How to Achieve 100% Immersion
We believe in real and true immersion. That is why we created the LTL Chinese immersion program to offer a true immersion environment for students who study abroad and want to learn Mandarin quickly. It was a long and difficult process, but we got there. Let us tell you how:
First we found the perfect city to learn Mandarin in China: Chengde
Chengde (承德) is where Mandarin was codified in 1952 and people here are known to speak the most standard Mandarin in all of China. At the same time very few people outside China know the city. This might be partly because a lot of people confuse it with Chengdu (成都), which sounds similar in English but is a very different and much bigger city in Southwest China – famous mainly for being the home of the Pandas.
There are no international companies, no expat or international community in Chengde and you can stay there for years without even seeing a single other foreigner. Locals speak no English, as there is nobody to speak it with and one needs to use Mandarin to do anything here.
In Chengde you can enjoy full immersion – No English spoken anywhere
Second, we designed a course structure to free you from the temptation to speak English. All classes are taught individually and you will have no foreign class mates. Classes do not take place in one location with other students together, but are taught in your home or a tea shop close by. This ensures you won’t be going for lunch with other students or speak English during breaks.
Homestays speak no English. Shared apartments are exclusively shared with Chinese flat mates. Finally, we keep the program small to make sure we don’t flood the city with foreigners. There are usually about three and never more than ten LTL students in Chengde, which is not much in a city of half a million people.
Third, we help you to settle into Chinese culture. Before you go we will have a pre-Chengde meeting with you, where you will tell us what you like to do in your free time. We will then put you in touch with locals with similar interests. This can be anything from joining a local football team, signing in a choir or participating in a hiking group to introducing you to some of our local friends to have dinner together with (people in Chengde love to eat).
You will speak, listen, and live the language 24/7. And that is what we at LTL (Live The Language) are all about. People often ask us (and sometimes doubt) how we can get a complete beginner to HSK 6 within a year. Well, this is exactly how we do it. Real immersion works. Check out Anthea’s video about her journey with LTL from zero Chinese to HSK 6 within a year of study with us for a genuine example of fluency within a year.