Melody Chang-Johnson


  • Tutors students in groups
  • Tutors students individually

About Me

I grew up in Taiwan. The Chinese language has always been my passion. When I worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a Software engineer, I taught Mandarin Chinese to a group of scientists and engineers once a week for 9 years. We enjoyed sharing our cultural differences and started a Chinese Drama Club, which performs at JPL's annual Chinese New Year celebration. I wrote the script that they performed the first year. They have continued that tradition each year since then. I have been teaching Chinese for Homeschool Coaches kids since 2019. I believe children should learn language through games and fun activities. I enjoy seeing kids' eyes light up when they master new language skills. I wrote an essay in Chinese about my mother for Mother's Day in 2015 that was published in the China Times newspaper. It is available here:


Melody Chang taught beginning Chinese for fellow JPLers while she was employed there. She was very patient and good-humored despite our many mistakes. She encouraged us to try again and again, which is the way to make progress in learning Chinese. You must be willing to try! Many times she brought in extra material, not in the textbook. Often they were interesting dialogs or vignettes of her own invention. Melody began a yearly tradition when she composed a script for the class to perform at JPL's annual Chinese New Year Celebration. It was both sophisticated enough to entertain the audience but simple enough for the class to master. It struck just the right balance. There was a part for each class member. My part was that of an uncle on my way to visit a friend. Outside that friend's home his nephew and niece greeted me with excitement and wished me a Gongxi. I gave each a hongbao. I rang the doorbell and the friend's father, also visiting and making an early start of the festivities with a beer, asked, "Shei ya?". The skit ended with the class singing a song and then wishing the audience Gongxi and good fortune in the coming year. When I asked if we could perform a skit again the next year at JPL's New Year, the organizer said, "Of course. We consider your skit the highlight of the show." We at JPL value our memories of Melody's teaching and strongly recommend her forany future opportunity to teach.


Additional Information

Subject(s) Chinese
Lesson fees Hour rate: $55 per lesson
Half hour rate: $35 per lesson
Age Group Early Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School




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