Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn't addressed here or elsewhere on our website, please get in touch.
What Curriculum do you use?
Unless decided in advance, our teachers will use your first lesson to determine your ability and expectations. From this they can help you choose the textbook series that will work best for you.
Who are your teachers?
Our teachers are all experienced Chinese teachers, who are able to adjust their teaching style to most effectively meet the students’ needs. The majority of our teachers have a degree in teaching Chinese to foreigners. Click here for more info about our teachers
Can you provide a visa?
1on1Mandarin can provide 6 month Student visas (X2) to full time students who apply from abroad. Click here for more information on price and terms & conditions. Students who plan to study part-time should get their visa from their university or work.
What happens if I miss a class?
Each student has a limited number of classes that can re- scheduled. Classes cancelled with less than 24hours no- tice however cannot be re-scheduled.
Why do your classes vary in price?
We reward the students who buy the most classes from us with the best prices. In addition, then we provide special offers to balance demand. We want to keep our class rooms full and our teachers teaching. For instance, recently our 8-10am classes are low-peak, so we give a special price for students who are early risers. It is a win for the student, and a win for us.
Can I use class time to do practical things like buy a SIM card / open a bank account?
Yes. If your teacher agrees you can arrange to make your class really practical by first learning the required vocabulary and sentence structures to complete a certain task and then go with your teacher to work out completing the task in a real life situation.
Can your teachers help students prepare for the HSK?
We want our students to succeed in whatever language goals they set for themselves. For those who want to take the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi – a standardized test for measuring your Chinese ability), our teachers are able to support you by helping work through the appropriate curriculum to attain that goal.
How long does it take your students to pass the HSK?
For most of our students their main goal is to achieve fluency in speaking in preparation for pursuing work and friendships within China. However, to give you an approximate time frame for HSK, previous students have passed HSK 4 after 18months of class (at 6 hours of class per week), and other students have passed HSK 5 after 26 months of class (at 10 hours of class per week). A few of our students have attained HSK 6 in this same period of time.
Is there an entrance exam?
There is no entrance exam. Our teachers can teach from any level from complete beginner or advanced-high. For those who have already studied Chinese, we may ask them to complete a short test (30mins) so that the teacher can begin at the correct level from day 1.
Are there mid-term exams, etc?
For some students, exams can provide helpful motivation, for others they are stressful and unhelpful. Our desire is to provide for our students the scenario that is most helpful. If that is never sitting an exam, then that is fine. If sitting through an exam motivational, then our teachers can incorporate regular exams.
Do you teach children?
The 1on1 teaching method does work for children. We do have experience teaching children and have found that children learn best when learning with their friends and having fun. We have also had success teaching families with young children.
Do I have to do homework?
If there is no time to do homework – that is ok. However, the fastest way to progress is be properly prepared for class, to allow time after class to review what you have learned during class, and to practice new words and grammar in real life settings.
Do your teachers use English in class?
Our policy is for our teachers to do all their teaching in Chinese, as we believe this is the best way for our students to learn more quickly. If you really get stuck you can ask "How do I say that in Chinese?" (用中文怎么说？), but, for the benefit of our students, we try to use as little English as possible in class.
Do I need to be able to speak English?
English not being your first language should not necessarily be a barrier to learning Chinese. The textbooks we use generally give their vocabulary lists in Chinese and English, but with adequate preparation this should not present a problem. Some of our curriculum is also available in other languages.
If you are a complete beginner, and your spoken English is a little weak, then you may want to bring a friend to help you register for class, but after that your classes can be just in Chinese, with no need to use English.