Happy Lunar New Year from the USC US-China Institute!
International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University
ICLP trains students to oral and written fluency in as short a time as possible through rigorous instruction and intensive coursework. The results are often startling. Students who come to ICLP with only a basic level of Chinese ability are often able to speak and read fluently after only one year of instruction. In order to maintain the academic atmosphere at ICLP, we only accept students who are genuinely interested in learning all aspects of modern Chinese. Students who are interested only in learning to read, or only in learning to speak Chinese, should not come to ICLP for instruction.
The Academic-year Program:
The academic-year program consists of three quarters of ten to twelve weeks each, and an optional summer term of eight weeks. Students are required to attend a minimum of three consecutive quarters. Each student has twenty hours of class per week. Normally, one class per day is individual, with the remaining classes being in small groups of no more than four students per class.
Classes are basically of two kinds,spoken language classes, and reading and discussion classes. As the latter term implies, even in reading classes, the principal classroom activity is speech. Similarly, while the emphasis in spoken language classes is very much on oral/aural training, all texts from which students work are written in Chinese characters.
There are several considerations that cause us to place special emphasis on spoken language instruction at ICLP, especially in the earlier stages of a student's training. The most immediate and practical of these considerations is the fact that all ICLP classes are conducted entirely in Chinese. English is not used in the classrooms. Another important reason is that real linguistic competence must be built on a solid foundation of real world experience and that good pronunciation and tones are essential to full and easy oral communication in Chinese. In addition, while most character learning and reading practice are solitary activities, practice and correction of oral skills is best conducted and supervised in the classroom.
ICLP's Summer Program consists of 8 weeks of intensive Mandarin study. Students spend approximately fifteen hours per week in class. Each day students are scheduled two group classes and one individual class (please see explanation above). All classes are conducted entirely in Chinese. Each student's schedule is determined by his or her level of language proficiency as measured by oral and written tests administered at ICLP prior to the beginning of the quarter. All students take a combination of spoken Chinese and reading courses. Reading classes are also used for improving spoken language ability, so that students will actively use their growing vocabularies. A language laboratory and a reference library are available to students for required outside-class preparation. Despite the short duration of the summer term, the vast majority of all students who participate in the program find that their Chinese improves dramatically.
More information is available at:
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