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 Happy Students & Clients

Our Teachers

Vivien R.K. Mo
Vivien R.K. MoFounder of Practical Mandarin London

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.

Secondly I love teaching! Each two hours of lessons in the classroom is actually the most enjoyable and engaged time spent, compared to days, weeks and months of course design and preparation we are doing at the back office, besides training teachers to adopt our teaching methods and teach our students in the Practical Mandarin way.

“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
Michelle WuAcademic Manager & Senior Mandarin Teacher

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!

Marcus Lam
Marcus Lam Course Coordinator & Beginner Teacher

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.

Linus Chu
Linus ChuMarketing Officer

Having spent my early years in Hong Kong learning Mandarin, I have developed a strong interest towards the Chinese culture ever since my childhood. As I moved to New York, and then London to further pursue my studies; I realised how Mandarin has become increasingly popular and demanding globally, not only as a business language, but also as a great interest to learn.

Given my marketing skills and background, I am delighted to join the team on promoting this beautiful language and culture.

Besides Mandarin, I also speak Cantonese, English, Spanish and Japanese. Being a multilingual and foreign language learner myself, I am very impressed by Practical Mandarin’s teaching methodology and I believe you would definitely have a rewarding and fun experience learning Mandarin here!

Sophia Luo
Sophia LuoSenior Mandarin Teacher

As a language learner, I’ve learnt English and Korean myself, I’m still learning them everyday even being quite fluent. As a language teacher, I’ve taught both English and Chinese, most of my teaching experience and skills are transferrable, but I found Chinese learners much more fun to teach.

Students who chose to learn Chinese always have a good appetite for something completely new and exotic, I don’t mean everyone has to be open-minded about trying out fried scorpio, I mean they have great motivation to learn this very different language. Every student will feel very proud of themselves speaking this tonal language well, and they should!

Having worked for market research companies including Mintel for a few years, I’m very good at information sourcing and cross-cultural translations. Since then, I chose to pursuit a career in teaching, and taking an Education degree in Kings College.

My students will mostly appreciate the fact that I have various knowledge of the commercial sectors and Chinese business culture, since in language learning, the more you can relate the use of the language to your real life, the more effectively you will be able to grasp and memorise the language. Teaching a group of professionals or company employees, this skill set of mine will be proven to be a bonus.

Juliet Chen
Juliet ChenSenior Mandarin Teacher

I believe most students interested in learning a new language are mostly interested in learning about the cultures too. Well, to be honest, you can’t really learn without one or the other. In my class, I understand the importance of keeping my teaching relevant and interesting, sometimes I would bring a little game, Chinese origami etc to add to our learning. I have also organised special Chinese theme day events with my local council, we showcased traditional Chinese calligraphy, water ink painting, Tai chi and cooking secrets. Over 200 people came and made a success of the day!

Besides my Mandarin teaching, I also work for one of the biggest Chinese media group Ifeng as their London based journalist, that’s why I’m very alert to information and trends. I realised many of my students are very interested in what is going on in China, actually the whole Western media is watching over what is going on in China. With my background, I’m able to bring updated social news and perspectives for my class, which students find useful and inspiring.

Sandy Hu
Sandy HuSenior Mandarin Teacher

My teaching experience is a simple formula: 4 years in Beijing plus 10 years in Singapore. Adding now to this formula, is my last half of a year teaching in the UK. Joining the PM team was one of the most exciting opportunities since I moved here, I get to teach students from various professions, learning about their motivations, and seeing how students progress in each lesson always excites me.

Being a teacher is a life time career choice for me, the more students I teach to speak Chinese, the more I have sharpened my teaching skills. Any students at any levels, I would happily take them on to make a real difference in their studies.

I most probably shouldn’t promote that, I won’t be able to keep up with the demand, since everybody LOVES dumplings. I did enjoy making them, or teach my students how to make them still.

Food is one of the most important elements that brings people together, it’s a social rule very true in China, in Singapore, now here in London, I would like to invite my students to join me in experiencing such Asian cultures and simply have fun.

Yili Zhou
Yili ZhouAdvanced Level 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!

Florence Liu
Florence LiuMandarin 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.

Jennifer Wang
Jennifer WangMandarin 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.

Yujie Zhang
Yujie Zhang 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!

Fay Yu
Fay YuMandarin Teacher

Being a part-time Mandarin teacher was my interest started during my study in University of Bristol. It came as a surprise to me how I fell in love with teaching my native language and sharing cultural knowledge from day one. With my practical teaching experience gained from university, I decided to enhance my professional knowledge and dig deeper in this filed and therefore I pursued a M.A in Teaching Chinese as an International Language. With the professional knowledge and my personal teaching skills, I had taught in Hong Kong and the UK at all levels across a variety of settings to a high standard.

As a language teacher, I keep trying to set up a fun and engaging class with activities for learners to experience the difference in language and culture. Indeed, I found fulfilment in helping my students especially when they enjoyed the classes with a lot of laughters and reassured me that they could talk to people in Mandarin fluently.

Apart from studying how to teach Chinese as a foreign language, I also have an honour degree in Journalism and a Master’s degree in Sociology. I think teaching Mandarin has got me interested in exploring social diversity in the first place.

