Silk Mandarin - Language Training Institute logo

Silk Mandarin - Language Training Institute


At Silk Mandarin you will learn Mandarin effortlessly! Our ground-breaking SLOW MOTION TECHNIQUE paves the way, as it teaches you Mandarin with just ONE rule instead of dozens. Which student wouldn’t like that? A wide variety of incredible teaching tools ensures that our classes entertain you from start to finish. Our students learn FASTER and with FUN!

All our teachers are full time employed, native to China and bilingual. They have a University degree in Chinese and their major is Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, they all have ample teaching experience. Our teachers are passionate about teaching and will make sure you will enjoy learning Mandarin!

We offer:
- Full-time and Part-time courses, both OffLine- and OnLine;
- Conversational Chinese/HSK and Business Chinese/BCT;
- Summer Camps and Summer Programs;
- Activities and Excursions;
- VISA service;
- Accommodation;
- Airport/Station pick-up


SOHO Donghai Plaza
299 Tongren Road
Jing'an Qu
Shanghai Shi, 200040

Chinese Summer Camp in Shanghai - Early Bird Discount

This program is ideal for parents who want to give their child a head start at becoming a global citizen by learning Mandarin in China!

We will teach students our innovative Slow Motion Technique, a popular method at our school, which teaches Mandarin with just one rule instead of dozens.


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Yes, I recommend this program

I guess learning a new language is already challenging by itself. I've studied some foreign languages but Chinese is, by far, the toughest one for me. The Chinese mind-set, the pronunciations, the five different tons, the Chinese characters... everything is a challenger. If you propose yourself to face this challenger you will need a lot of self discipline and motivation. Having a good methodology, good teachers and supportive staffs will help you to reach your goals. Silk Mandarim gathers all these qualities. Silk Mandarim, specially Jessica (my teacher), Allison (my very first teacher) and Amy (Silk Mandarim Coordinator), is helping me to keep myself disciplined and motivated.
Thank you Silk Mandarim to be together with me in this challenger!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I've started studying the Business Chinese Module, I would recommend start with the HSK Books.
Yes, I recommend this program

If you actually want to learn Chinese, study at Silk Mandarin. It’s not the cheapest, but that is because the quality is the best you’re going to be able to find, especially if you’re a beginner. Here are my two main reasons why Silk is worth it: 1. Class Size - The group classes have a limit at 6 students, so you’re guaranteed to get tons of personal attention from your teacher and have the opportunity to speak a lot, which is what you actually need if you’re going to improve, especially at the early levels. 2. Teachers- The teachers here are the best. I had Jessica for HSK 1, Christina and Jessica for HSK 2, Jessica for HSK 3, and now David and Jessica for HSK 4. Christina is a boss. She don’t mess around and she makes grammar so easy to understand. Jessica is my savior, my fearless leader, my tug boat, pulling me along even when I have no gas left. She explains things so clearly that you don’t think you’re learning until you look back a few chapters and realize that you understand everything. Seriously, a teacher goddess. David is my newest teacher and is perfect for my HSK 4 needs and desires. His English is so goddamn good, which is really helpful because he can explain the nuances between similar words that a textbook can’t (really, the textbook sucks at this). This is very useful for me at the higher level now that my vocabulary is a little bigger (ex. Think about the difference between “but, although, actually, even though, even if, etc... “). He also has a decent sense of humor.

So yea, if you want to pretend to learn Chinese, buy some textbooks and “study” at Starbucks or go to a school where you’re listening to a teacher with 15 other students in the class and you never have a chance to speak. But, if you really want to learn Chinese rapidly, try Silk Mandarin out. I started mid HSK 1 in October (I had taken a single Chinese course two years before in America), and now 5 and half months (April) later I am mid-HSK 4 and a few months away from being conversationally fluent. I am so thankful I found this school and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

This is my 4th year in China and it’s been very challenging to get started learning Chinese.Finally I felt like I need to give myself a push.Shanghai is full of schools ready to provide you with Chinese courses but Silk Mandarin successed to surpass all of them .When I entered their office I was surprised how caring ,attentive ,cheerful and full of enthusiasm their stuff was.It was love at first sight.With the tools and books provided after a short but convincing demo I got inspired and motivated to start ASAP.Since then I never regreted my choice.I came to SM with very basic knowledge but having a private lesson twice a week moved me forward pretty fast.In 2 months I started HSK 3 .My tutor Andy and I became friends from the very first class. She always knew what’s the best way to answer all my silly questions and how to explain the most complicated cultural and grammatical peculiarities built -in Chinese language . I hope very soon my “vocabulary”based HSK3 will grow into “character” based level but it all depends on me now.Thanks,Silk Mandarin for this big step I managed to make.

