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 first came to the UK in 2007 and did my M.A. in TESOL, which in hindsight has been my wisest switch from Finance study in China. After being TESOL qualified, I dived right into the filed of education as a Mandarin Language and Culture Teacher for three years where I got the chance to let my ability and creativity shine and at the same gained sufficient class room teaching experience.
I was then luckily referred by my Head Teacher to pursue a further PG study at Cambridge University in Early Year Education which I benefited deeply from. I have to say a lot of my ideas and theories are drawn from the knowledge I gained through this study. It has been amazing to explore the similarities adult learners and younger learners share in common.
My 8 years in the field of Mandarin Chinese teaching and educational project management in both UK schools and universities has allowed me to gain very strong communication skills, planning skills and evaluating skills, as well as the ability to design and set tasks according to the students’ needs. I enjoy teaching and communicating with my students and culturing sharing is one of my biggest focus alongside language teaching. I believe that culture is the best approach for one to learn and use a completely new language.
I always tell my students that “Chinese is not difficult but just different.” Language learning should be fun with the great sense of achievement.
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!
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 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 started up my teaching career from teaching ESL to students from Asia, then I decided to do my Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics at UCL. After absorbing enough theoretical knowledge from the programme, I completed an intensive CELTA in which I was able to connect the realistic language learning environment with the linguistic theories I have learnt.
My passion and confidence on teaching language has grown more than ever, so I chose to teach Mandarin at Practical Mandarin where I have received extensive professional trainings & trials and I am given chances to transfer all the useful skills from teaching English to teaching Mandarin. If you prefer to have a laugh-out-loud and well-structured class, then you are in a pair of safe hands.
One of my expertise is using drama to conduct language teaching. Throughout the interactive learning approach, students naturally pick up the language and vocabularies from a contextual setting. They just can’t get rid of what they have learnt in class after all!
Learning Mandarin is much more fun than you think!
Born to a family with strong Chinese literature background, I studied a lot of classics and poems since I was a kid and developed my own appreciation and view towards literature and art. After my Bachelor’s degree achieved in Hong Kong, I was then trained and worked as a secondary school Teacher specialized in teaching Chinese which was a job I greatly enjoyed and received positive testimonials from both school, parents and of course my lovely students.
When I first moved to London 6 years ago, I have always been providing Chinese lessons to adult learners and I found it rewarding as it’s not only the language skills my students are interested in, but also the culture part and most importantly, the learning goes both ways.
My other job is actually a professional opera singer, which brings me opportunities to travel around the world exploring the cultural diversity globally. As a language learner myself, apart from being native in Mandarin and fluent in English, I also speak a little bit of German, Italian and Spanish and I have found all my language skills very helpful when I am teaching Mandarin to those nationals listed. With my wide range of vocals, I am quite skilful when it comes to teaching Chinese tones.
Having been working in different countries with different teams a lot, I have been quite surprised to see the importance of Mandarin and the growing number of Mandarin learners around the world which makes me feel blessed to have it as my mother tongue. I am also very proud to have my students all over the world.
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.