Welcome to our about page. 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 25 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, English, Thai and Cantonese.

Their main center is located at 380 Lexington Avenue, 17th floor of the Chanin Building. The building is right across from the Grand Hyatt Hotel, adjacent to Grand Central Station in Manhattan, New York.

– Mission / Principles / Values


We inspire the confidence to communicate and the desire to demonstrate progress towards learning goals. By providing a stimulating learning environment we cultivate long lasting relationships of cross cultural understanding and insightful interaction.

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.


All employees of Hills Learning are:

RELATIONSHIP Builders, what matters most to us is not just that our students are learning languages and cultures but that they feel close to their teacher and school representatives. Trust, transparency and fairness are key guidelines of the relationships that we strive to build and maintain with all our individual, organizational and corporate clients.

RELIABLE Educators, we take pride in having our curriculum up to date, relevant, engaging and effective.  Our teachers are experienced, trained, and educated native speakers, who have a passion for sharing their cultures and languages. Accuracy is imperative for all our employees, not only in our teaching, but also in our everyday tasks and duties working with our students.

RESPONSIBLE Citizens, we are dedicated to having our employees comply with all state and federal laws and perform their jobs in a professional, informed and educated manner. Not only do we respect the laws of the countries we teach in, but we also hope to promote the communities and host countries of our foreign language teachers.

– 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.

– Link for 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)

–          3-1-1 study method

–          Student library (CDs, DVDs, books and magazines in target language)

–          Take home audio practice