Course Introductions

Choosing a Course

All classes at Mandarin Community are designed with the specific needs of the student(s) in mind.  Even in Small Group classes we aim to meet the needs of each student.  Our teachers will adjust the course content as needed. Our courses and teachers are highly flexible!  

Students will be assessed by a Mandarin Community teacher to help place them into an appropriate Small Group Class and/or help the teacher design the course.

Students should first decide what suits their situation the best:

  • Part time classes or intensive?
  • One on one classes or small group?
  • What type of content do you want to focus on?
    • General Chinese for daily living
    • Business Chinese for work
    • HSK test prep
    • Academic Chinese prep course
    • Special courses

Class Format

Part Time:

Part time classes are for students who have other responsibilities outside of class and can’t commit to an intensive class schedule.  Part time classes can be in one on one format or small group classes. Part-time Small group classes will meet twice a week for two hours each time based on student availability.  One on one Part time classes will be scheduled based on the individual student’s schedule.   


Intensive classes are for students who can commit to 2-4 hours a day of class, 5 days a week. Intensive classes are the best way to get your Chinese skills up to speed as quickly as possible.  Intensive classes use an immersive teaching style to help students develop “Chinese logic.”  These classes can be done in small groups or one on one, or in a combination of both. 

One on One:

Classes will be one teacher paired with one student.  The teacher will design the class based on the student’s Chinese level, their desired learning method and the frequency of classes.  The course content is bespoke to the student’s requirements. Scheduling of classes is flexible and can be done on a part time or intensive basis. 

Small Group

Students will be matched based on similar Chinese language ability and whether students are part time or intensive.  A class can be made up of a group of friends or colleagues.  Small group classes will be scheduled at a set time each week. Small group classes are best for people with stable and predictable schedules!

Course Content

Chinese for Daily Living:

The topics covered are broad and inclusive of all topics needed to live in China and communicate effectively across a wide variety of situations.  Specific content would depend on the needs of the student and whether the class is one on one or a small group. 

Business Chinese:

This course is for people who want to focus on the language needed for their work in China. We recommend that this course be done in the one on one format as it will allow the student to learn what they need to know for their specific industry. 

HSK Prep:

The HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, an assessment of your Chinese ability that is officially recognized worldwide) is becoming more and more important for foreigners in China as many companies now require a passing score to gain employment. Furthermore, a good score can also make it easier to get a work visa! HSK prep courses are available as one on one classes or in a small group. Small group courses will be divided by the level of HSK students are studying for.

Academic Chinese:

This course is designed for international students who are heading into Chinese universities and will be taking advanced classes in the target language. The course will be centered around improving reading comprehension of Chinese language academic articles and academic discussion ability. The course is designed by a Hopkins Nanjing Center Masters program alum.

Special Courses:

Classes will be larger than four students depending on interest and will run based on demand.  Most of the courses will be conducted as a short series. If there is interest in another topic, we are happy to organize! 

Social Media Literacy: Learn Chinese internet language, learn Chinese through social media posts, understand nuance and learn to read between the lines using a modern medium

Debate: Practice using logic to form a clear, precise argument and convince people to support your ideas.  Debate skills are critical to success in the work place and being able to think on your feet will prove to be a valuable skill, not to mention that it’s fun! 

Shanghai dialect: Tired of the neighborhood ayis talking about you right to your face? Catch them off guard with some authentic Shanghai hua and leave them discussing how awesome you are. 

Literature class: Read the same classics that your Chinese peers read in school. Includes poetry, short stories, excerpts of novels such as “Dream of the Red Chamber” and selected works by Lu Xun. You will develop a context for many cultural references. Texts may be aided with translations as needed. 

Drama class: students will be assigned roles and act out short plays in order to practice their speaking and reading while having fun and practicing together!