willow zheng mandarin

Mandarin Chinese Classes


Language School

Willow teaches Beginner through Advanced Mandarin language classes through the Northwest China Council, located at 221 NW 2nd Ave. in Portland's Chinatown. Classes are held weekday evenings, each semester is 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. The Beginner through Intermediate classes use the Integrated Chinese series textbooks. For more information and to register, please see the NW China Council Language Classes page.


Willow provides one-to-one instruction to students or professionals in the Portland area who want to supplement their classes or want to prepare for visiting China on business or as a tourist. Classes are held at a mutually-convenient location. Rates range from $25 to $40 / hour, depending on the total class length and travel time. To schedule a class, or for more information, please contact Willow

Willow's TEACHING Method

My teaching method focuses first on speaking and listening comprehension, and second on reading and writing skills.  Students spend classroom time developing verbal communication skills using correct tones and grammar.  I mainly speak Mandarin during class to more rapidly develop listening comprehension.

Students develop reading and writing skills through homework assignments. I encourage them to keep a Chinese diary and submit short stories to read in class. Students may choose to write using Chinese characters, pinyin, or PC-based pinyin-to-Chinese character software. I am also happy to teach Chinese calligraphy to those who are interested.

Since class time itself limits opportunities to practice speaking and listening, many of my students meet weekly at a coffee shop for two hours of informal conversation. There are usually one or two native speakers there each week, including myself.

Study Abroad

Study-abroad vacations are also popular. Each year a number of my students attend one of China’s many language schools for two to six weeks of intensive Mandarin. I encourage this, and keep a growing database of information in the Student area of this website to help students with visas, schools, housing information, etc. There is always a noticeable improvement in students returning from these trips, especially in their listening comprehension. Some of their experiences are highlighted in the Willow’s Students in China section of this website.

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