New Class – Taiwan Today


This week I started my sixth semester at the Mandarin Training Center at National Taiwan Normal University [師大國語教學中心]. I originally planned for the previous semester to be my last semester because I was really getting burned out from going to class everyday. However, towards the conclusion of the previous semester I was approached by a few of my old classmates about forming a class with a teacher I had before. I decided to join the class because I didn’t think I would accomplish anything special except perhaps sleep an extra two hours everyday if I wasn’t taking classes.


Our textbook Taiwan Today [今日台灣] is published by Tunghai University’s Chinese Language Center [東海大學華語中心] and has fourteen chapters. The textbook published for Japanese speakers is slightly less expensive because it only has twelve chapters. We found out that the two extra chapters added to the English edition haven’t been added to the Japanese edition yet.

The most striking difference between this book and the previous book series I used [Practical Audio-Visual Chinese 1 and 2 (實用視聽華語)] is that the articles which open each chapter are written in both Simplified Chinese [left] and Traditional Chinese [right]. The book itself is largely a review of PAVC Book 2 with some new vocabulary and grammar points. There are also grammar and other short written exercises at the end of each chapter. Unlike the PAVC-series, there is no workbook.

Each chapter covers a different topic ranging from: Visiting A Night Market, Religious and Folk Beliefs, Taiwan Community and Language, Economy in Taiwan, and others.

The textbook gives teachers a lot of freedom to design instruction as they see fit [there is no standardized final exam for the Taiwan Today class]. Our class structure like previous classes involves learning the new vocabulary and practicing the new grammar structures, reading the articles, discussing the the articles’ topics in class, and writing our own articles using the topic of the particular chapter.

The teacher I have now encourages a lot of class discussions, student interactions, and supplements each chapter with extra vocabulary. I am certainly glad I decided to continue for another semester.


We made name tags during the first day of class before introducing each other, the drawing to the side of my name is supposed to resemble Taiwan.

11 thoughts on “New Class – Taiwan Today

  1. Mark [Forman] – You’re right, I used a green dry-erase marker but it ended up a little bluish.

    Mark [Wilbur]- I don’t think I would have been able to jump into this class without PAVC Books 1 and 2 [上 and 下] under my belt.

    David – I know what you mean, the instructor really determines how the class is. I have been lucky, I have had four different instructors so far and all but the one I had during the first semester turned out great.

    Scott – The Lucky Bookstore next to Shida [129-1 Hoping E Rd, Sec 1
    (02) 2392-7111] sells all the textbooks that the MTC uses.

  2. Hi there!

    My name is Grace and I am currently residing in Indonesia. I am planning to attend ShiDa’s MTC this march.
    I am just wondering about the course load in Shida. I was previously of thinking of going to FengChia because they actually offer 16 hours of class/ week instead of the just 10hrs/ week that Shida offer.
    HOwever, since i’ve never been in a language school before, I am just wondering how heavy that would be..

    How many hours you take per week now? and you’re on your 6th term.. meaning you’ve been there for 1 1/2 years? HOw’s it so far?..

    Sorry, for bombarding you with this many questions.. I guess, I just wanna know what I am getting into before actually attend MTC myself.. eheh Sorta trying to prepare my mental.

    Anyways, thank you.. and have a great day!


  3. Hello Grace,
    I am in 10 hour a week program which means I am in class 2 hours a day. The school also offers a 15 hour a week program. A lot of people when they start out have to do about 1.5-3 hours of studying a day, it all depends on the individual, some people will need more, others less… You’ll find out pretty quickly what works best for you. I guess everything has been going good for me because all but my first instructor have been absolutely spectacular teachers.

    The government plans to change the rules so that students have to spend 15 hours a week in class at all university-affiliated Chinese language programs. I do not know when this change will take place and if it will be 15 hours in an actual classroom, or 10 hours in a classroom plus time in a library or lab where your extra hours are logged. I have asked instructors about this and they don’t know either. Right now you are supposed to log 2 hours a week in the library or lab (if your visa-status hinges on attending school).

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

  4. hi, when do we receive the admission letter by post. Its been 1.5 months that i have submitted the documents but no reply yet. So what should i do in this case?

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