CLI: Mastering the Chinese Language
Xu Yunhua| Chinese Language

Over the years, Chinese, as a language has been gaining much popularity due to the exponential growth of the Chinese market all over the world. Appropriate guidance and nurturing is required when it comes to learning a complex language like Chinese. While there are many institutes that offer various programs, most of them face shortcomings in the visualization of reaching out to students from around the world.

To break the barriers of this underlying problem, CLI was founded by brothers, Robert and Bradford Fried, with a vision of providing the best coaching for learning Chinese. With a combined experience of 20 years in China, they created an educational model that provides students a unique path to learning Chinese and understanding the PRC through a high degree of customization and complete immersion within the language learning environment.

The CLI Centre is the headquarters for the best experience in China. Their dedicated team has spent countless hours developing a community-based environment that is perfectly conducive to rapid language acquisition in the classroom as well as the outer world. “The CLI Center is your gateway to the boundless wonders, mysteries, and opportunities of China,” says Sunny, the Head of Teaching Staff.

The success of CLI is due to the dedication of the team of Chinese educators that share their passion of the Chinese language and culture with students from around the world each and every day. It is CLI’s utmost priority that their students get the best learning experience and begin their journey to the path of Chinese language fluency.

3 Points for Learning Chinese Language at CLI

CLI provides various programs with the ultimate aim of making students fluent in Chinese and eligible to work with any Chinese firm. These programs are designed such that Students attend 20 weekly hours of one-on-one Chinese lessons with three different teachers—10 hours comprehensive, 6 hours speaking/listening, 4 hours reading/writing.

CLI provides students from all walks of life a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn Chinese in China and explore the country through meaningful and focused immersion. CLI delivers highly effective intensive Mandarin and College Study Abroad program options. Students can choose programs that fit their desired learning goals best:

  • One-on-One Intensive Chinese

One-on-one instruction and complete immersion within a safe, friendly environment are among the most direct paths to learning Chinese. Rather than vying for the teachers’ attention, the student can become the only focus through their one-on-one lessons with three unique CLI  teachers. These teachers will guide and advance the individual to validate their  Chinese language skills by full dedication.

CLI was founded on the principle that traditional large classroom instruction slows down learning speed because students get few opportunities to ask questions and actually speak Chinese. CLI’s one-on-one instruction solves this problem by maximizing the amount of time each student has to ask questions and utilize new Chinese words and concepts learned each day. It also allows our instructors to tailor class content and teaching style to each individual student’s needs.

With 20 weekly hours of one-on-one Mandarin instruction, daily learning-based extra-curricular activities, a variety of housing options, and travel excursions to remote parts of China, CLI’s Immersion Program is carefully designed to maximize retention and learning speed, allowing students to rapidly improve their language level in as little time as possible.

  • Three Unique Instructors

CLI provides each Immersion Program student with three unique Mandarin instructors. The 20-hour program will be designed according to the individual’s learning needs. Each teacher will have a specific role while one teacher focusing primarily on reading and writing, another on listening and speaking, and the third comprehensive teacher will tie all of these components together with in-depth lessons and review.

  • Official Affiliate to GXNU

A noteworthy detail about CLI is that it is affiliated to one of southern China’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, the Guangxi Normal University (GXNU). Being founded in 1932, GXNU has a student population above 25,000 who are into a vast range of academic disciplines. CLI builds on the high-caliber international program already in place at GXNU, providing CLI students with a quality university experience that has been supplemented and enhanced by CLI’s team of educators to maximize learning.

Proactive Leadership

Xu Yunhua (许云花) also known as Sunny, is the Head of Teaching Staff. Originally from the Province of Henan and holds a BA in Linguistics from Guangxi Normal University. She began her journey with CLI Team from 2010 and since then she has been leading CLI to reach great heights.

After a few years of working as a full-time Chinese teacher at CLI, she was promoted as the Head of Teaching Staff and now leads CLI’s academic department and curriculum development and teacher training programs.

Her favorite Chinese idiom is “因材施教” which literally translates to “Teaching in accordance with their aptitude.” Sunny strives to bring practicality into Chinese language learning as well as maintaining the immersive qualities of the CLI student experience.

Highly Proficient Learning Space

Focusing on providing the best Chinese learning experience, CLI has four key techniques to make this happen.

    1. Deep Local Integration:

CLI believes that to have a good command over a language, it is important to interact with the locals. CLI’s international and local teams ave built a deep relationship with various people and organizations from all parts of Guilin and China. Through its extensive network and personalized assistance, students and visiting faculty have opportunities to explore every aspect of Chinese society.

For instance, the CLI team has direct connections with various professors in every department of GXNU, grade school principals, hotel managers, factory directors,  government officials, restaurant owners, photography studio owners, prominent tourism agencies, the Guilin Tourism Bureau, the Guilin Urban Planning Bureau, the Guilin Central Broadcast TV station, orphanages and other charity establishments, outdoor adventure companies, real estate professionals, local Daoist and Buddhist leaders, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, yoga instructors, Qigong masters, calligraphy experts, and more.

    1. Fluency through Traditional and Modern combination

CLI’s Immersion Program is structured in a way that provides the best direction for being fluent in Chinese. Furthermore, CLI helps students reach Chinese fluency through a carefully balanced and tested system of interaction, experience, immersion, guidance, and instruction.

    1. Founded & Operated by International Experts

The CLI founders are from the US and therefore have a deep understanding of western culture. After years of living in China, they have gained an equally deep understanding of Chinese culture and use their knowledge to break down the barriers faced by new students and visitor in China. As an organization founded by westerners, CLI understands western perspectives, expectations, and standards.

    1. More than Personalized Service

“We know studying abroad is no simple task, so we provide more than just personalized   service – we simplify and streamline the entire study abroad process for you every step of  the way, even after you’ve already arrived and through to the day you get on the plane to fly home. From pre-departure planning to deep immersion in China, CLI’s number one priority is ensuring personalized care and attention wherever and whenever you need it. We put forth an incredible amount of energy and expertise to deliver the most highly personalized education abroad experience there is.” Sunny expresses.

An Aesthetically Rich Backdrop

The CLI Center is situated in Guilin which is a city renowned for its beauty. Being both a countryside and a city, Guilin also maintains China’s rich traditional culture. It is easy to navigate around the city and with a comparatively smaller population you have every opportunity to interact with the friendly locals.

People have been visiting this Chinese city for over a thousand years, specifically for its astonishing beauty and spicy cuisine. Arriving in this dreamland gives a feel of traveling into the traditional Chinese ink painting of the mesmerizing mountain landscape. When Bradford first arrived at Guilin, he instantly fell in love with the beauty of the city. After a few years, Robert came to Guilin and had an equally profound impression. This is when they chose Guilin as the founding step for CLI.

Stairways to the Future

Since its inception, CLI has hosted hundreds of students from over 45 countries and several of the world’s top universities, including Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Columbia, and many more. CLI has been featured in The Washington Post, the China Daily, and educational journals across the country, and now occupies its own 5-story learning center in the beautiful southern city of Guilin. In 2012, Frommer’s travel guide recommended CLI as one of the top Chinese programs in China. CLI is looking forward to spreading itself to various parts of the world.

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