Chinese Descent Speakers Program

Our Chinese Descent Speakers program is specifically tailored towards students of Chinese descent and overseas Chinese born outside of China. Learning Mandarin as a heritage student is very different to learning Mandarin without any Chinese background.

This is where the idea of the Chinese Descent Speakers Program came from. We want to cater for all and this program is a great way to get your Mandarin ahead fast if you are a heritage speaker.

Illustration, LTL has hosted over 3000 students since 2007

  • Chinese lessons for descent speakers
  • All classes tailored for each student
  • Study plan created just for you
  • Receive first class Chinese lessons
  • Fully certified, experienced teachers
  • Enjoy fast language progression

Chinese Heritage Speakers are a very diverse group ranging from students who grew up speaking a Chinese dialect like many ABCs (American/Australian Born Chinese), BBCs (British Born Chinese), CBCs (Canadian Born Chinese) and overseas Chinese. A program for a BBC who grew up speaking Cantonese or a Singaporean who studied Mandarin in school and also knows Hokkien is very different and therefore needs much pre planning. These programs need to be specially tailored for each student as backgrounds are completely different between students.

  • Who is this program for?

    Who is this program for?

    ABC’s, BBC’s & CBC’s – American, Australian, British and Canadian born Chinese students
    Overseas Chinese – Also for Hong Kong, Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese who want to learn Mandarin

  • Every student is different

    Every student is different

    Tailored – We recognise every student has different needs
    Personal assessment – We assess you for free to gauge you level
    Study Plan – Every student receives their own specific study plan
    Teachers – Our teachers cater to exactly what you need to learn

  • What we teach

    What we teach

    Pronunciation – Learn proper Mandarin with LTL
    Characters – If you are behind on characters, we can help you
    Grammar – Learn how grammar structures and words can be the same
    Reading and writing – Whatever you need to focus on, we’ll teach you

  • Support


    LTL Staff – Always here to help and support you
    Teachers – Build a strong bond with your LTL Teacher(s)
    Student Advisor – Can help you with any day to day issues
    No delays – Get underway and get learning Mandarin with LTL

Chinese Descent Speakers Program

Learning Mandarin as a heritage student is very different to that of an American or European student without Chinese background. As a Chinese descent speaker you can utilize your current knowledge of the language to process Chinese faster than someone with zero background in Chinese.

We recognise, crucially, that every student is different. There are many dialects in China. Let’s take two examples to show the potential differences between students:

Student A – Speaks fluent “kitchen Mandarin” but cannot communicate with colleagues at work who are Mandarin speakers and use Mandarin to complete day to day tasks

Student B – Listens to parents speak Cantonese at home but struggles with any form of Mandarin

Student C – Is familiar and comfortable with modern Chinese characters but struggles with tones and pronunciation

Here you can see why we tailor each study plan to the student and why classes must be individual. Every student has their own language background and they are never the same. Student A needs improved Mandarin for the workplace, student B wishes to make the transition from Cantonese to Mandarin and Student C needs to practice pronunciation. That’s three very different language programs to prepare.

Pricing (Chinese Yuan)

Your Chinese Descent Speaker course can run from a single week to a whole year. Simply talk to us and we can create the perfect plan for you. All prices in the table are listed in Chinese Yuan and include a personal assessment, study plan, tuition and all your text books.

Program Heritage Speakers Standard Heritage Speakers Intensive
 Duration 20h Chinese Heritage Speakers 1-on-1 classes/week 30h Chinese Heritage Speakers 1-on-1 classes/week
2 Weeks 10,139 15,208
3 Weeks 14,837 22,255
4 Weeks  19,300 28,950
8 Weeks  34,969  52,454
12 Weeks 47,520 71,280
 13-52 wks 3,960 / wk 5,940 / wk

What our students say

Winkie Choi Testimony for LTL
Winkie Choi
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"For my 1-on-1 lessons I had quite a young teacher. We got along really well. One of my main targets for Beijing, was to get to speak more Chinese in general as I rarely get a chance to speak Mandarin back home"

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Winkie Choi Testimony for LTL
Winkie Choi

My stay here with LTL lasted four weeks and it passed really quickly. I was staying in a shared apartment, and I actually liked it this way because you have the freedom of coming and going as you want to. The room is quite good for Chinese standards. Everything went pretty smoothly. The apartments I stayed in were good and accessible by public transport. The second one was even in walking distance of the school. 

Winkie at the Summer Palace in Beijing

Exploring the Summer Palace

The LTL student community is like a big family that welcomes every single student with a warm hug. There are school organised events every week that also give you a chance to get to do things that you wouldn‘t necessarily have thought of on your own. The school staff is really nice. You can come to them with whatever problem it is that you have and they‘ll do their best to try to solve it.

For my 1-on-1 lessons I had quite a young teacher. We got along really well. One of my main targets for Beijing, was to get to speak more Chinese in general as I rarely get a chance to speak Mandarin back home. So, personally, I really liked to have a good conversation with my teacher. As a special treat I got to have an excursion every two weeks here, which is a nice way of changing up things a little bit instead of sitting in a class room all day. 

