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About Us2018-08-08T12:19:10+00:00

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.

Joski Chen
Joski ChenOperations Manager

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.

知识是智慧的火炬

Zhīshì shì zhìhuì de huǒjù

Knowledge is the torch of wisdom

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!

Linus Chu
Linus ChuMarketing Assistant

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!

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!

Annie Li
Annie LiMandarin Teacher

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.

Sophia Luo
Sophia LuoMandarin 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.

Natalie Yu
Natalie YuMandarin Teacher

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!

Ceci Kuan
Ceci KuanMandarin Teacher

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!

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”- the King of Learning, except that I am a queen.

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.

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!

Andi Wang
Andi WangMandarin Teacher

I first realised the beauty of teaching Mandarin as a foreign language when I was doing my B.A in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in China and working as an Chinese teacher in my university to teach foreign exchange students Mandarin. Not only the sense of achievement, but also the inspirations from my students have pushed me to dig deeper into this field.

Then I completed my M.A in Applied Linguistics in London to gain more about the power of language and the effective way of teaching. Many believe that Chinese is the future language, to empower myself with the advanced and diverse skills to teach this future language, I decided to pursue a PhD study in London. The essence I have picked up from my studies is that the core of language teaching is students’ needs. Teachers are not just knowledge providers, but more like guiders leading students to find their own paths of learning.

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.