of Chinese courses in say, Germany- as compared to mine and even some other people who studied for longer time/further levels here. Really peeved, as expectations go.

It has ocurred to me that maybe my Western mind needs something different. I have developed a physical aversion for the same old recycled books -if I see one more Taiwan Today or whatever reading old stuff I'll be sick- and if any instructor ever tells me again it is not necessary for me to know/learn something because "I won't use it/I can't understand it because I am not Chinese", I'll grow violent.

So, since all the institutes here follow the same bible-like texts, let's think out of The Island. What options are there? I'd rather sit 3 months abroad and make some progress as opposed of this downgradded slopped I'm slipping on. Heck, I'd even risk China if they let me in. Eventually, I'd like to go to Monterrey and get any piece of paper from there, but I need to improve my Chinese language skills. Suggestions?
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Re: Chinese learning options abroad

Postby Adam_CLO » 16 Apr 2012, 11:43

Icon wrote:I am quite jealous of the skills my fellow coworkers who have studies abroad -they did a couple of Chinese courses in say, Germany- as compared to mine and even some other people who studied for longer time/further levels here. Really peeved, as expectations go.

What books and tools are they using there? If they are having better success with those, maybe you should use the same tools they are using?
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Re: Chinese learning options abroad

Postby Icon » 16 Apr 2012, 13:49

Adam_CLO wrote:
Icon wrote:I am quite jealous of the skills my fellow coworkers who have studies abroad -they did a couple of Chinese courses in say, Germany- as compared to mine and even some other people who studied for longer time/further levels here. Really peeved, as expectations go.

What books and tools are they using there? If they are having better success with those, maybe you should use the same tools they are using?


Well, they wer enot using the same old stuff we have here, that's for sure. I'd still like to attend class...
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Re: Chinese learning options abroad

Postby Adam_CLO » 16 Apr 2012, 15:27

Icon wrote:Well, they wer enot using the same old stuff we have here, that's for sure. I'd still like to attend class...

So is the problem the books or the teaching methods? Maybe if you were to do the same class there, you'd find it was more of the same?
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Re: Chinese learning options abroad

Postby Icon » 16 Apr 2012, 15:32

Adam_CLO wrote:
Icon wrote:Well, they wer enot using the same old stuff we have here, that's for sure. I'd still like to attend class...

So is the problem the books or the teaching methods? Maybe if you were to do the same class there, you'd find it was more of the same?


Both. They all use the same antiquated texts, which I detest. And suffer from endemic, let's call them, methodological problems. So, going to a class here, knowing what awaits me, would be like chewing on glass...

I cannot do the same class here as there is no class using different books/methods. So it cannot be more of the same here. Outside, they must be doing something right, as people speak/read better.
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Re: Chinese learning options abroad

Postby ironlady » 16 Apr 2012, 20:40

No, I'd guess that outside the total number of people (compared to the total population of non-Chinese speakers) who study Chinese is far smaller, so the 'successes' stand out more. I have not heard of Chinese programs that do things substantially differently outside of China/Taiwan, though there tends to be more appropriate pacing and less mix of abilities in classes than you find in a language school class with Japanese/Korean students together with other nationalities.

About 4% of people in the world will learn a language if you lock them into a phone booth with a rabid mink and a copy of an ALM textbook from the 1960s. They are just wired that way. (Most of them become language teachers, or rather most language teachers come from their ranks, which perpetuates the myth that everyone "should" be able to learn that way.)
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