I've already been studying at Shi-Da for a week now. My class has had a few students come and go. There are now five students: two Koreans, one Japanese, one Czech and an Australian.
During the first few days of class I thought about changing to a different level. However, I came to the conclusion that I should stay in the class as I was still learning a lot of new vocabulary and grammar.
I have already read the textbook (Newspaper Readings II; 新聞選讀第二本) before. In my one-on-one class I read about three or four articles from the book per lesson. In the class at Shi-Da it takes about two lessons or more to go through just one article. Before I just read for general understanding, but at Shi-Da the teacher goes through all the vocabulary and the important sentence patterns. He also gives a lot of supplementary vocabulary and associated characters. While it is probably not so good for practicing reading per se, I can still learn a lot of new language.
Yesterday we had the first dictation test (聽寫). This was the part of the course I was least looking forward to. I haven't really spent much time practicing writing although I put in a few extra hours in the days prior to the test. I didn't do it perfectly but my result was much better than I expected. I will practice writing more although I often feel it is not really so important in this era of computers. Also the amount of time you need to spend to be able to write well could be much better invested in other forms of study, particularly more extensive reading.