Regular Programs
Our objective at ICLP is to train students to develop an independent professional competence in the Chinese language. While there is a certain amount of flexibility and room for special emphasis on various language skills depending on individual student interests and career plans, it is assumed that all those preparing for scholarly or professional careers connected to Greater China need high levels of competence in both spoken and written Mandarin. All must be able to read the newspapers and must have ready command of the spoken language in order to function readily in Chinese society.

ICLP trains students to oral and written fluency in as short a time as possible through rigorous instruction and intensive coursework. The results are often startling. Students who come to ICLP with only a basic level of Chinese ability are often able to speak and read fluently after only one year of instruction. In order to maintain the academic atmosphere at ICLP, we only accept students who are genuinely interested in learning all aspects of modern Chinese. Students who are interested only in learning to read, or only in learning to speak Chinese, should consider other programs for these purposes.

The academic-year program consists of three quarters of ten to twelve weeks each, and an optional summer term of eight weeks*. Students are required to attend a minimum of three consecutive quarters. Each student has twenty hours of class per week. Normally, one class per day is individual, with the remaining classes being in small groups of no more than four students per class**.
* Beginning with 2015 Summer Program, the summer term will be extended to nine weeks. 

Classes are basically of two kinds,spoken language classes會話課,(hui4hua4 ke4), and  reading and discussion classes 選讀討論課, (xuan3du2 tao3lun4 ke4) . As the latter term implies, even in reading classes, the principal classroom activity is speech. Similarly, while the emphasis in 會話課 (hui4hua4 ke4) is very much on oral/aural training, all texts from which students work are written in Chinese characters. All spoken language materials, as well as most reading materials, are also available in recorded format in the language laboratory, and students are expected to make extensive use of these recorded materials in preparation for their classes.

There are several considerations that cause us to place special emphasis on spoken language instruction at ICLP, especially in the earlier stages of a student's training. The most immediate and practical of these considerations is the fact that all ICLP classes are conducted entirely in Chinese. English is not used in the classrooms. Another important reason is that real linguistic competence must be built on a solid foundation of real world experience and that good pronunciation and tones are essential to full and easy oral communication in Chinese. In addition, while most character learning and reading practice are solitary activities, practice and correction of oral skills is best conducted and supervised in the classroom.

In the fall quarter most students are assigned a majority of spoken language classes. These spoken language classes will include intensive drill on tones and other pronunciation features as well as drills aimed principally at improving control of syntactic patterns and gaining active, rather than just passive control of newly learned vocabulary. 

In the second and third quarters the balance between speaking and reading classes gradually shifts, depending on each student's progress and needs. Also, while the first quarter's class assignments are made on the basis of each student's language background and performance on placement tests taken after arrival in Taipei, in subsequent quarters, students are given increasing freedom to select the kinds of materials they want to study subject, of course, to the principle that generalized training in basic language skills (reading as well as speaking) is prerequisite to work in advanced or specialized materials.

For a more detailed listing of the class offerings and teaching materials at ICLP, please see our Curriculums Page.

Summer Program

ICLP's Summer Program consists of eight weeks of intensive Mandarin study. Students spend approximately fifteen hours per week in class. Each day students are scheduled two group classes and one individual class (please see explanation above)*.  All classes are conducted entirely in Chinese. Each student's schedule is determined by his or her level of language proficiency as measured by oral and written tests administered at ICLP prior to the beginning of the quarter. All students take a combination of spoken Chinese and reading courses. Reading classes are also used for improving spoken language ability, so that students will actively use their growing vocabularies. A language laboratory and a reference library are available to students for required outside-class preparation. Despite the short duration of the summer term, the vast majority of all students who participate in the program find that their Chinese improves dramatically.

* Beginning with 2015 Summer Program, the summer term will be extended to nine weeks.  Students spend approximately twenty hours per week in class.  Each day students will be scheduled three group classes and one individual classes

Workload and Class Scheduling

    It is important for students to realize that they are committing themselves to an intensive full-time language study program. Students are in class for twenty hours per week (fifteen in the summer quarter) and must expect to spend considerably more than that amount of time outside of class in preparation for their classes. Adequate class preparation entails extensive listening to recorded materials, as well as careful study of printed materials, character memorization, and writing exercises.

    While students are encouraged to take full advantage of the natural language learning environment that accompanies residence in Taipei, ICLP teachers expect their students to come to class prepared to participate in drill or discussion in each of the day's assignments. Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Excessive unexcused absenteeism will result in required withdrawal from ICLP without refund.

    Classes are scheduled between eight and twelve in the morning and one and four in the afternoon. Beginning with the second quarter students may express their preferences for scheduling of their classes, and these preferences will be taken into consideration. However, because of the complicated nature of scheduling a large number of students, ICLP cannot guarantee that scheduling preference will be honored.

The ICLP Class
ICLP is an intensive, total-immersion program. Our teachers will do at least the following to ensure that you get the value you expect from the program.

 1.      You will be placed in small classes of maximum 4. (Beginning with 2014-2015 Academic Year Program, group classes may accommodate 3~4 students per class. )
 2.      Punctuality is the norm both for students and for teachers.
 3.      Unexcused leaves of absence are not permitted.
 4.      Class time is used primarily for drilling, not for playing games, quizzes, or movie viewing.
 5.      Students do most of the talking.
 6.      Focused discussion rather than free talk is the ICLP tradition.
 7.      Teachers will correct you and ask you to repeat after them.
 8.      Teachers will review the vocabulary and usage of the lesson.
 9.      Teachers will not speak English unless absolutely necessary.
10.     Teachers expect you to prepare for the lessons ahead of time.
Privacy Issues
While it’s important to safeguard the privacy of individual students and teachers, ICLP is a language program par excellence and the quality of our teachers is our number-one priority. To ensure that our teachers meet the highest standards in the business, we have in the last 40 some years asked senior teachers to observe classes by junior teachers. Because the program has all but doubled its size in the last decade, we are running out of senior teachers to do this and are sometimes forced to use a recording device in lieu of a live person sitting in the class. The recorded contents will be reviewed by a senior teacher together with the Chief Instructor and the session teacher. Please note that recording a language teaching clip for peer-reviewing is common practice with a good purpose and that no commercial motif is involved. ICLP will notify both teachers and students before the recording. If you have any doubts about this policy please don’t hesitate to talk to the Director.