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Yes, I recommend this program

After studying at Silk Mandarin for three years, I can see now a great improvement in my Chinese level, all thanks to the strong commitment of my dedicated teacher Lexie with the back up of the whole Silk Mandarin school.
At Silk Mandarin I can feel the support of a professional team that through the modern tools used  in class, the programmed events, and the different activities, helps me not only to achieve my goals as student but also to immerse, enjoy, and understand the Chinese culture.
As an expat in China and due to my busy schedule it is very difficult for me to join any group class or follow a regular curse, thanks to Silk Mandarin and his one on one flexible plans I have the opportunity to easily combine both job and Chinese lessons, arranging the time and the place of the classes according to my needs.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Translation: Two months after I worked as a resident in Shanghai, I realized the need for Chinese and found Silk Mandarin. We met Planer Amy for the first time, helping to ensure that all classes were happening smoothly, fluent English and unique kindness helped us to make our last lesson uncomfortable. My teacher, Liwen, took a group class for the first month and a 1: 1 private class next month. Although it was not Chinese, I have never met a good teacher like Mr. Liwen after many language academies and tutoring. I was very fluent in English as well as basic about personality and punctuality, and I had lots of experience in Chinese education, so every class was good and fun. Thanks to its excellent system and good teachers, I was able to find fun in Chinese, and now I am able to survive in China.

상해에서 주재원으로 근무한지 두 달 뒤에 중국어의 필요성을 크게 실감하고 Silk Mandarin을 찾게 되었습니다. 모든 수업이 원활히 이루어지도록 도와주는 플래너 Amy를 그 때 처음 만나게 되었고, 유창한 영어와 특유의 친절함으로 마지막 수업까지 불편함이 없도록 도와주었습니다. 저는 저의 선생님 Liwen과 처음 한달은 그룹 클래스로, 다음달은 1:1개인 클래스를 수강하게 되었습니다. 중국어는 아니었지만, 그간 많은 어학학원, 과외등을 거쳐오면서 Liwen 선생님처럼 좋은 선생님을 만나본 적이 없었던 것 같습니다. 인성이나 수업시간 엄수등에 대한 베이직은 물론이고 굉장히 유창한 영어를 구사하셨고, 중국어 교육에 대한 경험이 많으셨기 때문에 매 수업이 유익하고 즐거웠습니다. 규모에 걸맞는 훌륭한 시스템과 훌륭한 선생님들 덕분에 중국어에 대한 재미를 찾을 수 있었고, 덕분에 현재에는 중국에서 생활 생존(?)이 가능한 실력을 갖추게 되었습니다. Thank you, Silk Mandarin!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I had a group class for a month and a 1: 1 private class for a month.
As the group classes are with Westerners who have no understanding of Oriental languages ​​(of course), we recommend a private class for Asian students!

저는 한 달동안 그룹클래스를, 한 달 동안 1:1 개인 클래스를 진행했습니다.
그룹 클래스는 동양 언어에 대한 이해가 (당연히) 없는 Westerner와 함께 진행하다보니 Asian 학생들에게는 개인 클래스를 추천합니다!


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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Daniel de Smeth

Daniel is a 29-year old Dutch guy from Amsterdam, the Netherlands who moved to Shanghai about four years ago. He makes soft drinks and iced-teas for a living.

People showing cut-out Chinsese characters.

Why did you choose this program?

