EDC for Cantonese lessons

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  1. #1

    EDC for Cantonese lessons

    Hi,

    I'm considering taking Cantonese lessons at EDC which is based in Methodist house, Wan Chai. The teaching approach seems quite good to me, based on lots of conversational practice and focus on pronunciation but without a trial lesson its hard to know. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with them?

    I've also heard that the CUHK courses are good and have also been considering applying for the April intake. Similar question as above - how do you rate them? I find it hard to know which level I should go in at as I have done some self study and am not a complete beginner so worry that I may be going over old ground on the level 1 course but find the level 2 too challenging. I have not managed to get much helpful advice from the staff on this so would appreciate hearing from someone who has tried the courses.

    Thanks,
    Fiona


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    368
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona in HK:
    Hi,

    I'm considering taking Cantonese lessons at EDC which is based in Methodist house, Wan Chai. The teaching approach seems quite good to me, based on lots of conversational practice and focus on pronunciation but without a trial lesson its hard to know. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with them?

    I've also heard that the CUHK courses are good and have also been considering applying for the April intake. Similar question as above - how do you rate them? I find it hard to know which level I should go in at as I have done some self study and am not a complete beginner so worry that I may be going over old ground on the level 1 course but find the level 2 too challenging. I have not managed to get much helpful advice from the staff on this so would appreciate hearing from someone who has tried the courses.

    Thanks,
    Fiona
    For CUHK you can take a placement test to determine which course you can jump to: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Mandarin (Putonghua) and Cantonese - Placement Test
    You can opt for the placement test in the application form.

    I go to part time Mandarin classes in CUHK in Tsimshatsui but I guess the teaching method is the same for Cantonese. Our teacher basically speaks only Chinese during class. They will only speak English if it looks like everybody has no clue what they're saying. The tests are also written in Chinese. You can pass the course without being able to write Chinese characters (pinyin will get you half points) but if you can't read common characters it will be difficult (especially if you skip the basic class). You can also opt out of the tests and they just give you a certificate of attendance but I think you'll just be wasting your time if you don't push yourself to study.
    Last edited by ewankho; 11-02-2012 at 01:26 AM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2003
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    I do the full time Mandarin course at CUHK and am very happy so far. I finished the 1st semester late last year and just started with the second - so far I am able to read and write about 500 characters and hold basic conversations.
    Talking to the students in the Cantonese section I got the impression that the courses there are done slightly different. You can opt for speaking only, or - if you are at an advanced level already - focus more on reading and writing. As ewanko said, they do a placement test to see which level is suitable for you. Feel free to pm me if you have questions - do search CUHK's website for course details and curriculum, I found it to be quite informative.


  4. #4

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    Mar 2012
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    Fiona did you end up signing for Canto classes with EDC? I went there to enquire not sure whether to sign up...there seems like a few options.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LWF:
    Fiona did you end up signing for Canto classes with EDC? I went there to enquire not sure whether to sign up...there seems like a few options.
    Quote Originally Posted by LWF:
    Fiona did you end up signing for Canto classes with EDC? I went there to enquire not sure whether to sign up...there seems like a few options.
    Hi,
    Firstly thanks to those who gave advice about the placement test for the CUHK courses.

    I did enroll with EDC but am also continuing my application to CUHK.

    I find EDC are reasonably good value for what you get. I think the teaching methods are better than a class I tried at the HKLLC so would recommend EDC above them. EDC make you take 4 hours private tuition at a good rate before you begin group lessons, which worked well for me as it helped me polish some basics and they pushed me well to get my pronunciation up to scratch.

    However after these I started to group sessions and was told I would enter at the intermediate level based in how I had done during the foundation sessions. However it's quite clear that they don't have enough students to really run different level classes so the groups are mixed ability which means it's hit and miss if the level suits you. I find that there is not enough opportunity for free student lead speech during the classes.

    The group lessons are a different topic for each 2 hour session you attend and because students begin the group whenever they finish the foundation course it means the grammar that goes with each topic may not necessarily give you a progressive learning experience. I have found most things I've learnt so far to be useful and relevant though.

    The classes start with vocabulary drilling, then sentences and then reading aloud short conversations. The grammar or language points are introduced during this section and then there are some exercises at the end.

    For a number of my group lessons I have been the only student and have therefore sometimes had one to one tuition which is great but then this week they cancelled my regular class. They told me it was because the teacher was sick and they couldn't provide a back up but offered me the sessions at a time that suited me instead.

    I would also say that you may be able to negotiate over pricing and schedule for whichever course you choose.

    Hope this helps, if there is anything elseyou want to know I can try to help. Good luck!

  6. #6

    Have you look for some chinese websites ? I know some of the language centre offer Cantonese courses but the website is written in Chinese........ It seems that you all are reali hard to get into a class......


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    I went to a trial class at Priority in Central. The organizer was a little pushy and wanted me to sign up for a package BEFORE the trial class even started. During the break she came back and wanted me to pay her cash for 20 hour package or at least a $200 deposit. I was talking about class times with the tutor and when we mentioned this to the organizer after the class ended, she got very angry at the both of us and warned that all scheduling must go through her. I was very put off by this and think I may just go to Dymocks and try a CD course on my own (thank god I didn't pay her any $ yet). It seems all the schools just want your $$ without caring much about your learning. That said I know of one person who was happy with this school....


  8. #8

    If you are looking for self study listening tapes I would highly recommend Pimsleur. They have a number of different language but the do have Cantonese.

    You do 30 mins every day and there are 30 lessons. All you do is listen to the audio and repeat where they prompt you to. There is no text book involved but it has been much more effective for me than any text book!

    The teaching principles it follows is that it gets you to learn the way a child would learn a new language, gradually introducing sentence structure and grammar just by learning simple sentences and then building the complexity. It also reminds you of words and phrases you have learned at intervals which will get them into your long term memory.

    Also I found that when I followed the tapes and heard myself repeating the words I could tell if I was pronouncing them properly or not, which makes the whole intonation issue much easier to deal with.

    By using this I have really learned a lot of basics and got a really good foundation in Cantonese making building upon this much easier during face to face lessons with teachers which I have subsequently been to.

    I bought CDs off amazon but I think you can download them now (maybe even for free), its worth a google. Please give it a go, I seriously think its worth it!


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona in HK:
    If you are looking for self study listening tapes I would highly recommend Pimsleur. They have a number of different language but the do have Cantonese.

    I bought CDs off amazon but I think you can download them now (maybe even for free), its worth a google. Please give it a go, I seriously think its worth it!
    Fiona, just to be sure I understand: Pimsleur does offer Cantonese?

    I've used their lessons for Russian and they are the best self-learning language tool I've found yet. Much better than Rosetta Stone!

  10. #10

    Hi Sopranoag

    yeah, I can find it on amazon uk : Chinese Cantonese , Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Cantonese Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs: Amazon.co.uk: Pimsleur: Books

    or amazon usa:
    Amazon.com: Pimsleur Chinese (Cantonese) (9780743500173): Pimsleur: Books

    Quite expensive but as you know its worth it. Be careful as there are some advertised that are much cheaper but it may only be the first 10 lessons. For the full 30 lessons I think it is the "comprehensive" version. May be worth looking on ebay I guess. Or if you google some things that look like downloads come up but not sure if they're the real deal or not. Also HK library has a lot of Cantonese audio materials in the languages centre in there, not sure if they have Pimsleur though and you can only use the materials in the library, don't think you can take them away.

    Would be interested to hear about your experience of Rossetta stone as I had been wondering if they were any good or not, do they have Cantonese, if so is it only beginner or do they have intermediate levels?