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Napoleon Bonaparte once said: “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.” Over 200 years later, we're really beginning to see just how powerful and influential China can really be. What about in Glasgow? Can China's influence be felt as far away as here?
Where can you find Chinese lessons?
While there are plenty of different Chinese languages, the two most common are Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. Here we're only talking about Mandarin Chinese, the most common of the Chinese languages.
There are a number of different places offering Chinese language lessons for both adults and children. School isn’t the only place to improve your language skills. There are language schools and centres as well as night classes for adults. These are great for those who can’t make their way to China and immerse themselves in the language. Similarly, universities offer degrees in Chinese and night classes for students and those not attending the university full time. The three main places to get a degree are the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the University of Strathclyde.
Chinese modules are usually included as part of a degree, rather than a degree dedicated to Chinese. You’ll need to consider doing Chinese studies or a similar course if you want to learn how to speak Chinese as part of a degree. That said, you can also do language degrees and choose Chinese as one of your languages.
You’re not even obliged to get a degree. There’s nothing stopping you from just learning Chinese on its own outside of a degree programme. You can attend Chinese courses at universities without being enrolled on a degree programme.
In fact, the University of Glasgow is a member of the Confucius Institute, a partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education's Office for Chinese Language. As a result, the university offers Chinese language courses.
These courses last eight weeks with the courses starting in January, April, and September. There are two beginners courses, three intermediate courses, two upper intermediate courses, and advanced classes.
Additionally, there are intensive classes over the summer. Your course fee will include the cost of the textbooks, too.
You can also learn how to speak Chinese outside of the national curriculum. This is a great option for those who've already completed their schooling and couldn't possibly see themselves going back to school or university.
While Chinese classes inside China are arguably the best way to learn Mandarin, you can also attend language courses in Glasgow rather than Beijing or Shanghai. When do you want to learn to speak Chinese? It’s up to you. How long do you want to learn for? It’s up to you. What do you want to learn? Same again.
You can get lessons on grammar, Chinese vocabulary, speaking, Chinese characters, the Pinyin romanisation system, or lessons related to your own line of work.
There are a number of groups and associations where you can also learn how to speak Mandarin Chinese.
Live Language offers English language courses as well as a huge variety of foreign language courses including Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Arabic, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Ukranian, and Hungarian.
The language hub offers language lessons from native speakers of the language they teach. As a result, you'll get Chinese lessons from native speakers of Mandarin.
In addition to Mandarin, the Language Hub also offers Arabic, Dutch, Danish, English, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Welsh.
The UK Language Project offers private language courses for those wanting to learn English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, or Mandarin.
They also have locations in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Newcastle.
Their Mandarin courses allow you to choose when and how often you learn the language. Each lesson is either 90 minutes or two hours and they'll teach the lessons anywhere in Glasgow.
When it comes to learning a new language, especially Chinese, it's important to know which learning methods are most effective both in terms of time and money.
Are the exercises we're doing really going to help us to learn to speak Chinese? Is it a better idea to start with the Chinese writing system or everyday expressions? How do you pronounce this phrase? In short, how do you learn? Getting a private tutor is a great way to get the answers to all these important questions. With a tailored teaching approach, a private tutor will they know exactly what you need.
In Glasgow, there's no lack of Chinese private tutors offering lessons to those living in and around the city.
It's up to you to choose the right person for your learning style to help you achieve your learning goals. You should always read what their other students have to say about them and their teaching style.
On Superprof, you can find plenty of great tutors. In Glasgow, the average price for an hour of Chinese tuition is £19. Additionally, a lot of tutors offer the first hour of tuition for free, so make the most of it.
In short, if you want to learn Chinese, you can't make it up as you go along, you need to think carefully about which learning methods will work for you. Mosalingua, a language learning platform, classifies Mandarin as one of the most complicated languages to study followed by an Arabic and Russian.
Whether you choose evening classes, intensive classes, private tutorials, or small group classes at a school or university, there are plenty of different ways to learn Chinese. Of course, the ideal solution for a school pupil won't be the same as for a business owner, for example. There are plenty of different reasons for learning Chinese as well.
For those who want to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and are learning Chinese for fun, groups, associations, and conversation classes are great ways for them to learn the language. For those looking to further their career with the Chinese language, professional language schools or specialised private tutors are probably their best bets.
You really need to carefully choose your Chinese tutor in order to get the most out them. Make sure that you get along, that they specialise in the type of tuition you need, and that they're available when you need and want Chinese tutorials.
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