Paul Condrell, J.D.

Visiting Instructor of Mandarin Chinese
On Faculty since 2012

Phone: (630)752-5495


J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1987

Language training, Beijing Normal University, 1983-84

B.A. Linguistics, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, 1983

About Paul Condrell

In 1988, attracted by what seemed to be unlimited economic opportunities, I left behind the practice of law to start a “mom and pop” consulting business in China. In 1993, after 5 years setting up a nationwide distribution system for the McCall Pattern Company, my wife Stacy and I founded “Healthy Household”, a mail- order catalog of consumer products for Chinese women based in Guangzhou.

For 15 years while we grew the company, we served actively at Guangzhou International Christian Fellowship, a lay-led, cross-cultural, multi-denominational Christian gathering.  During this time we were blessed with two sons, Eber and Abraham.

I stepped down from managing the company in 2009 to write books on teaching Chinese. After my first book was rejected for publication, I began developing Chinese Learning apps for Apple’s iOS devices. Also in 2009 we began serving at Grace Fellowship, the English service of Guangdong Union Theological Seminary’s Union Church.

This past fall I was thrilled to join the faculty as visiting Chinese instructor. I am resident in Wheaton every fall semester, and I help teach the “Wheaton-in-China” program in the summer. In the spring, I work on app development in Guangzhou. In the fall of 2013, I will also teach a quad course in the Business and Economics department.

For your warm welcome, my family and I want to say a big “thank you” to students, administration, staff, and fellow faculty members, especially my colleagues in the Foreign Languages department--“God is really among you.” 1 Corinthians 14:25.

 Courses Taught

  • Elementary Mandarin Chinese, CHIN 101
  • Chinese Character Acquisition, CHIN 301
  • Business Chinese, CHIN 335
  • New Venture Strategy, BEC 440


 These applications are available in the Apple Appstore:

  • Laokang Tone Test
  • Laokang Tone Trainer
  • Laokang Pinyin Test
  • Laokang Pinyin Trainer
  • Laokang Character Conqueror

 Apps under development (coming late 2014)

  • Laokang Character Test
  • Laokang Character Trainer

 Regular Blog posts on the “ChinaSource” website include:

  • “Seven Reasons Chinese is Becoming Easier to Learn”
  • “A Pinyin Opinion”
  • “#Pinyin Perfect”
  • "The New HSK, Suddenly So Significant"
  • "To Conquer Characters, Rethink Radicals"


I aim to serve the Kingdom of Christ by equipping multitudes to engage the Chinese speaking world competently in its own language, to better understand it, and to better serve it.

My research is on reinventing how the fundamentals of Chinese are taught. The purpose is to equip beginning students to really excel in the language later on. I chose this focus to reverse a problem I have observed—most students of Chinese struggle and quit prematurely.

Being a non-native who learned Chinese as a second language, and with my business background, I come at this problem quite differently from the typical Chinese academician. While it is too soon to declare victory, I have made progress in three areas: pinyin, tones and characters. iOS devices like the iPad are an excellent delivery method where my theories can be tested, revised, and tested again.

I appreciate my Wheaton students’ enthusiasm in embracing the experimental methodology. And I appreciate Wheaton College administration allowing me to continue my work off campus each spring semester.

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