The Mandarin Specialist in London

Call us  020 3637 2335 to find out!

Welcome to Practical Mandarin

Practical Mandarin is a London-based Mandarin Language Centre where we provide professional Chinese language and culture training courses custom designed for professionals and companies.

Our regular group courses run in small dynamic classes.With intensive training from the tutors, our students are prone to speak Mandarin with great pronunciation and good confidence. We focus on the practical use of the language, and social culture awareness in our class, to fit in the ultimate purpose of “speak a new language in real life”.

Our corporate bespoke program embeds communicating language skills and inter cultural training, we help companies to train the staff to acquire excellent basic Mandarin speaking skills, and to achieve in-depth insights into the Chinese culture and mindset, we infuse the staff with interest and enthusiasm in the Chinese society and market.

Our private tutoring can be face to face or online one-to-one. For students relocating to China, or visiting China for work or travel, we train students in real life context, to help them build up the language they need to ease into a Mandarin speaking environment.

Why Choose Us?

Our regular group courses run in small group from 4 to 8 ppl, unlike University big classes. We focus on the progress of each student extensively throughout the lesson. Our tutors are able to give enough time to each student for their correct pronunciation, to homework and questions.
We design each course progress schedule before the term starts, by setting out achieving goals, we are committed to drive the class learning towards hitting the milestone. Our courses are mostly designed in lined with HSK level. Simply, we make promise to train Complete beginners to HSK Level 1 in two terms, to HSK Level 2 in another two terms. No kidding!

During our lessons, our teachers incorporate a lot of interactive media and up-to-date social / cultural affairs for discussion. Students never just read from the books, they speak, they laugh, they do presentations.

Outside of class, our teachers send learning material via email and upload lesson vocabularies, sentences and characters onto an mobile app. Students can do review on the go. Our homework assignments are one of the most interesting things in class too. For example, students bring a family photo to introduce their family, or they write a story of their travel journey. We learn the language in real life.

Our students come from different background in life, and different professions at work. With their common interest in Mandarin language and Chinese cultures, most of the time, they hit it off. There are moments of hilarious jokes in class, and talks of each other’s interesting experience that together make the enjoyable memory of our lessons.

Come & Join Us!

Students Review our School as

Practical & Informative 90
Fun & Interesting 95
Great Teachers 95
Friendly Small Group Class 90

Our Academic Team & Teachers

Vivien Mo

Founder & Director

First of all, having been doing part-time Chinese teaching for many years, I know how most of my students learn this completely new language to them. There is a clear gap in the market where students are looking for practical, interesting, relatable Mandarin lessons to learn to speak this language, at the same time, clear training instructions to progress milestone by milestone.

In all of our courses, we combine the learning of the language logics, practice of communication skills and vibrant social and business culture from China in each lesson. Each level we use different training methods most suitably to upgrade your language skills. We don’t just do lectures, we don’t want to bore you, we want you to learn actively, have confidence of speaking Chinese and even reading some Chinese characters.

“Education is what others do to you, learning is what you do to yourself.”

I strongly believe continuous learning empowers people. No matter it’s learning to play the piano, learning to take great photos, learning to cook a new recipe, or taking the challenge to learn a new language and culture. Learning enriches our lives, improves our skills and abilities, and enhances our experience with other people.

Michelle Wu

Learning Manager

I have always had a passion for literature and languages. I am originally from Taiwan and I have a British academic background including an honour degree in Comparative Literature from Kings College, London, and a Master’s degree in Translation Studies and Interpreting from Surrey University. I completed my PhD in the Translation of Taiwanese Literature in 2015, so I am finally a doctor, albeit one of Philosophy!

I appreciate that many students find the prospect of studying Mandarin Chinese daunting. However, I am convinced that with the right teaching methods, Mandarin Chinese can be rendered accessible to all. I consider myself privileged to enjoy a familiarity with both English and Mandarin Chinese; To share this with others is my vocation.

Student/teacher interaction offers an excellent opportunity to motivate students. While learning should be a challenging and stimulating experience, I also want the atmosphere in my classes to be light and include a place for the wonderful British sense of humour!

My aim is to provide an un-intimidating environment where everyone can and will speak Chinese!

Zhang Yang

Academic Manager

I have been studying linguistics since my undergraduate degree, and now I am carrying out fascinating research on socio-cultural linguistics for my PhD study on language and identity.  With interests and background in pragmatics, I care more about real-life language use and contextual implications. I want to teach the version of Mandarin that Chinese people actually use in their daily life.

Here, in Practical Mandarin, I create original content and engaging interactive activities to cater to students’ needs, depending on their level and purpose. I am also truly interested in digital ways of learning Mandarin.

Teaching for me is a cooperative and collaborative process that students and I can both enjoy and have inspirations from. 

Marcus Lam

Course Coordinator

Since my childhood, I always wanted to be a teacher. My dream turned into reality when I grew up. I was a primary school teacher in Hong Kong for 5 years and was awarded the honour of “The Star Teacher” in my school. Through my years of teaching, I had accumulated an arsenal of great teaching skills and techniques. My lessons are focused and concise and I have experience teaching Chinese learners of all levels and ages. My teaching style is relaxed yet active, you can’t fail but learn Chinese in my class. I will make sure every student walk out of the class speaking Chinese!

