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9 places to take foreign language classes in Hong Kong

By Sophie Pettit 28 August 2018 | Last Updated 21 April 2023

Header image courtesy of Brooke Cagle (via Unsplash)

Originally published by Sophie Pettit. Last updated by Catharina Cheung.

Being multilingual is beneficial for numerous reasons, no matter what your age. For kids, learning a new language is best done at an early age as their minds are more receptive during these formative years. It also encourages them to be more open to foreign cultures which serves them well in adulthood. As for grown-ups, it’s super handy for when you’re travelling, allows you to connect new people, and employers love it when you are fluent in several languages. So, without further ado, here are some of the best foreign language courses for kids and adults around Hong Kong.

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Students are spoiled for choice in terms of the languages on offer here, which include French, German, Italian, Dutch, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Berlitz believes that youth is the easiest period in which to learn a language, and offers a wide range of programs for children and teenagers, designed to stimulate and entertain while instructing.

All are taught by highly trained, natively fluent speakers who are experienced with and enjoy teaching young people. The programmes group children of similar ages together, who learn while playing and participating in other activities.

Berlitz, 2/F, Lee Garden Six, 111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2157 2222

Alliance Française de Hong Kong

As the largest language institution for French in Hong Kong and Asia, Alliance Française offers a wide range of courses, including workshops, specialised courses, private tuition, immersion days, museum outings, or even French dining experiences. The AFHK is also the only accredited and official examination centre for diplomas issued by the French ministry of education.

In addition, if you’re a member or a student, you'll get access to their multimedia library which contains a wealth of content, including 12,000 French books, audio content, DVDs, as well as a dedicated section for learning resources. Age groups are split between kids, teens, and adults classes, and with three AFHK branches dotted around Hong Kong, there's bound to one that's easy to get to for you.

Alliance Française de Hong Kong, locations across Hong Kong

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Photo: Spanish Cultural Association of Hong Kong (SCAHK)

Spanish Cultural Association of Hong Kong (SCAHK)

The Spanish Cultural Association’s courses stand out from the rest due to the small class set-up that they use. With adult group courses limited to a maximum of six students and the typical class size of three to four students for kids and teenagers, the school can ensure that each student’s Spanish language progress can be closely followed while allowing plenty of interaction between teachers and classmates. SCAHK is also one of the very few officially accredited schools for the SIELE exam in Hong Kong, where students can get officially certified by the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Spanish Cultural Association of Hong Kong, locations across Hong Kong

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The Spanish Academy

Taking the crown as the second-most widely spoken language in the world, Spanish is definitely a strong choice when choosing an additional language for your child to study. At The Spanish Academy, classes are full of excitement and creativity—expect to be learning while singing, painting, or cooking!

Welcoming little ones through the door from playgroup age onwards, The Spanish Academy’s team of native teachers will be with your budding Spaniards every step of the way. Even more attractively, there will be the opportunity to study abroad in Spain or Latin American when they hit their teenage years.

The Spanish Academy, Suite 701, Keen Hung Building, 80 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai | (+852) 6899 5497

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Hong Kong Institute of Languages

Hong Kong Institute of Languages has been at the forefront of teaching since 1985, catering to both adults and children. Whether you are beginner, wish to improve a second language, meet professional job requirements, or want to study at an advanced level, they have the ideal course for you.

With classes in French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, or Japanese, the Institute prides itself on creating a relaxed environment, with the philosophy that if students are enjoying the lesson and don't feel like they're under pressure, it will lead to greater knowledge retention. If you're looking to learn a new language in a fun and interesting way, HKIL will be able to meet your needs!

Hong Kong Institute of Languages, 6/F, Wellington Plaza, 56–58 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 2877 6160

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International Language Centre

The International Language Centre takes the crown when it comes to the choice of methods you can use to study any of the wide range of languages they teach: an impressive selection of Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. They offer a total of nine methods, including a Beginner Course, Writing Course, Company Training Course, and an Intensive Course. The Centre also boasts fully qualified and trained staff, with the most updated teaching methods to make sure that you pick up your choice of a new language in no time.

International Language Centre, 21/F, CMA Building, 64 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2157 3983

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By Mandarin 1 Sponsored | 14 February 2020
Photo: Language World

Language World

Language World offers Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese lessons, with three teaching methods to choose from. All sessions last 50 minutes and can be taught as group lessons (with a maximum of five students), private lessons (where native teachers will focus entirely on your needs), and business classes (in groups or one-to-one). If you opt for private business classes, the tutor will even come to your office and teach.

With the understanding that most people are extremely busy and don't always have time to make it to class, Language World has a convenient transfer system where you won't lose any lessons. Even during catch-up sessions, students won't be transferred to another teacher either, as they appreciate that establishing a strong teacher-student relationship is vital to learning and achieving personal goals.

Language World, Room C–D, 10/F, 250 Hennessy Building, 250 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 3460 5458

Photo: Mandarin 1

Mandarin 1

With unparalleled attention to students’ needs, Mandarin 1 operates on a results-driven teaching model and makes language learning as easy and practical as possible. Classes combine hands-on experience with knowledge-based teaching and content based on the unique needs of the individual or business.

They also flexibly offer students any combination of one-on-one classes, group sessions, or e-learning from office or home. The company will even tailor a suite of products for any corporations wishing to develop their employees’ language base. Aside from Mandarin classes taught in English or Cantonese, Cantonese classes taught in English or Mandarin are also available. The cherry on top is that instead of charging by the hour like most other learning centres do, Mandarin 1 offers students unlimited time with teachers for a fixed monthly fee instead.

Mandarin 1, 4/F, WeWork, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 9448 4050

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Photo: Gaia Language

Gaia Language

Conveniently located between Central and Mid-Levels, Gaia Language not only offers English and Mandarin classes, but also Spanish and Latin in a clean, spacious, and bright environment. Its native Spanish teachers are uniquely qualified through the prestigious Salamanca Spanish Programme, and bring the Salamanca International Spanish Curriculum (SISC) to Hong Kong.

Recognising that language is not just about words, but about contexts, cultures, and mentalities, the centre focuses on content which is tailored to a variety of business industries including trading, banking, finance, tourism, medical, fashion, and design. Gaia’s courses aim to inspire students with good literature at all levels, and offer language classes for children too!

Gaia Language, G/F, 25B Caine Road, Central | (+852) 2530 9888

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.