I started my Mandarin studies about three years ago and have been to about 5 different schools. Two years ago, I moved to Silk Mandarin when one of my classmates decided to start his own school. He felt that the teaching methods of most Mandarin schools were not very effective because they are not developed with the (foreign) students together. Silk Mandarin therefore became a school with a very innovative teaching method and a drive to improve – something that worked out very well and made me stick to this school.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Silk Mandarin helps me organize my learning schedule, organizes field trips all over China, and organizes extra-curricular activities such as learning how to write characters and language corners. As I am employed in Shanghai, I am not very familiar with what else they organize for their students, but I am more than happy with all their activities. There are so many of them that I do not have the ability to attend all of them.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Listen to your teacher. I sometimes want to study too fast, which in the end slows me down. Sometimes it is good to revise, and if your teacher tells you to do this, then listen!

Also, go to all the classes, definitely when you have group classes. Sometimes it feels like you are not progressing, but this is all part of the process. Those days somehow always end up being the days with the most impact.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I follow two types of classes at Silk Mandarin.

The group classes are usually two times a week for 3 hours each. In the classes. we usually go through a listening and reading exercise together, followed by a discussion. Then in the off-days, I make my homework which is then discussed in the next class. During the classes, we are also taught about several cool methods such as Silk Mandarin's slow motion technique. These are very useful and not something that you see at other Mandarin schools where everybody only works according to the book.

The other class I sometimes follow instead of the group classes are private classes, which are basically the same but allow for a more effective one-on-one learning method. I spend two times two hours per week on those.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

This might sound a bit cheesy, but yes, my biggest fear in China was not having the ability to communicate and get around by myself. I thought it would not be possible for foreigners to speak proper Mandarin, but I turned out to be very wrong about this. Shanghai has many foreigners who speak great Mandarin. As long as you study properly (and at a good school of course), you should have no problem getting around in Shanghai.

How do you find China?

I find that China is a place that still needs to be discovered by foreigners. I had a very different picture in my mind about China until I finally visited, and found that it is much more welcoming than I thought before. The locals as well as the expats are very nice and interested, and the entire country has a “can do mentality” where everybody feels the sky is the limit. I am one of those people who came to China and am definitely not planning to leave!

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Jasmine Zhou

Job Title
Teaching supervisor
Jasmine Zhou

Jasmine has been a Mandarin teacher in Shanghai for over 3 years. She came to Shanghai after 5 years of studies, 4 years at the university of Wuhan and a final year in Hong Kong studying for a master in Chinese linguistics. She finds Shanghai a very dynamic and diverse city to explore. She loves teaching Mandarin here and loves communicating with and learning from her students who are from all over the world.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I love to travel and explore countries. So far, travelling to the north of China has been the most enjoyable to me. I went to Xinjiang in 2015 and Inner Mongolia in 2017. Especially the splendid wilderness of Mongolia amazed me so much. Today, I still can’t forget the herd of horses running across the vast grassland just in the front of my eyes! My other memories of Inner Mongolia are the old silent snow mountains under the starry sky, the sunlight shining onto the fresh snow of the birch forest floor against the blue sky. I also enjoy experiencing different lifestyles of Chinese minority groups in the north, which reminds me how diverse this country is.

People living in big cities like Shanghai seem to lead a very civilized and delicate life, but in my opinion, living in the city is not perfect and we need to spend the time to experience the great outdoors. After my trips I always feel refreshed, which reminds me to seize the days and to enjoy this short life with the ones I love.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Looking back from today, I still feel lucky that I have chosen Silk Mandarin to start my career.

Silk Mandarin creates the excellent environment to consolidate and develop my professional skills. After graduating with my major in Chinese linguistics, I became a Mandarin teacher at Silk Mandarin. During the last few years, I’ve been teaching over 2,500 hours of a wide variety of Chinese courses to students from all over the world, all with their different cultural backgrounds. I have felt that I became more and more confident with teaching. Now, being faced with many different types of Mandarin students, I am able to always find an efficient way to teach the content and facilitate their practice, therefore quickly gaining my students’ trust.

Besides my own teaching practice, I also learned a lot from the other full-time teachers in the Silk Mandarin team. Sharing the same common team goal "to find the best Mandarin teaching methodology”, we exchange our ideas to unify and develop our learning methods, learning tools and materials. A lot of students have already benefited from these materials and products which have helped to speed up their Mandarin learning.