I can speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese and Teochew dialect as well as basic Korean. I always feel language is not just a method of communication, but also a heritage. Therefore, as a Chinese person, I have responsibilities to share Mandarin language to the world. I see myself not only as a teacher, but also an ambassador and representative of the Chinese language.

Yujie Zhang

Frontier Mandarin Teacher

Born in Chengdu in China, I originally studied E-Commerce at University. However, after graduation, I realised my real passion does not lie in retail, but in teaching! Therefore, I pursued a “Senior Chinese Teaching Language course” at Sichuan Normal University. I passed the course in flying colours, and I am now putting what I learned into practical use. I am currently teaching Chinese language GCSE in secondary schools in the UK. My teaching method is both innovative and stimulating, and seeing my students’ progress give me the highest satisfaction.

My love for teaching stem from the fact that I am a creative person, and I love utilising creative methods in my classes. I use both Chinese music and cuisine to stimulate my students’ appetite for Chinese culture. There is never a dull moment in my class, it will reach all your senses!

Jennifer Wang

Frontier Mandarin Teacher

My Chinese teaching career kicked off from when I was studying Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics as my Master degree in China, I took on board some international students and delivered weekly Mandarin lessons to them. Now having done part-time Chinese teaching for almost 8 years both in China and in the UK, I understand the difficulties Chinese learners face and always aimed to make my lessons interesting, and close to life for students to have a learning journey that is much more practical and easy to digest.

Seeing my students progress and finally achieve their goals gives me deep sense of satisfaction. Being able to speak a foreign language comes only with practice, patience and persistence.

As a language learner myself, I can speak fluent  English and basic Japanese. That’s why I could put myself in students’ shoes and teach in a rather effective manner. By studying a Master’s in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, l know more about how languages work systematically, which also helps me teach my students more effectively.

I love reading Chinese literature and practising calligraphy and I feel so proud of my native Chinese traditional culture. I can’t wait to show you the beauty of it and that starts from the language.

Yingbing Yu

Frontier Mandarin Teacher

I am fluent in three languages: Mandarin, English and Russian. Learning and teaching languages have always been my passion. My BA degree was the Russian language and literature. After my degree, I decided to pursue my passion for Education. I completed my MA Education in UCL IOE, and since then I have been teaching full time in London.

Learning a new language should not be daunting, but a fun and stimulating experience. Having taught for four years, you will never feel that learning Mandarin is difficult and boring in my class. I want my students not only to understand the Chinese language, but also the fascinating culture behind it.  If you want to learn Mandarin in an easy way, come give my class a try, I guarantee you will love it!

Florence Liu

Frontier Mandarin Teacher

I am a native Mandarin Chinese speaker who is obsessed with my own mother tongue. I was good at Chinese study since day 1 and got my first B.A. in Chinese Linguistics, M.A. in Comparative Literature and World Literature, and then my PhD in Chinese Studies fully funded throughout the last 12 years. I am what Chinese people call “XUE BA”-  a Super Scholar!

I had my first taste in teaching when I was studying in Beijing Normal University which is the top university specialised in teacher-nurturing in China. I was giving lessons to my peers to begin with,  and then standing in front of big groups of  international students which I enjoyed so much because it never failed to give me a sense of achievement.

I have released 4 publications in the field of Chinese literature and culture and I must say a lot of my inspirations come from my students. They have truly helped me rediscover Chinese in ways that I never have. They deserve the credits as much as I do.

If you are someone who is fascinated by the Chinese language, literature, and history, I would love to share my knowledge and experience with you to help you discover the beauty of Mandarin Chinese as a language, and the fascinating history of China as one of the ancient civilisations on the planet.

Zhao Chen

Mandarin Teacher

Learning Mandarin with me is not merely limited to its linguistic proficiency like learning some new vocabularies and grammar. More importantly I will take you on a fascinating journey to explore a new (very different but inspiring) culture and establish new connections with new and interesting people.
As a mandarin teacher, I have always had great passion for languages and culture which was the reason that brought me to study and work here in the UK. The idea of helping others to learn a new language and getting to know a new culture is exciting for me. Learning mandarin in Practical Mandarin will be a great journey for everyone to not only gain a new skill but also to think/communicate from a brand new perspective.
On a practical level, the ability to speak multiple languages has become more and more important with the accelerating process of globalisation, especially within the business industry of tourism, finance and education.
My other role is an international Patent Analyst which has nurtured my observation instinct and I do found it helpful when teaching. I am a very observant, passionate teacher who aims to make all my students my friends!

Ruochen Shen

Mandarin Teacher

I always have passion for teaching languages, and being a teacher feels like my destiny. I taught students of all ages, from 5 to 80 years old, and I feel really proud that I can bound with all of my students.

Teaching Mandarin for me is not just simply teaching a language, but more importantly sharing the culture behind it. This way, the process of learning Chinese becomes a journey with adventure and fun.

