Student Stories

My students come to me from all walks of life, with a large variety of motives and 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 was already at an advanced level when he returned from living in Taiwan and mainland China. Because of his high Chinese level, it was a challenge for me to bring him to a new level, but I believe I succeeded.

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 interest in Chinese culture and history, I have enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm to lean.

James Fuller


A former English tutor and Chinese beginner, and full of curiosity for China’s culture and tradition. James requires a flexible teaching style!

Grant Newman

Strategy Executive

He was extremely busy when we started in 2008. I couldn’t help with his hectic schedule, but I could adjust my time to fit his. Grant's family brought in a 5-month old daughter who I am now teaching as well!

Marianne Chow Newman

International Corporate Lawyer

Marianne’s background is much like an ABC (America Born Chinese). and I could readily sympathize with the way she grew up. I could empathize with the way she had to struggle between two different cultures. Naturally, we have remained 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 needs to communicate with the Chinese clients. I teach Christopher fundamental basics, but also address his his job-specific needs. When he told me the stories of his conversations with Chinese clients, I laughed louder than him!