At China Institute, we believe that a deeper understanding between the U.S. and China is critical to strengthening our global community in the 21st Century, and that proficiency in the Chinese language will facilitate a more nuanced dialogue between and among our citizens and leaders. This belief is the foundation for our language programs, directed both at language learning and also at ensuring that Mandarin language teachers have high quality training available to them so that they can inspire, engage, and educate their students with maximum effectiveness.

Because of our position as a global leader in evaluating and understanding best practices in the teaching of Mandarin language, China Institute is in a unique position to employ in our classrooms what we are learning through research and teacher training. Thus, we strive to design our classes in such a way that they embody the best practices in methodology and curriculum available to educators today, and, in turn, to enrich our professional development offerings for teachers with what we have learned in the hands-on practical setting of our classrooms.

China Institute is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York as a school of continuing education.The Institute’s School of Chinese Studies, founded in 1933, is the oldest educational center of its kind in the United States.

At China Institute, our faculty are both scholars and your guides, to all things China.

Senior Lecturers

Ben Wang is Senior Lecturer of Language and Humanities at China Institute and he also teaches Chinese at the United Nations. He has lectured extensively on classical Chinese literature, literati painting, calligraphy and theater at Columbia University, Yale University, Williams College, New York University, the Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, the Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. As a translator, Mr. Wang received the National Prize in literature translation awarded by the National Literary Association of Taiwan. He was awarded Outstanding Citizen of New York City by the New York City Council in 2003. Since 1989, Mr. Wang has translated 39 classical Chinese poetic dramas into English.


Ping Wang earned an MA from Long Island University in TESOL (Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages) and a BA from Peking University, Beijing, China in Western Languages and Literatures. She has been teaching Chinese as a second language to foreign students since 1983, first at Beijing Language Institute for nine years. After moving to the U.S. she taught at the United Nations and the City College of New York (CUNY). She currently teaches at China Institute in the Adult Language Program and Private Tutoring Program, at New York University (NYU) and at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).


Steve Zhang received graduate degrees in history and classical studies. He has extended experiences in teaching Chinese at all levels and as well as in curriculum design. He has published on literature, history and culture in mainland, Taiwan and the United States and served on the board of editors for translation series Approaching China. He is currently a professor of Chinese language and culture at SUNY after years of lecturing at various schools such as City University of New York, Fordham University, Saint Mary’s College and University of Minnesota. He joined China Institute in 2005.


Lan Yang holds a MSED in Literacy Education from Queens College, CUNY. She is a certified NYS Chinese teacher, and holds the certificates in ACTFL’s (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Written Proficiency Test (WPT). Lan has joined China Institute since 2010. She is also an adjunct faculty at Pace University.

Fei Xue received her M.A. in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages at Peking University, China and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Japanese Language and Culture Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada. After moving to NYC, she pursued a professional certificate in TCSOL (Teaching Chinese as a Second Language) from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has abundant experience in teaching and tutoring Chinese for learners at all ages and various levels. Fei is also experienced in differentiated instruction and lesson planning for targeted audience. Fei joined China Institute in 2018.

Jia Situ holds a BA from Hunter College and an MA in Teaching Chinese and TESOL from New York University. She holds certificates in both teaching Chinese and teaching Chinese culture and traditional art. She has taught Chinese at various institutions, including The New School, Shuang Wen After School Program and FGS Chinese School, etc. She is currently teaching at Nightingale-Bamford School.

Maya Zhang holds a BA in Early Childhood Education. Maya is a New York State certified teacher and has started her teaching career here at China Institute since 2012. Over the years, she has taught at many different institutions and schools, among which the United Nations, United Nations International School, Avenues World School, Pace University, etc. She is known to make her class fun, interacting and effective at the same time.

Nan Deng received her M.A. in Foreign Language Education and TESOL from New York University. Growing up in Beijing and Canton (Guangzhou), she speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. She is a New York State certified teacher in teaching Chinese Mandarin and ESL. She is a dedicated teacher in the field of teaching Chinese. In addition to working as a full time Mandarin teacher at New Utrecht High School, she also gave speeches at various academic seminars, such as the professional development sessions held by Social Studies Supervisors Association (SSSA) and Developing Chinese Language Teachers (DCLT).

Qingliu Li received an MA in International Business from Tsinghua University. He received Graduate Certificates in Chinese Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from East China Normal University. He has taught Chinese and Business Chinese at The City University of New York and New York University. The courses he teachers include Mandarin Chinese at various levels and Business Chinese. He has been teaching at China Institute since 2003.

