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Introduction

classroom photo

The unique feature of IUP is that students are provided with highly individualized instruction. The teacher to student ratio is currently 1:2 and course assignments include at least one daily private tutorial, and several small group classes. Each student is given individual attention to language skill areas that need improvement and their progress is closely monitored over their entire course of study. Such individualized instruction has consistently shown positive results over the nearly 40 year history of the program.

As students advance during the course of the program, they will have increasingly greater flexibility to choose more specialized materials to assist them in achieving their personal language learning goals. Initial course work however, is designed to provide all students with the tools for building a solid and broad foundation in speaking, listening and reading. While there is a certain amount of flexibility in the program, to allow for special emphasis on various language skills relevant to individual students' interests and career plans, it is assumed that all students need high levels of competence in speaking, listening and reading to meet their academic and professional goals. Those preparing for scholarly or professional careers must be able to speak Chinese fluently with Chinese scholars and professionals as well as to read the materials pertinent to their research interests. Those planning careers in diplomacy or international business, where it is often assumed that the spoken language is of prime importance, must also be able to read ordinary modern language materials fluently, if not classical language materials. Students must be able to read newspapers and must have a ready command of the spoken language in order to move about easily in Chinese society.

In order to help students cultivate the habit of using Chinese as much as possible, the Program maintains a total Chinese environment. Students are expected to speak only Chinese within the Program's premises at all times. Since the Program insists on maintaining this language environment, student progress reports will reflect the level of commitment to this policy.