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Toronto Chinese Academy Testimonials

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CPA, Financial Adviser

I am a very long standing student of Toronto Chinese Academy since late 2011 and wanted to write a heartfelt, informed, and authentic testimonial of the services they provide! This school changed my life in ways I did not think were possible. In 2011, I did not speak a single word of Mandarin at all!

Their teaching methods are very intuitive and different than other schools-> they used diagrams, pictures, and memory cards which made important concepts easier to remember. They also use audio recordings and other unique methods that make learning Mandarin fun. They are patient and have experience dealing with many different types of students that learn in different ways / or have different personalities.

Today I am fluent, and I continue to grow every day because of the teachings this school has provided me. The teachers Amy and Jeremy are very personable and have been patient with me from the difficult struggles in the first couple months to where I am now. Today, I speak to clients in Mandarin and it has completely changed my business and opened up a huge market to me that was not known to me before. As an employee of a large corporation in Canada, to all Corporations/Companies seeking training for their employees, Toronto Chinese Academy WILL change your business and take it to a new level that you NEED to be at in today’s economy.

To individual students learning for personal interest, it WILL change your life on a personal and professional level. You will impress your clients, meet new people that you would have never met, and connect with the world in a new way you haven’t before. As amazing as this school is, do not get me wrong. They do NOT make magic happen. Learning Mandarin is a long term life long commitment and going to a couple classes will not be enough. You have to be committed to it and spend time on it. My recommendation is for Toronto Chinese Academy to be your partner to get you through this long yet rewarding journey.

Toronto Chinese Academy also changed my life in a very personal way, had it not have been their help, I may have a different wife than I have today (sounds extreme but is true). I met my wife in 2011 (a Mandarin speaker) and she was the dream girl for me. However because of my inability at that time to speak in Mandarin and be able to communicate with her family, this relationship would have never continued and I would not be the same happy person I am today.

Thank you Amy and Jeremy for everything you did for me! I truly hope my personal testimonial to all potential students and companies will bring you even greater success than you already have!

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Agnes Mak

Partner, KPMG LLP

From not knowing much Mandarin two years ago to now carrying out Mandarin business dialogues with corporate Chinese clients, I was amazed by the pace of my improvement in business Mandarin within such a short period of time. I wouldn’t have this level of fluency in business Mandarin without the teaching of the Toronto Chinese Academy!
Although I have a Cantonese background, Cantonese is a very different language than Mandarin when it comes to speaking. So when I first started learning Mandarin at Toronto Chinese Academy, I had to start from the basics… yes, the pinyin. The Toronto Chinese Academy has a great teaching technique that helps me to develop a strong foundation in pinyin, which I am able to further strengthen my Mandarin skills. Each class I have various types of exercise involving comprehension, listening, storytelling, role playing and pronunciation practices that build a solid base for everyday use Mandarin. At the same time, the Toronto Chinese Academy develops a curriculum that tailors to my specific business need with a focus on Mandarin vocabulary for my accounting field.
Within a year of learning, I was able to carry out a general conversation with a Mandarin native speaker. Now I’ve learned nearly two years of business Mandarin, I am able to conduct business presentations and chair client meetings in Mandarin. As I continue to pursue my learning at the Toronto Chinese Academy and achieve a higher level of fluency, I am confident that I will benefit substantially from my Mandarin abilities both at work and everyday use.

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Jasmin Castonguay


Over the past few years, I took several mandarin classes and never got even close to the results I was hoping for. Until now.
I have been studying at the Toronto Chinese Academy for almost 6 months and I can say that Hong Lao Shi is by far the best mandarin teacher I’ve ever had.

Hong Lao Shi’s teaching method is efficient and tailored to my needs. She provides material adapted to my learning pace and objectives, which allows me to quickly apply it in everyday conversations. She quickly puts her students at ease and takes the progress of her students to heart. She will encourage you and motivate you to move forward and learn more and she will always make time for your questions and concerns.

