About Us

MandarinKey is a multimedia online learning platform, designed to support students and teachers in the learning of Chinese. MandarinKey is a member of the i-Learner Nebula Group, which was established in 2004, and provides leading online teaching to students across Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Mainland China and Japan.

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i-Learner focuses on the “i” in language learning, providing learning that is:

  • Intelligent
  • Independent
  • Individualised
  • Internet-based
Using innovative web technology, we have brought interactive English and Chinese learning to over 500,000 users in over 500 schools. At the heart of our enterprise is an unwavering commitment to quality. Through active education research, we work to produce the most comprehensive, imaginative and stimulating curricula for our students and teachers. We give students the opportunity to shine and provide valuable support to real teachers in real classrooms.


The Story behind MandarinKey

MandarinKey is inspired by the story of German missionaries Andrea Müller and Christian Mentzel, who, in the 17th century, claimed to have invented a Clavis Sinica or ‘Chinese Key’ that would unlock the secret to learning Chinese. They claimed that their secret would ‘radically simplify and reduce the amount of study needed to master the Chinese language.’

Unfortunately the end product was lost to history and we never found out the secrets that their key unlocked. Therefore, we decided to create MandarinKey, to bring students and teachers a modern answer to the old question of how to learn a language.

Just like Müller and Mentzel, we believe that our MandarinKey is the secret to effective Chinese language learning.

Our Team

We are proud that our team members come from many different backgrounds and therefore draw upon a wide variety of skills.

This ensures we can continue to provide a creative, diverse and innovative service and that our curricula benefit from a global perspective.

Our Approach

Our multimedia online learning platform combines our expertise in language education and our understanding of technology.

At the centre of our philosophy is a belief that every student deserves to reach their maximum potential and that no student should be left behind. We therefore design learning platforms that reach all students: stretching high achievers, while supporting a spectrum of learners.

We believe that learners absorb language more effectively when they encounter it in a variety of circumstances and through a range of media.

Our curricula engage students through multimedia lessons that bring Chinese to life. Students will not find themselves confined to reading dry textbooks, but rather will see Chinese used in videos, songs, poems, games and a variety of activities. This will ensure that the learning process is kept interesting and effective.

We also aim to support teachers. By supplementing classroom curricula with engaging, interactive material, teachers can feel at ease, knowing that they can rely on us as they prepare students for both school examinations and a broader understanding of Chinese.

Our Curricula

At i-Learner we believe curricula should serve both teachers and students.

We understand that teachers and schools strive to help their students succeed in important exams. In designing our curricula, we therefore pay special attention to ensuring our programmes fulfil these needs. We provide a resource that teachers can rely on when faced with bringing students up to exam standard.

We are also deeply aware that education is about more than just exams. Integrated into our curricula are knowledge and skills that take students beyond their exam goalposts, enabling them to take charge of their own long-term learning. We believe this is especially important for language learning, where a contextual and cultural understanding is vital to leading students through exam qualifications and on into a confident, deeper mastery of the language.