I have always been very interested in Chinese culture and language, and I had been planning to learn Mandarin Chinese for a while, though I kept postponing it because I heard that it is a hard language and I was a bit intimidated. It was not until late last year that I told myself that I needed to make a decision, so learning Chinese became my new year resolution for 2016. On the next day I started shopping online for Chinese language schools in town, and after quite a few inquiry phone calls and a couple visits, I decided to choose Mandarin House, which I realized later was a great decision.
So I started as a total beginner in January, and I have taken both intensive and part-time classes and by now I have almost finished Level 3 and will move on to Level 4 soon. Mandarin House has its own textbooks developed by its R&D department, and I found the textbooks very systematic, practical, and learner-friendly. They cover a wide array of topics, from simple ones like ordering food, buying clothes, taking subway, sending mail, opening bank account, etc., all the way to more advanced topics related to Chinese culture, economic development, environmental protection, and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, I’m also deeply impressed by all my instructors, who may have various teaching approaches and characteristics, but all are very patient, enthusiastic, and experienced. Moreover, the three instructors I had, aside from being native speakers of Chinese, all have either a master’s degree or a PhD in linguistics or Chinese language study, so they were able to explain the grammar clearly and logically, which made it much easier for me to grasp the grammar. The class size here is also very small, usually just around 3 people, so each of us had plenty of opportunity to participate in class, and the instructors also kept encouraging us to talk as much as possible. We often practiced dialogues in class simulating real-life scenario, so our classroom was full of laughers and merriment. In addition, we also have quite a lot of practice on listening comprehension and reading comprehension, so I think that my speaking, listening, and reading skills are so far quite balanced. My character writing is still weak, but that’s because I have been primarily focusing on the other three aspects. That being said, actually I have recently started to practice typing Chinese characters on my cell phone (using an awesome app called WeChat) at my instructor’s suggestion, which I found not as difficult as I thought.
So all in all, after months’ study at Mandarin House, I feel increasingly confident in my Chinese language skills, and I am going to continue my lesson here until I become an advanced speaker. Actually, now looking back, I cannot believe that I have improved so much in such a short time! Therefore, I highly recommend all those who aspire to learn Chinese, especially with long-term goals, to try Mandarin House, because if you want to be committed to learning a language, you should learn from the best!