I wish to share my understanding towards the diversity of people and different cultures with you and look forward to being inspired by each one of you as well.

Xunnan Li
Xunnan LiMandarin Teacher

I am specialised in teaching business Chinese for those who will or prepare to work in China or with any Chinese company here in the UK. I am currently doing my P.H.D in London, funny enough, about the Chinese Theatre (Jing Opera).  I also got my M.A. in the UK about Cultural Studies and Translation, which provides me with great insights on Chinese culture, Chinese artistry, and Chinese language.

I had gained extensive experience and business knowledge working as an English-Chinese translator in China for over 4 years before I pursued further study in the UK. I am proud to say that I have two books published about Chinese business. In terms of my experience as a business practitioner, I also worked for many local governments and corporations in China as a Translator and PR Consultant, including but not limited to China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (中国国际贸易促进委员会), National Development and Reform Commission (中国发展与改革委员会), etc. Those experience make me an expert in Chinese commercial industries and international trade markets.

Even though I am quite experienced in business Mandarin teaching, I must say that I really enjoyed teaching Mandarin on a more practical and comprehensive scale.

As when it comes to second language learning, there is no such thing as business-focused if you can’t even say HI in Chinese. So that is why I took on a lot of challenges whilst still in university back in China teaching Mandarin to absolute beginners and lower level students in a group and private.

Elly Huang
Elly HuangMandarin Teacher

Ever since I was a child, every time the question “What would you like to be in the future?” came up, my answer had always been “a teacher.” So here I am, and still loving it. Having a strong interest in languages, I was first trained as an English teacher in Taiwan, but later on discovered my real passion was teaching Mandarin, my mother tongue, while I worked as a Chinese fellow at Carleton College, U.S.A. Since then I have taught Mandarin to all ages and all levels at language institutes and international schools in TW.

After more than 10 years of moving between Taiwan, Japan and Singapore teaching Mandarin part-time, I decided to enhance my academic background and got my M.A degree in translation and comparative literature in the UK after settling down here with my family. Compared to when I was studying here in year 2004, I have noticed such changes in Mandarin learning. Nowadays it has become such a trend in the UK, I have had several encounters where the English parents proudly presented to me their kids, who sang Chinese songs and greeted me in Mandarin. It shows how people are aware of the potential of China and the importance of Mandarin.

Since college when I was first introduced to the studies of linguistics, I immediately fell in love with it. I enjoy finding out the hidden grammar and logics in languages and it has become a very useful skill in my Mandarin teaching.

I love working out patterns that are easy for learners to understand, remember and utilize, and trying out new theories and bring creativity into my teaching. The most important part of all is that my classroom is always full of fun and laughter. Through carefully designed games and activities, students practice their listening and speaking skills without even noticing!

Zhao Chen
Zhao ChenMandarin 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!
Leonie Liu
Leonie LiuMandarin Teacher
Born and raised in China, I was trained to be a school teacher for my career. As I moved to London, I found  various similarities between teaching children and teaching Mandarin to foreign speakers. I like to use information technology in and outside the classroom to help learners repeat and practise their vocabulary and grammar, but focus on the authentic conversation with problem-solving tasks during the lesson activities.
With a little guidance, Mandarin is enormously fun and much easier to master than most people think.

As a Mandarin teacher, I always admire my students who choose to learn Mandarin out of all the other things they can do with their spare time. Though, it is the best investment you can make whether for academic purpose, business development or just a new perspective on life. Sure, some elements such as characters can be more difficult at the beginning than other languages, but internal logic of Mandarin is actually super simple and easy to learn and grasp. Besides, in terms of popularity and coverage, you would have billions of us to speak and practise with, comparing to Latin and Romansh.

So join us, as there is no reason not to start now!

Siyu Chen
Siyu ChenMandarin Teacher

I love teaching, especially teaching languages! I knew this several years ago when I worked as a tutor in an university. I have taught English to Chinese students for many years. I really enjoy the interaction with students. I’ m also interested in how bilinguals process and recognize different languages, so that I applied and is studying a PhD in Applied Linguistic in the University of Greenwich and helped with the Mandarin teaching in the university.

It is well known that Mandarin is spoken by the largest number of people. So here I come, with a great excitement, looking forward to deliver to you contemporary Chinese culture which I am proud of, and my own language to more and more.
Coco Wei
Coco WeiMandarin Teacher

Born and raise in China, I have never “studied” English, yet I was often mistaken for being a native English speaker, therefore, I’m rather confident about my language acquisition ability. Teaching my mother tongue to students, my goal is to make the learning process enjoyable for them, at the same time, give them tips and advice to acquire this language.

I did my B.A. in Communications in China and M.A in International Media Business in the UK. I have 4 years of bilingual teaching experience and I’m working on a start up idea to help UK musicians breaking into the Chinese market.

When I learn languages, I find pain dulls enthusiasm and joy boosts the learning process. Learning Mandarin could be an entertainment at the end of your working days!
Effie Chen
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.
Maybel Wang
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.

Monique Wan
Monique WanMandarin 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.

Yingbin Yu
Yingbin YuMandarin 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!