Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec
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I took Mandarin from about Gr 8 all the way to OAC with the then North York School Board continuing education division. By the end of it all, I probably could read at a Gr 3 level, judging from what my Taiwanese friends could help me assess.
My parents never gripped about it being expensive. They knew there were other places (Mon Sheong for one) that were more costly, but perhaps the quality was better. They chose the NYSB offerings because of the convenient location and that there were many cultural activities under one roof. My parents would do Tai Chi while we were in class in the morning, and the afternoon was filled with martial arts for my brothers and chinese brush painting in the afternoon. Some of the same instructors even taught chinese summer school.
Sorry if this is not much help. The only other thing I would add (don't know if this has changed since I finished in 1990) is that it is for students where at least one parent is a native speaker. I was in awe that a non-Chinese student once tried to enroll, but the teachers were hesitant to take her on, since the courses are not designed for non-native speakers.
Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.