I have a BA in English literature in Beijing and a MSc in TESOL (Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages) in the University of Edinburgh . Having studied and lived in both China and UK has given me a great deal of experience of teaching in both cultures. No matter what your reasons for learning Mandarin, I am here to assist and give you the best Chinese language experience!

Yili Zhou

Mandarin Teacher

Back in 2005, I already started to tutor students of different ages at all levels in their Mandarin GCSE and A-Level study. Subsequently, I had been teaching in Leicester University and Nottingham University Beginner Courses for a few years before moving to London.

To become a Chinese language presenter for the local radio station in Leicester, I even got a Proficiency Qualification of Standard Chinese Language at the highest level, which means I’m qualified for national broadcasting in China.

Now in London, I’m teaching Chinese to advanced learners in Practical Mandarin, it’s very satisfying when all my students basically are fluent!

I am confident in front of a class, and well prepared by developing an interactive teaching plan based on the dynamics for the group. From the start, I set up learning target, then students receive instructions and ask questions. I vary my approach according to the abilities of my students, making sure that all students are progressing.

But there is one rule – I tend to speak only Chinese in class, so do my students. Occasionally I would do dictation in class, when all of my students would be working extra hard to make sure they learn properly what they have just learnt!

Maybel Wang

Mandarin Teacher

Having worked in Finance and Investment for more than ten years, it is safe to say that I am an expert in Business Chinese. I want to pass my expertise to Mandarin learners in the UK. My experience in the finance industry, coupled with my knowledge and passion for the Chinese language, make me the ideal teacher for the cosmopolitan learner. I will keep you up to date with Chinese Business knowledge, and how to use Chinese in any professional context!

In my opinion, Mandarin is not merely a tool for daily communications, but also a vehicle to bring you to a world of sensuality and sentimentality. I would like to help my students to grasp this wonderful language, and share the joy of learning and exploring together.

Connie Huang

Mandarin Teacher

Steve Jobs once said: the only way to do great work is to love what you do. And this is what I feel about teaching! I graduated with a Master degree in Marketing from St Andrews University, and is now working as a Marketing expert in the property industry. Apart from my marketing skill set, I always had a strong desire to help people, and teaching is my second vocation.

I have lived and worked in the UK for eight years. I love and understand the culture in the UK, and want to share my own culture with my students.

Besides Mandarin, I also speak English and French. Being a foreign language learner myself, I understand the challenges of learning another language as an adult. I am impressed with how the Practical Mandarin programme and methodology can guide students at any level. The key aspect of my teaching method is to make sure every student in my class is confident to speak and communicate while having fun.

Monique Wan

Mandarin Teacher

Born and raised in Hong Kong, I regard myself as a fluent trilingual speaker – Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Language carries a magical power to connect people all over the world. Having studied aboard twice in Tokyo and London respectively, I strongly feel that even a simple greeting in that local language can easily start a conversation with local communities. Likewise, I hope my students can have the same feeling with me as well as get a sense of fulfilment when learning Mandarin.
Having been a Mandarin teacher for over three years, I am professional in picking out the common mistakes of both English-speakers and Cantonese-speakers. Also, my teaching style is example-orientated and interactive so my students should be able to speak Mandarin confidently and happily.

Attained my BA (Hons) Culture and Cultural Heritage Management in HK and MFA Fine Art at University of the Arts London, I enjoy making any kinds of the medium of arts or appreciating artworks from the old to the new age. If you want to understand more about Chinese ink arts or antique ceramics, don’t hesitate to ask me and let’s have an artistic discussion.

Effie Chen

Mandarin Teacher

Grew up in Shanghai, relocate to Los Angeles at a young age, completed my study in the University of California with a degree in Economics, London is where I found myself to stay to continue my postgraduate study and to establish my career. With a strong business background and international experience in three different countries, I have confidence in my culture and commercial knowledge, when it comes to help Mandarin learners to connect with China and Chinese language. Not only I can incorporate my experiences in the West and East into my teaching, I would value personal interest and learning goal of each student.

Language is the key to open the door of a brand-new world. It allows us to experience more, with a more critical and open-minded view, and enables us to embrace the variety of the world. Sometimes I really envy foreigners who learn Chinese as a foreign language, because the “outsiders” are more sensitive about the beauty of Chinese, which is taken for granted and ignored easily by the “insiders”.
I covet your chance to go through this language learning journey with tons of aha moments sparkling through.

Lily Ruan

Mandarin Teacher

With my studying for the MSc degree in Education at the University of Groningen, NL and then working as a college Lecturer in the higher education sector in China, I have developed a good understanding of educational science and applying the science into effective classroom teaching and learning. These experiences also provided me with insight about incorporating the language skills and cultural awareness into building rapports with both external and internal clients for my managerial role in a multinational corporation in the UK for over 7 years.

Being an enthusiastic and highly motivated teacher, I expect to meet you at Practical Mandarin and to introduce to you the fun and enjoyable learning of the Chinese language, customs, culture and values. It is always very interesting to discuss with my students about the differences in cultures, ideologies and values, however even more interesting to discuss and explore the similarities.