What Our Clients Say

“I’ve been studying from the MandarinCore program with Ellen three times a week, using Skype. It’s been immensely gratifying to observe how much progress I’ve made in my Chinese speaking and listening, on a strong functional and grammar foundation. It is not easy to find a teacher and program that will support the serious adult learner in progressing from elementary to intermediate or higher levels of Chinese. Ellen is just that rare and magical teacher! She has deep insight into the challenges that face English speakers learning Chinese and has built that experience into the MandarinCore lesson plans and teaching materials. Ellen is an exceptionally patient and kind teacher (so important for adult learners!) and a creative and thoughtful language mentor. And it certainly feels right to be learning from a program and a teacher actually based in China. (Shanghai.) I enjoy my Chinese lessons enormously and highly recommend Ellen and MandarinCore.”

—Barbara Rifkind

What Clients Say

“As an older student of Chinese, I appreciate MandarinCore’s philosophy, which focuses on key vocabulary, reinforced by the dialogues, explanations, Skype calls and expansions. Ellen Guo is a seasoned teacher, who personalizes her approach for the student, but also emphasizes key points of each lesson. The dialogues are challenging with new vocabulary and grammar structures in each lesson. The dialogues speak to real life situations in China. I believe that the use of Chinese words is quite up to date, sometimes with words used in ways that I cannot find in the Pleco dictionary. I also appreciate Ellen Guo’s flexibility for accommodating my schedule for the Skype calls.”

—Robert Lin


“Mandarin Core is an online language course best used in conjunction with regular lessons with trained teachers via Skype. Ellen Guo has successfully combined useful day to day Chinese conversations with a thoughtful analysis and explanation of key Chinese word patterns, word associations, syntax and sentence structure. Compared to other online learning programs, Mandarin Core is excellent. The online teachers are particularly good. The online lessons reinforce and expand upon the regular lesson and related learning materials with real life situations and role plays with a view to helping you communicate effectively in real life situations.”

—David Barwise


“I have known Ellen Guo for several years, and appreciate her dedication and experience as a teacher of Mandarin Chinese to non-native speakers like myself. Ellen is very methodical and orderly in her approach to language learning. This is helpful to beginners and advanced students alike. I have greatly benefitted from her patience and skill as a teacher in a virtual setting and highly recommend her and MandarinCore!”

—Betsy Neidel