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

After much consideration I choose Silk Mandarin because I could plan my course according to my comfort (I have two children under 5).... I am absolutely happy with the first course (HSK 1) which I just finished and immediately enrolled for HSK 2...And even got my Husband to join. I am sooo proud I can already speak little bit, and even read which I never thought I will manage to learn.. it is sooo liberating to slowly untangle our life here in Shanghai with the power of local language. Looking forward for the new course.. from the last course with Silk Mandarin, I’m fully confident to have a good time while moving forward in my journey of learning Chinese Language. I am and will always recommend Silk Mandarin school to everyone who wants to learn Mandarin.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Hanna laoshi is great specialist and person open for the world and discussion. Therefore, studying with her is not only the just the process of language skills improving, but process of open if Chinese culture and Chinese features. Also Hanna laoshi is the best teacher for one-one classes as she really cares about the students and their interests and ready to review study plan and make it as practical for the student as it can be. With all this she is kindhearted, positive and responsible person. I remember as she caught a cold and still came to the class room. Besides she really into the job she is doing, if you will lucky and become her student you will get know that she always trying to improve herself as a teacher attending some courses.

What would you improve about this program?
It will be better if teachers can meet with students out of school as sometimes I don’t have enough time to attend the classes due to the fact that I need to spend time to cane to the school.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I have been in China for over five years, and for more than five years, I have attempted to learn Mandarin. During my time in Shanghai, I have tried countless tutors to apps and other language centers. I had all but given up hope that I would find an approach that worked for me, then a friend referred me to Silk mandarin.

For me, What sets Silk apart from a sea of money-hungry Chinese language training centers is their passion. From the moment you step through the door, you will be by a wave of warmth, caring, and sincerity. Before joining Silk, I had become burnt out and demotivated from my previous experience at my last Chinese language school. So many of the other programs in Shanghai advertise high tech resources and unrealistic results; this is not the case at Silk. I also found that the course consultants at other centers only care if you make it to the class, not about your actual goals. The point that makes Silk Mandarin tower above the rest is their genuine care. My course consultant Lina has taken such good care of me from the word go. I will be the first to admit; I am not an easy customer to please. Coming from a high stakes sales background, I am never shy when it comes to pushing for what I want or deserve. With Lina, the whole process was clear, consistent, and straightforward. She went above and beyond to make sure that I was satisfied with every aspect of my investment.

Another point that stood out to me about Silk was their teacher and staff retention. The majority of their team has worked in the center for over two years. Having worked in management for an English training center, I can speak firsthand to the difference that retaining teachers and staff makes to the learner experience. No matter the language or the business, you can always tell the quality of the product and the culture based on their ability to maintain their staff and their customer base.

They say that a great team starts with a great leader and I couldn’t agree more! The center director Liwen is a shining example of a leader who cares deeply for her team and her students. After speaking with her in detail about my goals and ambitions, We made a personalized study plan to ensure that I reached my full potential. She also took a personal interest in me as a student to ensure that I was matched with the correct teacher to ensure a cohesive learning experience. Her work ethic shines through in her staff and study material. I could not be happier with my decision to join Silk Mandarin and am excited to see the progress I can make!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I can happily recommend studying Mandarin at Silk Mandarin school in Shanghai.
I am currently preparing to take the HSK 6 exam. I have a deadline for passing the HSK 6 exam. Before deciding on a Mandarin school, I contacted several different Mandarin schools, met with their HSK 6 teachers and even attended several trial classes. I chose Silk Mandarin. Silk Mandarin's professionalism was the thing that won me over. They quickly matched me with an actual professional teacher (not someone who does Chinese lessons on the side of their real job) that suits my level, who is able to personalize the curriculum and teaching style for me. It is great to attend classes that are student centered instead of the usual teacher centered classes like I have attended over the years I have lived in Shanghai. In the campus the atmosphere is light and happy, the staff are friendly, approachable and ready to help.
I look forward to my classes and would like to say a big thank you to my teacher Liwen老师 and the Silk Mandarin team.

