Welcome to our about page. Here is more information on our teaching philosophy:

1 – Target language only
2 – It’s okay to make mistakes
3 – Follow your language objectives
4 – Preview and review

In the above philosophy, you will see that number 1 is using target language only. In other words, no English is allowed in class and our goal is to provide an immersion experience when learning foreign language.

Please click the below links to learn further about Hills Learning:

Company Description

– History and Introduction

Hills Learning was founded in January 2009 and is a family-owned business. It was initially started as a foreign language school for private lessons, teaching both Chinese and Japanese. At the end of 2009 ESL and Korean were added, as well as a program to teach group classes.

Currently, Hills Learning employs over 20 teachers and has programs for over 200 students. Their client list includes fortune 500 companies, schools (private and universities), and various happy individuals throughout the New York City area. The languages offered at the center include Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Cantonese, Arabic and Spanish.

Their main center is located at 315 Madison Avenue, Suite 900. The building is right across from Grand Central Station in Manhattan, New York.

– Mission / Principles / Values


We inspire the confidence to communicate in a foreign language, stimulate motivation to achieve each individual’s goals, and encourage a lifetime of language learning.

Operating Principles

1 – STUDENTS FIRST – We prioritize student goals and needs in our everyday work.  Please give us a call or contact us to get a sense of how much our school administrators and teachers care about students, their level and goals, and which options will help them best achieve their learning goals and targets.

2 – A GOOD TEACHER IS OUR BEST ASSET – We spend lots of time and energy recruiting some of the best teachers for the languages we offer. The school also invests in our teacher’s growth through our training programs. It doesn’t matter how good of a curriculum, learning method or school environment you have, without a good teacher that class will never be effective.

3 – REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING – A lot of our business comes by word of mouth, and we work hard to offer effective and fun classes so that our students will refer their friends, family and colleagues to the school.


We believe that:

-Language learning is a lifetime pursuit.

-Every individual deserves to learn at their own pace.

-You can only begin to understand your own culture when you start to understand others.

-Language is the key to open new doors.

-Diversity encourages society to accept and respect differences.

-Healthy relationships are built on trust, respect, and fairness.

-Self assessment and reflection are key to being successful in your career and life.

– Media Mentions

Jon Hills of Hills Learning appears on a 30 minute segment on PBS’s show “Asian America.”

Hills Learning is voted one of the best language schools in New York by CBS New York:

Hills Learning’s Ayaka Hills does videos for About.com’s Japanese program:

about.com 2- smaller

Chopsticks NY Reports on Hills Learning’s unique JLPT program:


The Examiner interviews Jon Hills of Hills Learning:


Teacher Information

– SWIRL Method

Hills Learning philosophy on language learning is you learn language from people and through interaction. “Highly Interactive Language Learning” means following our SWIRL teaching method (Speaking-Writing-Intonation-Reading-Listening) in our classes will enable students to achieve their language goals. In each lesson, your class teacher focuses on the speaking and listening components of learning a new language. Your teacher will also incorporate reading and writing skills throughout the course.

– Please see our class pages for more information including teacher profiles.

Why Choose Hills Learning?

–          Student-oriented learning approach (Students come first)

–          Excellent customer service

–          Quality teachers

–          Limited class size

–          Well-developed curriculum

–          SWIRL teaching method (Speaking, Writing, Intonation, Reading, Listening)

–          Fully accredited by Middle States Association

–          A fully developed assessment system to keep track of your progress in each semester