Rency Qu has a Master’s Degree in Adolescent Education of Chinese from Hunter College. She has a wealth of teaching, tutoring and curriculum design experience in various programs and Language Schools including Hunter College Chinese Startalk and Flagship Program, Teng Fei Language Center, East-West School of International Studies, and Brooklyn High School of the Arts. She’s passionate about teaching, and enjoys working with students from multiple backgrounds. Currently, she is an adjunct lecturer of Chinese at Fordham University, and has been teaching at China Institute since 2014.

Shiqi Song (Sophie) has her master degree for teaching Chinese to other language speakers in Shandong University. After she taught ESL for 11 years in China, she has been teaching Chinese for 5 years, including 1 year in France and 2 years in Canada. Being fluent in English and French, she has rich language learning and teaching experience and many useful strategies. She’s passionate about teaching, and enjoys working with students from multiple backgrounds and discussing various topics.

Shujen Yeo is a native of Taiwan who has also lived for years in the cities and countryside of Fujian Province. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, and has taught Chinese at the University of Maryland. Her husband is a linguist of Chinese with whom she has collaborated in the compilation of Chinese teaching materials. Currently, she is an instructor for China Institute’s Private Tutoring Program.

Shouwen Pan was a professor of English of Jilin University before joining China Institute in 2017. In 2000-2001 he was a William Fulbright Scholar sponsored by the US State Department and hosted by the University of Mississippi. In 2007 he received PhD degree of English Literature at Nankai University. In 2010-2014 he taught classical Chinese philosophy, classical Chinese literature and Chinese at Confucius Institute of Rutgers University. In 2015 he published his monograph on Lao Tzu. In 2017 he finished his research project on “International Promotion of Classical Chinese Philosophy and Literature” granted by Jilin University and Department of Education of Jilin Province.

Wenjin Bi As an experienced bilingual teacher, Ms. Bi joined China Institute in 2014. Ms. Bi holds a MA in Education and is a New York State Certified teacher in teaching Chinese Mandarin and ESL. In addition to teaching Mandarin Chinese and ESL at NYCDOE, she is also a Chinese curriculum evaluator for the NYCDOE Department of English Language Learners (DELLS) and a mark reviewer of New York State Chinese teaching certificate assessment items. Ms. Bi has rich experience in teaching Chinese as a foreign/second language at China, South Korea and the United States. She focuses on developing students’ listening and speaking skills which have been highly regarded and reviewed by her students.

Wei Tang earned a bachelor degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Central China Normal University in China, and a MBA from Saint Ambrose University in US. Before joining China Institute, he has 12 years’ experience in teaching Chinese language at Augustana College and central China Normal University as lecturer. Besides teaching, he served as China marketing analyst for international firms, news editor for SinoVision, and is currently a writer and columnist for Chinese Teaching and Studies. His professional experience also includes assignments for International companies.

Wenxi (Maisy) Zhang is the Resident Faculty and Program Coordinator in the Adult Language and Studio programs at China Institute. She holds a MA in Foreign Language Education-Chinese and TESOL from New York University and a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from Hunter College. Before joining China Institute in 2016, Maisy taught Chinese at various institutions including Montclair State University and Hunter College. In addition to teaching Chinese, Maisy has been practicing Chinese calligraphy since an early age and has won prizes in several national and international competitions. She has been teaching calligraphy since 2009.

Xiaolin Lin holds a B.A. in Business English and a M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a foreign language from Beijing Normal University. 2007, She was chosen as an exchange scholar by Confucius Institute of Michigan State University, where she taught various levels of Mandarin language and cultural exploration courses to high school students on line and adults on campus, and later K-5 Mandarin immersive programs for three years. 2010, She received her M.A. in TESOL and Foreign Language Education from New York University. She is a New York State TESOL& Mandarin Chinese (K-12) certified teacher. Since 2011, she has been teaching various Mandarin language and Chinese culture courses at a private school on the Upper West side of NYC. She has over ten years’ extensive experiences in teaching Mandarin language and Chinese culture at various levels, curriculum design and program enrichment. She loves teaching, reading, traveling and savoring food.”

Xiaoling Dong received her MA in Chinese Classical Literature from Heilongjiang University, and Ph.D. in the same field from Harbin Normal University. She had 17 years of professional experience in teaching Chinese as a second language at Heilongjiang University, with one year of teaching experience in Japan. In addition to Chinese language courses for international students, she also taught Chinese classical literature courses. Since joining China Institute in 2016, she has been teaching various popular courses such as Advanced Reading, Heritage Chinese, and Pre-Advanced Chinese through Videos. Currently Dr. Dong is also an Adjunct Lecturer of Chinese at College of Staten Island. An interesting side note, Dr. Dong is an active poet herself.

