Mandarin Training Center

Mandarin Training Center

About

Founded in 1956 as a subsidiary of National Taiwan Normal University, Mandarin Training Center is one of the largest Chinese language schools in Taiwan with more than 1,700 students from 70 countries. MTC offers courses in all levels and many of the students have never studied Chinese before arriving. The center is located on National Taiwan Normal University's campus in central Taipei making it easy to enjoy the many amenities the city has to offer.

Website
Founded
1956
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I've done both group and 1-on-1 classes, mostly 1-on-1, and have found this language school to be of great value to me. A little bit about me: I'm an American expatriate who's also a very busy professional teacher, employed by 3 universities and 2 high schools--teaching English and Spanish--as a permanent resident of Taiwan. I've taken Mandarin lessons during my grad school career at The University of Texas at Austin, and also at a couple of other language schools here in Taipei. All of these experiences were great in their own way, and here's what I have found to be unique and wonderful about the Mandarin Training Center (MTC). Of course, if your demographics aren't like mine, mileage, of course, may vary!
First of all, the cost is always reasonable, whether you do group classes of 1-on-1 lessons. Apartments are generally not hard to find at a decent price, and the food options include MTC's own Camo Cafe (try the chicken burritos!), the National Taiwan Normal University cafeteria nearby, or a ton of eateries, at the strip mall or the wonderful night market nearby, and elsewhere.
You'll have about 8 classmates in the group lessons, and they tend to be interesting folks from all over the world. The school has a decent computer lab, a cubbyhole for you to have mail delivered to, and access to facilities at NTNU, such as the gym, the track, library, etc. Textbooks are of standard usage throughout Taiwan, so if you move, chances are you won't be buying and adjusting to entirely new books. The Lucky Bookstore, across the street, will come and sell books on campus when the term starts, or you can check the 7th floor bulletin board for possible used ones from former students. Once you have a book, you can go use it under the expert tutelage of one of MTC's amazing language profs! MTC does offer opportunities to pick and choose the time slot you need &/or to change sections. As a 1-on-1 student, my prof and I negotiate each semester's schedule and arrange for makeup lessons if work keeps me from attending on a given week.
Although I've done group classes and found them to be very good, I've mostly done 1-on-1 lessons on a no-tests, no-homework basis. This is what works for me as a busy professional who's teaching around the clock. I've been quite willing to give up a few possible paid work hours to study with my first-rate instructor. She's been able to tailor the instruction to my needs and circumstances, while still teaching what's in the standard textbook. Every month that I'm here, I find my Mandarin Chinese abilities improving and I'm getting more capable of doing what I need to do in the local language, with only minimal training. 1-on-1 is amazingly powerful, even just the 2 hours a week that I'm doing. Although I list 2017 under "Year Completed" in this review, I'm a permanent fixture at MTC, because the training is THAT good! And no, don't even ask my instructor's name--I'm not sharing! She's also THAT good (but don't worry, so are the others)!

What would you improve about this program?
I'd like to see some more efficient methods used for adult learners to learn Chinese characters other than simply copying them over and over like Chinese & Taiwanese children do. There are books on the market that explain Chinese characters and help learners understand their structures and meanings. It would be great if MTC would find a way to make use of this sort of resource (or even write their own, maybe in book or website form). Overall, though, you do get a lot of bang for the buck from MTC.

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