Review of Keats Language School, Kunming China

I spent three weeks at the Keats School starting mid August of 2011 with four hours per day of one-on-one instruction.

Classes and Language Instruction. The school makes a real effort to give students what they want. Lessons were tailored to what I asked for – instruction given only in Mandarin, focus on the useful topics I needed for travel in China (especially food), and focus on conversational Chinese. We practiced role play scenarios and worked on related vocabulary. My instructor had great patience and was an excellent listener, both very important qualities in a language teacher.

For more details on classroom activities see the following posts.

Keats Language School, First Impressions

First Day of Language Class

Language Lessons Continue

End of the First Week

Second Week of Classes

Third Week of Classes – Review, Review and more Review

Accommodations. Dorm rooms are in central Kunming in the same high-rise as the classrooms in. Small but comfortable with adequate storage for a short stay. My only complaint was that I had reserved the homestay option which “disappeared” upon my arrival. Click here for the full story.

Meal Plan. I did not eat at the school,opting instead to practice Chinese in the many neighborhood restaurants. Prices are reasonable and you can easily spend less on food than with the school’s meal plan. The drawback of not eating at the school is that it makes it more difficult to meet other students. With one-on-one classes and few school activities there is little other opportunity.

Learning Chinese. Although this was my first language immersion program in China, I had studied Chinese before and had a working vocabulary upon arrival. I highly recommend studying Chinese before you start such a program. Going into a language school cold, especially for a short period of time, can be overwhelming, making it difficult to progress quickly. Having some vocabulary and language structure under your belt makes the transition much easier.  You can start using Chinese to communicate much more quickly which is the key to effective language learning. Once you start thinking of the target language, Chinese, as a means of communication and not just something you are learning academically, you will greatly increase your ability to use the target language in the real world.

Questions or Comments. Drop me a line.

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4 Responses to Review of Keats Language School, Kunming China

  1. delphine says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this review! I’m going to Keats in October and am at ease 🙂

    • baidanbi says:

      Hi Delphine, Thank you for the kind comment. It’s always nice to hear that someone has found my posts useful. Have a great time and let me know how it goes.

  2. PaulPeeves says:

    Great review! I’m currently looking at studying at either Huayang Academy ( ) or Keats in Kunming. Any ideas about Huayang?

    • baidanbi says:

      Hi Paul, Thank you for the comment. Unfortunately I don’t know anything about Huayang. If you are looking for practical language practice, i.e., communicative teaching rather than just grammar drills, I highly suggest some amount if private instruction. I find that even though schools say they focus on speaking skills they typically resort to grammar drills in the classroom. With private instruction you have greater opportunity to control the teaching/learning methods. Good luck to you. I’d love to hear about your experience when you finish your course.

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