Cantonese School of Greater Washington 粵語文化學校

Cantonese School of Greater Washington 粵語文化學校
Students learning new characters in our youngest class of students (Credit: CSGW photographer)

Rockville, Maryland

Serves students ages 4 to 12 and adults

School Administrator

  • Jenny Lee (Principal)

Program Description

The Cantonese School of Greater Washington (CSGW), in Rockville, Maryland, provides an immersion-based program, for students ages 4 to 12, focused on developing speaking, reading, and writing skills. We also have an adult class for parents of children attending the school. Classes are held on Sundays, 2:00-4:00 PM. Our mission is to provide a progressive and nurturing academic environment for students wishing to learn Cantonese and experience Chinese culture. Our goal is to graduate students who can converse comfortably in Cantonese and have the ability to read and write traditional Chinese.

CSGW is not just a school, it is also a community. Families come together to help with school events including fundraising, hosting cultural events, and promoting the school. In doing so, families form strong bonds, even lifelong friendships. In addition, teachers, parents, and children alike benefit from the exchange of ideas to build the school community. It is not a traditional school where a governing entity hires staff to develop the programs and run the school. Instead, parents and families are involved in all aspects of school operations. Our hope is that the parents are supportive of instilling the Cantonese culture and language at home while encouraging our families to put it into practice outside of the classroom.

A local martial arts studio displaying their dragon dance during CSGW's annual Lunar New Year celebration (Credit: CSGW photographer)

Program Features


Beginner Cantonese: Students learn daily life Cantonese such as numbers, colors, family members, food, children’s stories, rhymes, and songs. The beginning levels use art and craft activities for students to experience Cantonese lessons.

  • 粵語文化基礎一班 Cantonese Beginner 1 (CB1)
  • 粵語文化基礎二班 Cantonese Beginner 2 (CB2)
  • 粵語文化基礎三班 Cantonese Beginner 3 (CB3)

Intermediate Cantonese: Students learn to read and write in Cantonese using traditional Chinese characters. Students dive deeper into daily life concepts.

  • 粵語文化一班 Cantonese 1 (C1)
  • 粵語文化二班 Cantonese 2 (C2)
  • 粵語文化三班 Cantonese 3 (C3)
  • 粵語文化四班 Cantonese 4 (C4)

Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Art for kids
  • Cultural events
Students, parents, and teachers decorate their lanterns during art class (Credit: CSGW photographer)


Teachers are Cantonese-speaking bilinguals who primarily come from Hong Kong. Many of our teachers have spent many years teaching at CSGW. Rather than using traditional Chinese teaching methods (e.g., rote memorization, drills, and repetition), teachers work with students through communicative activities that engage students’ interests. The teachers recognize that the Cantonese heritage students they are working with are multilingual youth, and their approach to teaching reflects this.

Currently, we have four teachers for courses CB1 (Ms. Ma), CB2 (Ms. Chan), CB3 (Mrs. Ng), and C1 (Ms. Yu). Additionally, we have an adult class that runs simultaneously with the children’s classes. We continue to seek passionate individuals to teach Cantonese, Chinese culture, arts, history, and heritage. Please see our website ( for more information if you are in the area (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) and are interested in working with our amazing students, school, and community.

Teacher Jeff working with parents to learn Cantonese in our adult class (Credit: CSGW photographer)

Special Features of the Program

At CSGW, we are a community of Cantonese-heritage families—teachers, parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents, and children—who work together to help operate the school through a CO-OP model. We do our best to sustain the Cantonese culture and language through language classes, cultural events, art classes, and even adult Cantonese classes for family members.

Students are introduced to many cultural events as part of the CSGW curriculum and school schedule. Parents and staff are an integral part of planning for these events. These are some of the events that the students celebrate:

  • Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Christmas and New Year Holiday
  • Lunar New Year
The God of Fortune (財神) has blessed CSGW with a visit on Lunar New Year! (Credit: CSGW photographer)

Program Contacts


Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2024