I‘ve wanted to explore China for quite a while now. Even though I‘ve seen Shenzhen and Hong Kong before. The ancient cultural aspect weren‘t quite present in those two cities. However, Beijing with the Forbidden Palace, Hutong’s and all the gardens and temples was just what I needed. It turned out to be the right decision. I‘m mesmerised by this city and all its scenery. This city is so big, that it has a little corner for everybody. No matter what you are looking for whether it be the old artistic quarters of the Liulichang or the more modern area Sanlitun. 

Daniel Neu Testimony for LTL
Daniel Neu
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Coming from a Chinese background and learning Chinese is quite different to learning Chinese as a complete beginner. My teacher managed to adapt to all the students differing needs. It was great that she knew my strengths & weaknesses."

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Daniel Neu Testimony for LTL
Daniel Neu

Having been to Beijing many times before, this was the first time I really got to learn Chinese which was interesting in its own way. One of the reasons I chose LTL Beijing, in addition to the good reviews and the apparent value was that it was close to my grandmas apartment here in Beijing. You see, my family has lived in Beijing for over 200 years.

Coming from a Chinese background and learning Chinese is quite different from learning Chinese for a complete beginner. Some things were easier, as I already had some basic knowledge of the language, and I knew the culture. The teacher managed to adapt to all the students differing needs. It was also great that she knew my strengths and weaknesses. It really helped my learning.

I really enjoyed the experience of finally learning Chinese, and it is something I want to continue with. Already I plan to go back to LTL, maybe next spring?

Jocelyn Testimony for LTL
Hong Kong
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"It’s hard to analyze the level of improvement in my Mandarin, but I can happily say that I no longer feel threatened when I see Simplified text and can recognize and understand a broader range of characters."

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Jocelyn Testimony for LTL
Hong Kong

Although it took some time to find a suitable learning/teaching style that best addressed my goals at LTL, I am very satisfied with my classes and teacher overall. Prior to coming to LTL, my Mandarin was at a basic conversational/reading/writing (Traditional characters) level. My main goals were to learn Simplified Chinese and to gain fluency in speaking, reading, and writing. Ultimately to feel more comfortable using the language in future business settings.

Jocelyn and Katrin in China

Jocelyn and Katrin enjoying some time exploring China

I started with the HSK 4 textbook, but upon realizing that the content was not very applicable, I asked Seraph and Angela if we could incorporate current events/rising trends in China, as well as Chinese culture and history. Both Seraph and Angela were very responsive and worked to address my desires immediately. Seraph began to buy a local newspaper for me every morning and she would send me articles she found interesting/relevant to read at home. She also asked me what specific topics I’m interested in learning more about and she would then find news/articles to help broaden my knowledge. When I come across unfamiliar characters in class, she tries to explain the definition in a way that helps me remember the word and also provides useful examples. I truly appreciate and would like to commend Seraph’s hard work both in and outside of class – I could not have asked for someone more patient and responsive as Seraph!

It’s hard to analyze the level of improvement in my Mandarin, but I can happily say that I no longer feel threatened when I see Simplified text and can recognize and understand a broader range of characters. Although reading and understanding Chinese newspapers is still a challenge for me, I can generally read the headers/sub-titles and gain a good understanding of the key ideas. Whilst there is still a lot more room for improvement, I am content with my improvement in this past month.

In terms of possible areas of improvement for LTL, I would recommend notifying students what textbooks are available (ie HSK, Speaking based textbooks, etc.) prior to/on the first day of classes so that students can pick one that best suits their interest/goals. I switched textbooks two times in the first two weeks and whilst I understand Angela tries her best to find a suitable textbook, it would have been helpful to get an introduction to the different textbooks in the beginning. Other than that minor area though, I am glad LTL has frequent feedback forms and I enjoy the flexibility in crafting my own lessons. Thank you LTL for a great month of learning!

The Great Wall of China - Jocelyn, Katrin and Nicolas

The Great Wall of China – Jocelyn, Katrin and Nicolas

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can I not study in a small group class?

The needs of a Chinese Descent student differ widely between students. Every study plan has to be meticulously planned and therefore individual classes are a must.

Can I also study in a small group class?

Chinese descent speakers can of course also study Mandarin in a group in Shanghai or learn Chinese at our Beijing school if they wish so. However, the classes will be mainly with students of non-Chinese descent who might hold you back. Being of Chinese descent, speaking a Chinese accent or having studied Mandarin in Chinese school as a child will allow you to progress much faster than others. We recommend to not waste that extra bonus.

Would a Homestay be a suitable option for a Descent Speaker?

It would be. Even more so for speakers of dialects like Hokkien, Cantonese or Hakka. Speakers of these dialects tend to pick up Mandarin really quickly by simply listening and being forced to speak in Mandarin. A homestay, like with any other student, is a great way to enhance your Chinese faster.

Can I still meet other students despite studying individually?

At LTL we are one big family from students to staff and teachers. We all look out for each other and no one is just a number. The great thing is your Mandarin will progress quicker because you study individually and you’ll still meet other students and enjoy the social aspect of LTL from our popular lunch club, to weekend trips and evenings at the various restaurants.

Where can I study the Chinese Descent Speaker Program?

Both our Beijing and Shanghai centres offer this Chinese program. You can choose to study either or both of these cities. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn Chinese in Taiwan with LTL in 2019 as we plan to open our 4th school.

I’m interested, what’s the next step?

Simply contact us by live chat below or by using the Contact Us button above. We’ll get the ball rolling on your new Chinese Program.

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