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?
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.
Come & Join Us!
Students Review our School as
Our Happy Students & Clients
First of all, having been doing part-time Chinese teaching for many years, I know how my students like to learn. 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 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. 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 Chinese characters.
Second of all is that I follow my passion! I love teaching and I had a degree in education. We also offer professional training to each of our teachers to teach our lessons in the same – practical way!
Learning foreign languages has always been my greatest interest and what I found the most rewarding and fun.
Having explored around in the Chinese education and Western education fields, having gained insights and experience from both teacher and manager’s perspectives, I am determined to join Practical Mandarin on this fantastic course of teaching Chinese language (Mandarin) and promoting Chinese culture.
Together with our team of young, vibrant, professional teachers and academically respected content developers, I believe we are definitely THE Mandarin expert here in London for you.
There is a Chinese saying that I like very much and would like to share it with you.
Zhīshì shì zhìhuì de huǒjù
Knowledge is the torch of wisdom
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.
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.
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.
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!
When I was doing my Master in Liverpool University, I chose TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) , which is one of the best language teaching trainings. I also realised the dynamic methods of using communicative approach to engage students in target language can be used in other language trainings too, in my case, Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language to English speakers here in the UK.
Since 2012, I have been teaching Chinese to many private students and in a group class. Backed with my Bachelor degree in English, I achieved to explain Chinese grammar and characters very well to students, who later would review my teaching as “the most effective training” comparing to other Chinese lessons they have had. 🙂
It’s been a journey trying to teach my other half (British) to speak Chinese. It always interests me the way he learns, via picking up random words from me on the phone, or talking to my friends, or via doing diligent writing exercises like a primary school student.
I would conclude that language learning is a dynamic and fluid process, there is no one way that works for everyone, at the same time, for one student, it’s always better to try different ways of communicative methods to help students with learning and understanding. However, the most important ingredient from both teachers and students is – Patience. I make sure that my students would always learn at a good pace, make obvious progress, and maintain interest throughout the journey.
Following my 9 years of teaching experience in China, where I was awarded many times as Teacher of the Year by students’ evaluations, I took on a Master degree study to learn further about the “people business”. My HR management studies helps me develop new tactics of motivating coaching, and personnel development.
By then, I have already been convinced by myself that I’m built to be a great teacher. My teaching style and my passion towards inspiring people to learn is how I earn my career recognition, with my PHD study in Education, I can say I’m dedicated to invest my skills in teaching Chinese as second language for curious students.
I like the fact that most Practical Mandarin’s students are highly motivated when taking up the study of this new language. A lot of Beginner students are learning because they are curious about how they will acquire this new language skill, about how well they can learn, about how the new cultural aspects might open their minds.
This is where a good teacher comes in to play the important role to fulfil that curiosity and to inspire the potential of students. I’m very certain as a teacher or private tutor, I will be student-focused, and try my best to play this role very well.
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.
I’m glad that PM team is very impressed with my CV, since I have spent 7 years in my Bachelor and Master degree studying all the ins & outs, bits & bobs about Teaching Chinese to Speakers of other Languages. In addition, during my study, I have also spent one year in Manchester University, 6 months in Beijing Foreign Studies University teaching Mandarin lessons to university students from beginner to intermediate level.
My deep interest in languages brought me to UCL for my second Master in Applied Linguistics. This has given me more time carry out further research into language patterns, memory games, curriculum design in this field. Working for PM to teach students from various backgrounds, who are looking for intellectually stimulating, and culturally inspiring lessons, is a job that I’d be good at, at least I believe so!
This is a hobby that my music loving parents invested in me at a young age. I have always been interested in traditional cultures, folk music and dance. They are a form of celebration that connects us to our ancestors. I love to look back at the flourishing ancient Chinese cultures, and feel deeply connected with my root while playing Chinese Zither.
I have fallen in love with reading since I first picked up a book called Dream of the Red Chamber, which is considered one of the Four Chinese Classics, so I decided to study Chinese language and literature in university, which I enjoyed deeply. The passion of literature exploration has brought me to study my Master degree in Comparative Literature and World Literature.
I am absolutely enchanted by foreign languages and different cultures. Training myself as a professional teacher and choosing teaching as my career have both been such rewarding experiences in the past several years, and I hope to continue my teaching here in the UK with Practical mandarin and help every learner discover the beauty of my mother tongue and hope to learn from all my students as well.
Apart from teaching Mandarin to foreign learners, I also taught university students English Reading and listening. To be able to flip smoothly between two languages has given me a great satisfaction, which is also the target I set for my students.
I believe no one can truly master a foreign language without a sound understanding of its culture. I know I can’t. I see traveling not only as a fun holiday, but also a deep cultural exploration. UK is indeed my favourite country in terms of its people and culture. I can’t wait for all my students to get to know about China culturally!
I can still remember why and how I started to be a Mandarin teacher: I encountered a foreign tourist in Taiwan years ago, and helped him out at a shopping centre by interpreting for him. And guess what, he later on contacted me and asked if I could teach him Mandarin and I agreed out of curiosity.
That has been a life-changing experience for me as I enjoyed teaching so much. I love seeing my students progressing from beginner level to semi-fluent. So I threw myself into teaching Mandarin ever since and have taught in my hometown Taiwan, Canada, and in the UK, all employed by professional language training schools. So I can proudly say that I have students, now I call them friends in three continents.
After teaching Mandarin to different age groups for a year, I felt like it was intriguing to know about different people’s minds, and I thought it would really help me in terms of understanding my students’ needs and thinkings better, and therefore improve my teachings when facing different age groups.
Studying psychology has made me realised how important it is to be emphatic. Everyone thinks differently, everyone acquires new things differently, I hate to see any of my students fallen behind, so I would always be patient, giving everyone equal opportunities to speak in my class, especially in a group class. Let me guide you patiently on your Mandarin learning journey!
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!
I’m always amazed by the sense of achievement and satisfaction from language study ever since I was introduced to my first foreign language English. Language and culture comparison between China and Western countries has always been my favourite afternoon tea topic with friends. I even joined a team of academias researching Chinese and Anglo language and culture comparison for Shanghai Jiaotong University, which is consistently ranked as China’s top 3 universities.
Driven by our research and discovery, I decided to pursue further study in the UK to experience the beauty of Western culture, British culture in particular. After my Post graduate study, I could not find anything I enjoyed better than participating in social and academic events to promote Chinese language and culture. So here I am, employed and professionally trained by Practical Mandarin to share my passion and knowledge, to offer you that same sense of satisfaction and achievement with all Mandarin learners in London.
I believe that there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes. If you are curious about China, Chinese culture, or simply Chinese food, mandarin learning definitely gives you the key to get to know about this mysterious Eastern giant. And I will be very intrigued to find out your own understanding and perception.
I would love to share and accompany you patiently towards this exploration. You will gain from the learning and most importantly enjoy the learning.