Thanks to Hong Laoshi, I can now read and write over 500 characters and have conversations on Skype with my mother-in-law! The progress I made in 6 months, even with a busy schedule, exceeds my expectations and I am more motivated than ever to achieve the level of fluency I have always dreamed of. I am even planning to pass the HSK Level III proficiency test in May 2011!

Learning mandarin is a great challenge and the Toronto Chinese Academy has all the right tools to ensure the success of its students. I would recommend the school without hesitation to anyone who is serious about learning mandarin.

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ESL English Teacher

Not long after I fell madly in love with China on my first trip to teach English to high school kids in Chongqing, I went looking for a Chinese language teacher. During ESL teacher training, a professor I continue to admire advised that one good method for becoming a better teacher is to become a second language student. With that in mind, as a newly licensed ESL teacher, I went looking for a place to study Mandarin and found Hóng lǎoshī.
After only one two hour lesson with her, I could say things like, “I’m hot / cold / busy / tired.”, and “I like apples.” I was engaged in conversation; “Hello, how are you? I’m good, and you? I’m good too!”, “What’s your name? … My name is… I’m happy to meet you!”, “I understand. / I don’t understand.” – all IN CHINESE. This is no small achievement on the part of teacher or student, especially if the first and second languages are as far apart as English and Mandarin. It’s only possible when the teacher is able to foster a learning environment that brings out the best in their students. Hong lǎoshī’s command of the language is animated by imagination, spirit, humour, enthusiasm and heart. I am certainly learning much more than how to converse, read and write in a second language. I am also learning a lot about how to be a better language teacher.
Whether you are starting from scratch or flailing about in Mandarin and in need of the ultimate language study companions and guides, look no further. If you bring the will and the effort to learn Chinese to the Toronto Chinese Academy, you cannot fail. I’ve not only experienced the results myself; I have seen them realized in the achievements of so many of my schoolmates.
谢谢洪 老师 和 黄 老师! 我 爱死你们了!

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Michel Klein

Prof, Chairman, MD

I recently decided to learn Chinese for both professional and cultural reasons. I was delighted to join the Toronto Chinese Academy on the recommendation of a friend who highly rated it. I immediately benefited from the excellent teaching of Professors Amy Wong and Jeremy Huang. I have enjoyed their very efficient method which combines the learning of fundamental grammatical structures with practical exercises to quickly understand, read and speak the language.

I am today pleased with the significant progress I was able to make in less than six months. This was made possible thanks to the rigorous discipline and stimulating intellectual environment provided by the Academy as well as to the unfailing and convivial support of its dedicated staff.

I am glad to state without any reservation that the Toronto Chinese Academy is the ideal school for committed students.

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Tushyati Maudgalya

Apple Inc.

“As a management consultant with a very busy travel schedule it is not always easy to schedule in-person classes. But the flexibility offered by the Toronto Chinese Academy has made it possible for me to continue my Chinese lessons without any disruption no matter which part of the world I am – I take classes at their convenient Finch/Downtown Toronto locations when I am in town, and on Skype from the comfort of my hotel room when I am traveling.
The curriculum focuses on practical language usage and the lessons have been invaluable to me in building rapport with my Asian clients. Hong and Huang Laoshi – thank you for making Mandarin so much fun!”

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Victor Wong

Family Doctor

After having studied Mandarin at another school, I am very glad to have finally found this school. Before I arrived here I had difficulty even communicating simple ideas in daily speech, despite having studied several courses in the past. However, after 6 weeks of studying here, I was able to travel in China and comfortably communicate with the locals.

The method used here is unparalleled. The classes are small. There are no more than 3 people in a class. The teachers are astute in identifying what is in need of practice and then tailoring the class to address that need. During class there is a great emphasis on speaking, and because the class sizes are small, the students get lots of practice. After all languages are meant to be practical, and there is nothing better than repetition to adopt a new repertoire in your language.

Last but not least, the teachers, Hong Laoshi and Huang Laoshi are superb and also very personable. At times, I feel like I am part of a family in this school. Meeting every Friday to talk about our week, celebrating Christmas and making dumplings together for Chinese New Year’s were all part of the experience. Their terrific dedication to teaching, persistent encouragement, positive attitude, wonderful humor as well as practical knowledge of Chinese Culture, make learning absolutely enjoyable and addictive. Overall, I feel like I have found a perfect fit!

