The Chinese Language Institute (CLI)

About

The Chinese Language Institute (CLI) is an innovative language and cultural center located in Guilin, China. Housed in its own 5-story language learning center and officially affiliated with Guangxi Normal University, CLI offers the fastest track to mandarin language proficiency through one-on-one training, constant interaction and complete immersion. With strong connections at private and public institutions throughout the country, CLI opens China to its students in countless ways. We warmly welcome you to study in China with CLI!

Website
studycli.org
Founded
2009
Headquarters

5516 Mountain Garland Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Phil
10/10

I have studied twice at CLI; first in late 2015-16 for six weeks, and then for three months in 2018. I didn’t hesitate to return.
When I got back to Brisbane in November 2018, my regular teacher was shocked (positively) at the progress I had made in that time.
The CLI teachers are engaging and interesting people and committed language teachers, and really good at what they do. One on one classes really turbocharged my learning. They allow for a mix between structured study around a textbook, and free conversation around topics that interest the individual student.
Studying Chinese in Guilin means you are surrounded by the language; you get to practise it with cafe staff, taxi drivers and CLI’s large contingent of friendly and helpful interns.
Guilin is an incredibly beautiful, comfortable and modern city.

How can this program be improved?
I gave CLI a 10 for all categories, because it is truly excellent, but that’s not the same as perfect. The two most significant improvements they could consider would be to reduce the normal schedule of class from ten (x 2 hours) per week to 8, so students have more free time for revision and practice alone.
The second would be a greater emphasis on drills, ie practising phrases when speaking and eriting, because when an English speaker studies Mandarin, we need to “rewire” our language brains through repetition as well as in conversation, etc.
But I am not a language teacher, and they may have good reasons for disagreeing with these.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Oluwasayo
10/10

The most important thing about CLI is the people. I came in at 12:00 midnight on the day I arrived, yet the intern that received me took me out to find something to eat.

The Teachers are amazing. When CLI says the Class is one on one, it is indeed one on one. The teachers are looking for your strength and your interest and teaching in an absolutely contextual manner.

Most places “talk” about being a community, CLI is a place that is actually one. People enfold you with love and generosity. Administrative staff are so responsive and approachable and the interns, oh the ever serving, ever willing, ever helpful interns!
Please if you are registering, just pay for the meal plan! Chifu’s cooking is delicious and very healthy. The discussions at the table is absolutely enlightening.
I can go on and on - extra curricular activity, group trips locally and to tourist spots, the natural beauty of Guilin, the simple safety of the environment.., I must stop here! Just go now and register! Gentle Tania will work with you for a perfect experience. I am definitely coming back!

How can this program be improved?
Know your Pinyin - at least - before you come. Don’t come as a blank slate.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Daniel
10/10

Guilin is a beautiful location, and it is very easy to make weekend trips to small villages or big cities, or to any of the local tourist attractions.

CLI itself is a great environment. There are plenty of comfortable areas to just hang out between classes, or quiet places to study. The classes are challenging but also relaxed and fun. The teachers are very easy to get along with.

The 'pengyou program' is not as advertised, though for the better. There are a bunch of interns/chinese university students who basicaly hang out in CLI common areas. They are incredibly freindly and helpful, they will almost always be enthusiastic to have a chat in chinese regardless of your level, or help you with your homework, or help you buy a sim card for your phone etc. You will probably end up getting to know some of them quite well.

The community in my experience is really supportive of people at every level. Its never too early in your mandarin studies to come. There are heaps of people who arrive with basicaly no chinese and in 2-4 weeks have learnt as much as they might have in a year at home, there are also students who have been studying for years and are already at a very high level.

I can't wait to go back :)

How can this program be improved?
The classes are 2 hours each, with a 10 minute break about half way. I think it could be better to take a 30 minute break to go for a walk or play some game, and have two 45 min lessons. I only thought of this after leaving or I would have asked my teachers if we could try this.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Angela
10/10

CLI is a welcoming, challenging, encouraging, helpful, home-like environment. You will be surrounded motivated, dedicated students, and helpful friendly interns. One-on-one class is an ideal way to learn. But of course you need to be self motivated, push yourself, and take advantage of every opportunity to communicate in Chinese. Guilin is a beautiful, safe, cheap, convenient, quiet friendly little city. Take time to explore, but the best way to take advantage of CLI is to make it as much a full-immersion experience as possible!

The teachers are professional, skilled, and very patient and flexible. If you know how you learn the best, they will work with you to develop the lessons in that way. If you are a beginner and have no idea where or how to learn Chinese, they will still tailor it to your specific needs, with reasonable but challenging expectations. I could not have asked for a better learning environment.

How can this program be improved?
All the activities and outings offered at CLI are great! However, there are students of many different levels at CLI. For more advanced students who want true immersion and more opportunities to use Chinese outside of class, perhaps offer some activities that will be only in Chinese.
Yes, I recommend this program
Radia
10/10

I absolutely loved my time at CLI. I am currently teaching English in Jinzhong, China. As a requirement for my position, I was to attend a language program over the summer to begin learning Chinese. From the moment I got to Guillin, I felt safe, supported, and ready to learn. As a first-timer in China, I was nervous about being able to navigate the city by myself, but within a week I was able to find my way around. I loved my classes, and finished one and a half books in 6 weeks. I went from not being able to say anything in Chinese to being able to hold simple conversation. I love my teachers and am really thankful that CLI's structure makes it so you can build actual bonds and even friendships with your teachers. I also loved my home stay family, although if I were to choose again I would probably stay in the CLI facilities, given that I felt I couldn't stay out late to be respectful to my host family (although I love them, and they did help my Chinese get better! Navigating the first few weeks was hard since they do not speak English, but we managed!)

My only comment is you must be self motivated to learn in this program-- a lot of what the teachers do is guide you into self-study habits and review material with you that you will also need to go over by yourself. Because it is one-on-one, you realllllly must come prepared to learn and pay full attention. That being said, I loved my teachers and do not think I could have advanced as I did without them.

How can this program be improved?
Unsure, maybe more transparency about the pengyou program. The website makes it sound like you are paired with a Chinese student, when really you can just chat and make friends with any of the CLI interns on your own, there is no official pairing.
Yes, I recommend this program

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