Student Stories

My students come to me from all walks of life, with a large variety of motives, and individual learning styles.

Rebecca Mun

Director of Finance

As a new student, Rebecca showed the typical frustrations that Chinese beginners have. Addressing these problems and making students more confident, these are my favorite parts of working in this field. 

Ailin Kojima

East Asian Medicine Practitioner/
Licensed Acupuncturist

Ailin has been studying with me since 2016, when she began in a beginner group with her colleagues. She has been working very hard, and I’ve seen her happiness, frustration, and triumph in the all process of studying and working in the same time. I appreciate that she shares her feeling and experience here.

Thomas Moore

Former President of Chinese Institute/
Senior Advisor of National Committee on US-China Relations

When he came to study with me, Tom was already a Chinese expert and spoke Mandarin fluently. Based on his needs, I designed a new program of study for him that he never had —Chinese Classical and Modern literature. Fortunately, that worked for him.

Darnell Dawson

VP, Compliance

As a Chinese expert who studied Mandarin in China when he was young, Darnell liked to bring to our class philosophy and culture questions that he had. When I taught him and answered those questions, I also could see different understanding and perspectives from him — I also learned a lot from him, too !

Charles Haigh

President, Gilwood International, Ltd.

Charles was one of my first students, beginning with me in 2001 after 9/11. Prior to studying with me, he had already Chinese when he was 20 in Taiwan, then in Mainland China. Because of his high Chinese level, he was a big change for me when I just started to work in teaching field.

Andrew E. Levine, M.D.

In our first meeting, I asked Andrew: why do you study this language? He replied: for fun! Several years past, he has become a decent Chinese speaker and surpassed HSK Level 3! With his eager interested in Chinese culture and history, I couldn’t be happier to see his growth.

James Fuller


A Chinese beginner but used to be English tutor. Full of curiosities for Chinese culture and tradition. Flexible teaching style is always necessary for him.

Grant Newman

Strategy Executive

When we started to study in 2008, he was extremely busy at that time, but wanted to study Chinese seriously. I couldn’t help with his hectic schedule, but I could adjust my time to fit his. Grant's family just welcomed a 5-month old daughter, who I am now trying to teach Mandarin, as well!

Marianne Chow Newman

International Corporate Lawyer

Marianne’s background is much like an ABC (America Born Chinese). I could totally sympathized the way she grew up, especially the part when her family asked her to learn Chinese and she struggled between two cultures. Naturally, we have become good friends until today.

Roy Eriksen

Investment Banker

When he showed his Chinese handwriting during our beginning classes, I was very impressed — it's better than a lot Chinese high school students today! I could see how serious he had studied this language. I told myself at that time: I want to sharpen his Mandarin skills and make them ever better!

James Liao

International Management Consultant

As a teacher, I was very honored when Jim said about me: “He [Byron] has given me back my heritage...”  Jim came to me when he was 54 years old. He came to the States as a young kid, but did not learn Chinese growing up. He wanted to learn both traditional and simplified script, but also wanted to learn about his culture background.

Christopher Sullivan

CS Trial Lawyer

A high-achieving, busy NYC lawyer who must communicate with the Chinese clients, not only I need to teach Christopher fundamental basics, but also tailor to his job-specific needs. When he told me the stories that he had conversation in Chinese with his Chinese clients, I laughed even louder than him!