I had lived in Taichung for more than two years when I became a student at the Chinese Language Center at National Taichung University of Education. When it became clear that Taiwan would become my long-term home, I knew I wanted to learn to speak Chinese. It has entailed a few sacrifices, but I see it as an investment in my long-term success and happiness in my adopted home.
I work as a professional English teacher, so I know the work it takes to learn a new language. I realised that self study was not working for me. So, after living in Taiwan for almost two years, I cut back on my work schedule and committed to at least a year of Chinese classes.
I am currently halfway through my second semester at the Chinese Language Center, and I am very satisfied with the instruction I’m receiving, and I feel very lucky to have found such skilled and knowledgeable teachers.
My program is 3 hours of morning classes, 5 days a week. It is intensive but manageable. The main instruction focuses on vocabulary and grammar, with a good mix of listening, reading and speaking. My teachers are very good at explaining terms and concepts in ways that help them stick. They make good use of the textbook while adding their own handouts and materials. I also feel like I get quite a lot of cultural information from the class.
All of my instructors have been very good at teaching to my level, and I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in 6 months. They are patient enough to repeat things many times, answer our many questions, but they also know how to keep the classes constantly challenging. They are good at making practice activities fun, interesting and useful, and I always get helpful feedback. They also make sure to teach us things that help us in our daily lives.
I’m thoroughly enjoying my small, daily successes: ordering food, going food shopping, and talking with my Taiwanese friends and in-laws in their own language. These things have been real sources of satisfaction for me, and they make me look forward to coming to class.
March 30, 2022