If you are just trying to learn some survival Chinese or start a lifelong relationship with the language, here’s where to start.


  • Focus on pronunciation and basic words/phrases.
  • Mostly in English


When you can get by with some key phrases, but are looking to start having basic conversations in Chinese, elementary lessons will help you make the jump.

After you finish the newbie and elementary levels, you are expected to:

  • Build up and develop a solid foundation of Phonetic (Pinyin) knowledge.
  • Compose basic sentences and converse on simple daily topics.
  • Participate in brief conversations.
  • Master 600 words.
  • Master 60 grammar points.
  • Recognize approx 300 Chinese characters.


Once you have simple conversations in Chinese, intermediate lessons will help you explore more variety of topics and use richer language.


  • More complex grammar structures and topical vocabulary.
  • Even mix of English and Chinese.


Upper-intermediate lessons are for students with conversational fluency but looking to use more sophisticated language and tackle more specialized topics.


  • Advanced grammar patterns and specialized vocabulary.
  • Primarily in Chinese, with some English.

After you finish the Intermediate level, you are expected to:

  • Communicate confidently on a fair range of topics in daily social conversations.
  • Give a short presentation on prepared topics.
  • Write simple notes on a limited range of topics.
  • Master 1200 words.
  • Master 150 grammar points.
  • Recognize approx. 800 Chinese characters.


You can already speak circles around your friends, but are looking for “complete” Chinese fluency.


  • Specialized, nuanced, and formal vocabulary.
  • Entirely in Chinese.


For advanced students, Upper Advanced lessons present a new challenge: unfiltered Chinese, as it’s used in real contexts, taken from original sources.


  • Discusses news and other real-world articles.
  • Entirely in Chinese.

After you finish the Advanced level, you are expected to:

  • Communicate effectively on a wide range of social topics.
  • Express opinions and hold discussions relating to basic professional business situations.
  • Gather general information and specific details from the mass media on a broad range of topics.
  • Write simple reports, social letters as well as routine work-related correspondence.
  • Understand Chinese culture and society.
  • Master over 5000 words.
  • Master 300 grammar points.
  • Recognize approx. 2000 Chinese characters.