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Gabriel Alexander
Yes, I recommend this program

My 2 months doing the intensive HSK 3 class at Silk Mandarin has finally come to an end! I can say that the school has truly helped me to improve my mandarin level by quite a bit! I remember my progress over the weeks, with my 听力 and 语法 improving bit by bit. I was initially unable to grasp what most people said, especially within a contextual environment. But with my very patient teachers: Yanqin, David, Gemini and Jessica , my level has improved. For this, I am really satisfied with the quality of teaching that I have received over here. Most other classmates are also really motivated to learn and I was lucky to meet some great friends here at SM! I’d highly recommend their teaching and if you really do have the time, try investing a longer period of time here. Some students who have spent 7 months (starting from scratch) at this school, are already speaking fluently. The prolonged period in China, and at SM, has been one of the best Mandarin teaching I’ve ever received. 加油!

Some tips for newcomers: If you’re new here in China, register at a police station as soon as you arrive! (Especially if you’re staying at an airbnb)

What would you improve about this program?
Doing presentations are a great way to “force” learning. On my final day, I presented my 2 month travels to the school. The act of doing it really left me wishing I would have had more time to practice my speaking skills, as I had so much more I wanted to talk about (that I couldn’t articulate as much as I wanted to). Of course being nervous is normal, but if you have the courage to do a presentation earlier, you’ll find out how much more beneficial it will be for your (speaking level) 口语水平。


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Alumni Interviews

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

Felix Wendlandt

Felix Wendlandt is co-founder and general manager of Brander Urstoff. He is industrial engineer by education and entrepreneur by nature. Prior to his role at Brander Urstoff, Felix is partner of a venture capital holding in Munich, Germany.

Felix is based in Shanghai.

Why did you choose this program?

Last year, a friend recommended Silk Mandarin to me. He told me that he made great progress in learning Mandarin by attending Silk Mandarin's program and spoke very highly about this school. After almost 1.5 years of studying with Silk Mandarin, I have to agree completely with him and am happy that I started to study Mandarin at Silk Mandarin.

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

Silk Mandarin gave me an individual studying plan at the beginning, which is tailored to my personal needs: e.g. the number of weekly courses (2-3 times per week) and personal learning goals (speaking and reading). Since I had basic Mandarin knowledge, I started with a "1-on-1-HSK 2-course” and completed HSK 3 after 9 months of study. My teacher carefully prepared every single lesson and I only had to organize the learning of vocabulary and homework at home in order to achieve the individual studying plan.

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

Follow the advice of your teacher, although you may think you can learn faster. Try to develop a habit by learning and repeating vocabulary and doing your homework. Do not be afraid of making mistakes again and again: Sooner or later it will pay off. Overcome periods of disappointment because you see no progress. It's part of the game.

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

Usually, I have two private lessons (1-on-1) per week. Each lesson lasts 90 minutes. An ordinary class consists of the first contact with the new vocabulary, listening comprehension, reading, discussion with the teacher about different topics (i. a. based on the book's texts) and checking your homework.
On the other days of the week, I do my homework and check my vocabulary. I mostly learn vocabulary with learning cards and an APP, so I can do it anytime and anywhere (e.g. in the subway).

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

Actually, I wasn't afraid to move to China, as I've traveled to China several times and knew that the Chinese are very welcoming and friendly. I only regret that it took me almost two years to start learning Mandarin. I can only recommend anyone moving to China, whether for only 2-3 years or longer, to start learning Mandarin as soon as possible. Communicating with locals gives you access to a completely different experience in China.

Any other tips for any prospective traveler?

China is a fast-developing country where anything is possible. You can easily get in touch with other people and make many new friends. In addition to economic development, it is also interesting to see how society is developing and how willing young Chinese are to learn. Currently, I do not have any plans to leave China and am looking forward to staying for some more time.

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Staff Interviews

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

Jasmine Zhou

Job Title
Teaching supervisor

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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