Why I Chose Beijing Global Village School or 地球村 (Diqiu Cun)
By William Lucas
When picking a language school in China I placed top priority on class size and flexibility of schedule. This led me to地球村, a Korean owned school in the popular student district of 五道口, where I have been studying for roughly a year now. 地球村 differs from the majority of language schools in Beijing in that it holds no university affiliation and that the classes do not follow that traditional test and grade system. Meaning that the student who chooses地球村 needs to be self motivated as the teachers will push you but there is no ultimate reward of a high grade only improvement in your own ability.
With the average class size at around 5 students the level of teacher-student interaction is unparalleled. In addition, the student body is made up from students all over the world, roughly 60% of the students coming from East Asia, so that English is rarely spoken in the classroom. All this leads to a dynamic classroom environment that allows the student to progress at very fast pace.
Class at地球村 starts at any time and exist in 90 minute periods beginning at 7 and lasting well into the night. This provides a great deal of freedom when scheduling your day and with new classes starting every week, there is almost always a class for your level at the time you want. All classes differ as to how the teacher wishes to construct their lesson; however in my experience lessons primarily follow the order of vocabulary, grammar, and then dialogue/text.
Each lesson places a stress on the ability of the student to speak and read comfortably and improving their overall spoken Chinese ability. All things aside the most important reason to choose地球村 is because it is fun. The low stress environment allows for the class to flow at its own place and the small class size provides an excellent opportunity to converse with the teacher and understand an insider’s perspective of China. 地球村 is the school for the more mature student who works at their own pace and enjoys close interaction with their teacher.