Our Approach

We motivate children by modeling enthusiasm and curiosity. Our teachers engage students with a combination of creative play-based learning and real-life applications, including music, arts and crafts, storytelling, unique games, and dynamic group activities.

The result? Our students successfully build vocabulary, character recognition, and writing skills in Chinese.

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“Bilingualism, of course, can be a leg up for college admission and a résumé burnisher. But a growing body of research now offers a further rationale: the regular, high-level use of more than one language may actually improve early brain development.”

Why It’s Smart to Be Bilingual, Newsweek

Meet The Team

Elizabeth Song
Founder

I grew up speaking Mandarin as a child in Taiwan, and when my family immigrated to the U.S., my parents insisted “No English!” in the house. They knew learning English wasn’t going to be a problem for me and my brothers – the danger was forgetting Chinese.

Fast-forward a few decades, and history is repeating itself. I have two amazing children with my wonderful husband who’s also Chinese-American, and their first language was Mandarin. That’s all they got during their first two years or so of life! But now, my pre-schooler and kindergartener prefer speaking English and struggle to remember simple Chinese words.

My efforts to find Mandarin enrichment programs for them uncovered a lack of local options. My only choices were to take them into Manhattan every week or drop them off for multiple hours on weekends. I didn’t want to do either, and I couldn’t believe that children in Hoboken can take classes in pretty much anything – except the world’s most widely spoken language.

I wanted a program that would re-ignite my children’s interest in Chinese. Engaging teachers who would teach through songs, art and crafts, games, and stories. A nurturing environment where they would learn alongside peers and experience Chinese as the community language.

This is what Mandarin Mission is all about. Please join us as we open up a world of possibilities through highly engaging and stimulating classes for your young learners.

In my other life, I am a marketing executive with 15+ years of experience working in the U.S. and China for publicly traded e-commerce, finance, and technology firms. I hold a Master of Science in Magazine Publishing from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wellesley College.

Jinnan Guo
Lead Teacher

I am a native speaker of Mandarin who discovered a passion for teaching after graduating in the top 5% of my class with an engineering degree from the China University of Geosciences in Beijing. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Education and Philosophy at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

I specialize in bilingual and bicultural education and was awarded the 2019 Prize Fellowship in Philosophy for Children. I am a certified lecturer and facilitator recognized by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. This curriculum understands that children acquire knowledge and try to use what they know and empowers them to think critically and creatively. I am also certified in first aid and CPR.

I currently lead classes at Mandarin Mission and teach for iCanMandarin at Public School 183 in New York City. I combine play-based learning with real-life applications to engage students. I design my lesson plans to focus on the development of their linguistic ability, and I also include activities that help them flex their creativity and problem-solving skills.

In my other life, I am a debate champion, recognized public speaker, and violin player.