In addition, working at Silk Mandarin has been so enriching for me, because of the daily intercultural communication I have with my students. At Silk Mandarin, I can talk with people from all over the world, introducing to them our Chinese culture and at the same time learn so much from my students as they tell me so much about their country and culture. These lovely daily talks and encounters have broadened my horizons enormously and shared my way of thinking. I will benefit from this for the rest of my life!

Silk Mandarin pays close attention to mine, and my colleagues’, development. In addition, coming up with good ideas and showing initiative is highly encouraged.

After 2 and a half years of full-time teaching, I have been given the opportunity to work as a teaching supervisor, being in charge of managing all the educational issues in this language institute. It’s definitely a big challenge for me, as before I had never viewed my job from any perspective other than teaching. Recently I have learned a lot, also because of the support from my boss and my team members. I believe me improving on management and supervision will eventually improve the quality of our courses and service for our students.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of the most exciting parts of being a Mandarin teacher is listening to all kinds of experiences and adventures they had in China. I recently heard an amazing story from an American student. After taking part in a summer Mandarin program in Beijing, she decided to quit her job, sell her car and move to China. I asked her what attracts her most to China. She told me that she feels like she changes into another person when living in China. Being fluent in Mandarin, she can easily make new friends (either Chinese or Foreign) sharing the same interests and finding interesting new things to do, whereas in her hometown in the US, it was not easy for her to change her daily routine. And even better, she found love in this summer Mandarin program.

Another good story about one of my students from the student whom I recently helped to write and prepare a bilingual wedding speech. Seven years ago he was at a friend’s wedding in Shanghai, where he was introduced to a Shanghainese lady, this lady would later become his wife. Now he has moved to Shanghai to spend time with his wife’s family and look for job opportunities while learning Chinese in Silk Mandarin. He has studied hard and almost reached HSK level 4.

I’m always amazed by these kinds of stories. I enjoy the stories about how people get connected to China and to learn the language. Learning Mandarin is not easy, so I greatly admire all the efforts of our courageous students to learn Mandarin. Through their learning of mandarin, me and my colleagues also get a great opportunity to learn from them and connect to the world!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Definitely, that would be our Summer Intensive Program. How to learn a foreign language fast and with fun? If I could choose, this full-time immersive method would surely be my first choice.

Why this choice? Well, first of all, it teaches you the full aspects of the Chinese language, including the proper pronunciations and character reading, which most students regard as the most challenging part in the beginning. Furthermore, we introduce you to the whole system of the structures. Also, you will have plenty of opportunities to drill and practice all the newly learnt content, in the classroom and in real life.

But surely you don’t come over all the way to China to sit in a classroom and learn Mandarin right? That’s why we have incorporated many cultural trips and activities, so you really will get the best bite out of China.

To master a foreign language is always an endless journey, but I believe this program will be a significant and a beautiful step to connect your mind and your heart to China!!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our Slow Motion Technique makes Silk Mandarin stand out. We found out that lots of Mandarin learners feel it is extremely difficult to bridge the gap between Western (non-Chinese) thinking and Chinese thinking. The existing Chinese teaching methods will instead not offer comprehension but offer rules, and even more rules. But “what’s the logic behind all these rules?” This question came from one of our students, and also co-founder of this Chinese language institute, Tjibbe van Ellen. Nobody at that time could clearly answer this question. So Silk Mandarin started up with a very simple mission, to answer this question. Apart from Tjibbe, over the years we’ve had many more students coming to us with this same question. They are all looking for the key to structure their learning, to learn Chinese in a more clever way, instead of just learning rules and more rules.

Eventually we found the key, this is the Slow Motion Technique! This idea was put forward by one of my colleagues, David, one of our most senior teachers. After further development by the whole team for years, it now has benefited almost all our students, as they are reaching their learning goal much faster. So, the development of this teaching methodology, the Slow Motion Technique, is exactly what I’m especially proud of our team.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe to achieve the success, all members should keep the mission of the company in mind all the time.

At Silk Mandarin, everyone on the team knows the mission to spread the Chinese language by delivering our students the highest teaching quality possible and to have fun at the same time. Based on this mission, we set more specific goals and we work hard to reach them. We create new methodologies, we come up with new tools, we discuss and re-discuss in our team, we even argue sometimes, but we always find the way home.

We always believe that one day we will fullfill this mission, to offer the best Chinese course possible. It’s an exciting journey!

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