Xiaoling (Charlene) Wang A native Beijinger, Ms. Wang holds a BA in Oriental Literature & Culture from Beijing University and a MBA from Temple University, and is CPA licensed in New York State. She used to work as a financial officer in United Nation Office of Project Service, and auditor in Deloitte & Touche LLP for a few years. However, Ms. Wang found that her genuine interest had been in teaching and education. During expatriate life in Hong Kong, for 7 years from 2007 -2014 she worked as an Mandarin teacher at Hong Kong International School, and another 4 years until 2018 helping the School on various cultural events and organizational responsibilities. Recently returning to New York, Ms. Wang is pursuing the TCSOL certificate at Teachers College Columbia University (TCSOL: Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages). From her rich experiences in business and teaching, Ms. Wang has developed a special interest in teaching Chinese culture and Chinese Business Etiquette. Ms. Wang joined China Institute in 2019.

Xiaoying Zhou is pursuing her MA in Adolescence Education (with a focus on teaching Chinese Mandarin) at Hunter College. Before joining China Institute in Fall 2015, Ms. Zhou taught Chinese at different institutions such as the Ithaca Chinese School. She is currently teaching Chinese at both Hunter College High School and Hunter College.

Ying Yu: With education in Business English and Teaching Chinese, Ying is an experienced Chinese language instructor in the United States and Europe. She has been teaching a variety of learners of all ages, either in small groups or on a one-on-one setting. She is also experienced in preparing students in language test, such as HSK and IGCSE. Ying joined China Institute in 2007, teaching in both the Adult Program and Children & Youth Program.

Yue Zheng has a BA in TESOL from Jiangsu Normal University in China, and a MA in English Language and Literature from Southeast Missouri State University. With a certificate in TCSOL (Teaching Chinese as a Second Language) from Columbia University, she has taught Chinese and ESL in both China and US, including EF English First, Xuzhou No. 31 Junior High School, and United Way of Southeast Missouri. She has been tutoring and teaching for China Institute since April 2015. Ms. Zheng’s professional experience also involves law practice.

Studio Instructors

Alex Hing is a senior student of Grandmaster William C.C. Chen and instructor at Master Chen’s Manhattan studio, and has been practicing Asian martial arts for over 25 years. He is a New York region Yang style gold medalist and third-ranking international heavyweight push hands competitor. He has taught Taijiquan at China Institute for 10 years..

Sungsook Setton, widely acclaimed author of the “Spirit of the Brush,” was trained in brush painting and calligraphy under Chinese and Korean masters. Sungsook also studied Western art in Germany, U.K., and U.S., where she obtained a BFA at Stony Brook University and MFA at Goddard College. Sungsook has had 22 solo and over 170 group shows internationally. She has received more than two dozen awards for her work, including three times Best of Show at the National Juried Exhibition by the Sumi-e Society of America. She has taught Chinese brush painting classes at the China Institute since 2004, from introductory to advanced content, including techniques, materials and key genres such as landscapes as well as birds and flowers. Sungsook regularly conducts workshops around the US.

Jiaxuan Zhang earned a B.A. in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University. He started practicing Chinese calligraphy in his youth, and has been teaching for more than ten years.

Viviane Chen is a devoted practitioner and teacher of Taiji and Spirituality. She has trained with leading instructors in the United States and Asia, including Master Ping Zhen Cheng (founder of Taichizen -“Enlightened Living”), Master Alex Dong (fourth generation of the renowned Dong family of Taijiquan) and Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang (the nineteenth generation standard-bearer of the Chen Family Taijiquan.) She has also studied meditation with Tibetan Master Tsoknyi Rinpoche and received holistic well-being training from numerous institutions. In so doing, she has developed a unique approach to the teaching and practice of these disciplines, integrating key elements of various traditions and creating space to apply them within our fast-paced modern lives.


I never met a teacher so excellent, so prepared with deep knowledge in world literature, in arts, in music, in theater and in Chinese philosophy.

Franco Zerlenga, Classical Chinese IV - Taught by Ben Wang

Thank you very much for providing such an excellent Chinese language workshop at the China Institute last Saturday. It was a very intensive and valuable educational experience.

Student, Essential Chinese for Travelers

I have taken several classes here and Vivian is my favorite instructor so far. She makes things very clear and provides good structure

Student, Business Chinese

Rency was great. Really enjoyed class and learned more than I thought I would

Student, L1A

Class is great. Appreciate that we can send sentences each week that Steve Zhang corrects and comments on.

Student, L1B

Excellent class, feel I’ve made tremendous improvement.

Student, Intensive L3

China Institute’s free tutoring program is so helpful in learning everyday vocabulary outside of class.

Student, Private Tutoring

The content of this class is fascinating. Steve Zhang is one of the most knowledgeable teachers I have ever met. I would love to attend a lecture by him of Chinese history/society.

Student, Reading Chinese Media Texts