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Cheolyoung Choi

CPPIB Asia Inc.,

My experience with the TCA teachers has been exceptional. They take an individualized approach to teaching Chinese. Knowing my weaknesses and strengths, the teachers have focused on improving my listening, speaking and grammar related to commonly-used structures in business settings. The teachers have more than 16-years experience and it serves as a great advantage for any student that wants to learn Chinese regardless of his/her level.

Improvements in my Chinese levels have been significant since I started taking classes in October 2013. Especially beginning in January 2014, I was able to have long conversations in Chinese with Chinese-speaking colleagues at work. Moving into March , I felt more comfortable about engaging in phone conversations in Chinese. On the listening side, I can now listen to a few long sentences and re-construct them in my own words (in Chinese). Moreover, after a few iterations, I can repeat long dialogues or essays from our study book.

It is unfortunate that I am leaving Toronto and will not be able to attend classes in person. Huang laoshi, Hong laoshi and Yue laoshi have been some of the best instructors i have had. My favorite quote in learning: “Teachers can open the door for you, but you need to step in.” The quote emphasizes the student’s effort: improving a language skill requires an effort from the student. However, I believe that it is critical to meet good teachers who can show and open the door for you. I was fortunate enough to do so during my one-year stay in Toronto. I hope to continue to be in touch with them even after I relocate to Hong Kong.

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Ewan Christie

ESL teacher & Lawyer

I have studied Mandarin at Toronto Chinese Academy for over a year, and have enjoyed every minute of it! As a former ESL teacher, let me say that T.C.A.’s teaching methods are sound. Not only is their curriculum comprehensive and easy to follow, it’s also a great deal of fun. Hong and Huang lao shi’s energy and passion for teaching is second only to their dedication to their students. Studying at Toronto Chinese Academy will get you the results you are looking for, and fast. Whether you are planning to move to China, or are simply interested in learning the basics of Mandarin, Toronto Chinese Academy has a program that will work for you.

(I personally know of half a dozen students, and I’m sure there are many more, who will only continue to study Chinese if HLS is their teacher. (I am one of them.)

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Penelope Miyamoto



Hong Lao Shi (Amy) has been my teacher for almost a year. I took Chinese classes at U of T many years ago, and the quality of Hong Lao Shi’s teaching is much superior to that of U of T’s Department of East Asian Studies at the time I was there. One of the big differences is her enthusiasm – which is infectious – and her ‘gentleness’ with her students: you will never be criticized, and you will progress at your own pace. This inspires you to make effort. She is also unstinting of her time in guiding students through difficulties that they may encounter.
Amy also has an educational and teaching background that I believe is unequalled among the Toronto Chinese teaching community: an MA in Linguistics, fluency in English, Japanese and Korean, as well as her native Mandarin, six years’ faculty experience teaching Mandarin to English-speaking students of the University of Foreign Language, Dalian, China; two years of teaching Chinese at Seoul International University, Korea; two years at Tokyo Mandarin Training Center and finally in Canada.

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Katherine Bischoping

Associate Professor

York University


Having flailed away earlier at other methods of learning Mandarin, I feel especially lucky to have found Toronto Chinese Academy. The classes would be considered luxuriously small by any standard, and especially in comparison to Mandarin classes in the university and college programs that I researched. The students are an interesting mix from all walks of life. The instructors are unfailingly encouraging and uncannily able to keep track of each student’s progress. Most importantly, Hong laoshi has crafted for the school a brilliant, rigorous, and fun method of introducing grammar points, pronunciation, vocabulary, and (optional) character-writing at a pace that both supports and challenges students. That Friday night conversation sessions are available is icing on this cake.

By the end of three months of study, I was able to handily pass an HSK2 practice test available online. The other day, eight months into my studies, I found myself able to read a page-long “For rent” ad written in Chinese characters. Each class I attend, I look forward to the surprises of the language, and the inspiration of Toronto Chinese Academy’s teaching environment.


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