what some of my students say...
Thank you very much
to give me the possibility to stay with your family and to get taught
by you in Chinese. Concerning to the style of the lesson (without any
of English), I was able to improve my spoken Chinese as well as my
listening comprehension very much. Now, I feel comfortable to deal with
daily situations and to have a small talk. Through this, I was able to
make friendship with Chinese and so I got a deep view inside Chinese
culture. I wish you all the best for your school and your family!
|Spencer Woodman, USA
If you're serious about
learning Chinese, Lisa provides an excellent setting that combines
in-house, one-on-one language classes, with immersion into a family
where only Chinese is spoken in a part of town with virtually no
English speakers. Chinese is the sort of language that simply cannot be
learned without one-on-one classes or a degree of immersion; and this
program gave me both. Lisa was a great teacher who was never afraid to
correct my numerous grammatical and pronunciation errors, which is
pretty much exactly what I want in a Chinese teacher. Outside of class
time, there was certainly no shortage of opportunities to speak the
language. There were almost always family members present who were
willing and enjoyed speaking with me, and outside of the
apartment-complex I made numerous Chinese friends who I saw almost
Beijing is a huge city. I have some friends here, who wasted
two or more hours a day just
commuting to class. Here, that's not an issue. When I got to Beijing
two and a half months ago, though I had studied
Chinese rather hard for two years previous, my Chinese was simply
terrible. Now, it is worlds better and Lisa's program is largely to
thank for it.
If you're looking for an area with a bunch of Westerners and expatriate
bars to get hammered at every night, this isn't the place for you. If
you're actually trying to learn how to speak this difficult language, I
strongly recommend Lisa's home stay.
During summer 2007 I
lived together with Lisa and her family. Although I stood there
for one month only, my detention there was really effective -
especially my listening comprehension could be improved. In the
beginning of my language lessons, Lisa and I went to a huge
bookstore in order to buy a couple of appropriate textbooks.
Hereby Lisa arranged our language lessons according to my
individual needs. Taking place four hours a day, we by turns stood
at her place for more theoretical exercises or spent some time
outside, gaining more practically oriented experiences. One day
for example we went to see the so called 'Summer Palace'. En route
we talked a lot about general topics, improving my way of
expression as well as my listening comprehension. As we arrived at
our destination we started a simple role play simulating tour
guides. Lisa gave me an introduction into Chinese history and
sometimes translated texts from information panels. In return I
tried to tell her about information written in my German
guidebook. During my leisure time I visited interesting sights
near by, met up with some friends and spent a lot of time with my
host family. Among other things we visited the local market
purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits. Afterwards we enjoyed
preparing local dishes and eating in together (Baozi, Jiaozi, et
cetera). Later on in the afternoon I had the possibility to see a
typical Chinese kindergarten accompanied Lisa picking up her son
Haohao. Furthermore we sometimes went shopping, Lisa showed me how
to do calligraphies and I enjoyed celebrating the birthday of Zeng,
Lisa's husband. Recapitulatory I want to say that living with Lisa
and her family means not to be alone in an unknown country. No
matter what problem or question occurred I always could ask Lisa
and she dependably was able to help me out. Possibly appearing
cultural peculiarities or barriers have been managed adequately
and with a lot of understanding. Lisa and her family acted very
appreciative and interested, for example when sharing the
impressions of a long day of sightseeing with the whole family
being there listening attentive. All these experiences left a very
good and positive impression to me. Therefore in my opinion home
stay is one of the best ways of learning a foreign language and
experiencing a foreign country's culture. Finally I once again
want to say thank you very much to my Chinese host family! I
enjoyed a wonderful and really interesting time!
I gathered my first
Chinese experience about two years ago, when I spontaneously
decided to attend a Chinese crash course at my home university.
The course arouse my interest in really being able to speak this
language which apparently has no connection to German, my mother
tongue. I spent about two years with attending university classes
and self learning, eventually thinking I had made it to a
competent level. Anyway, my self confidence was high enough to
finally go to China and continue learning. From my previous
experience concerning language learning in the case of Japanese, I
already knew that only a homestay could maximize progress. That
time I realized, that my conversational ability had improved
fairly, especially compared to students which had not participated
in a homestay program. Therefore it was clear for me, that in
order to learn spoken Chinese I had to stay at a Chinese family's
In fact I found out, that five weeks
together with Lisa's family indeed had the anticipated effect.
Although I had really tried hard before at my university, I could
not speak very well at the beginning. But because of a really good
language course and shared daily life at my host family's home, I
could improve my conversational ability pretty much. My focus from
the beginning on was conversation in Chinese, therefore Lisa and I
selected a suitable textbook which she ingeniously integrated in
class as usual, although she had never seen it before.
Moreover after class it was also always possible to ask questions
about the previously learned contents, so that it was not
always easy to separate class and leisure time. Concerning the
understanding of the Chinese language and culture, Lisa's family
was of high value for me, too. Without their help, as a
foreigner I maybe would have chosen the more comfortable way to
speak English the whole day long. Put in a nutshell: I don't
hesitate to recommend Lisa's program strongly to all people who
seriously want to learn this fascinating but difficult language.
Well then, thank you
very much for the three weeks. I always enjoy being with my
Chinese family! I think you gave me more, I ever can give you back,
but one day you should visit me and Germany. I hope I can give you a
nice impression and some fun then.
Please keep on the
good work. I have learned a lot and I think that you've really found
out a very good way to make your students learn Chinese as fast as
possible. Well, I have to go now..... See you soon!
Thank you so much
for letting me be a part of your family.
When I arrived here 3 weeks ago, I couldnĄŻt speak any Chinese.
Now I can because of your great lessons that were always focused
on my problems. I got a much better feeling for structure and
grammar and sharing your familylife gave me the chance to practise
my pronunciation every day.
I am so glad that I
found a teacher who is not that strict. Your lessons were always
prepared well and you corrected my mistakes again and again but
always in that wonderful friendly way that I really liked.
It is not only this
great way of teaching me wherefor I want to thank you, itĄŻs
especially the fact that you always took care that I felt well and
like a part of your family.
Dedicated to all
students who want to learn chinese: If you are looking for a very
qualified teacher with a very open character, if you also want to
live in a lovely Chinese family and also want to taste the best
Chinese meal you ever can get, come here! I will come back-for