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Every Chinese student takes English classes, and many are wanting the real deal—to learn from a native English teacher. Now, a boom in online education platforms has provided access for Chinese students to English teachers in the United States, from the comfort of their homes.
James likes English very much. Besides taking classes at school, he loves to talk to Ashley, his American teacher—online and from home. The one-to-one teaching lets Ashley get to know her student better and adjust teaching plans accordingly.
Language is the basis of communication. But what James and his teacher are doing goes beyond just learning English. This method of communication gives both a real feel for what people are like across the Pacific Ocean.
"I found these American teachers very professional. They try very hard to help students understand, by using body language, drawing and even music. James, like many Chinese children, was a little uptight. But now, he’s become more open and proactive," James's mother, Ren Minjie, said.
Parents can easily choose and book teachers; children can get tailored education; and for the teachers, it is more than a part-time job with an impressive income.
It is the internet that makes all this possible, connecting Chinese students desperate for knowledge and American teachers willing to share.
Platforms like VIPKID are developing quickly. On VIPKID alone, there are more than 3,000 registered students, and more than 1,000 American applicant teachers.
"VIPKID represents the shared economy, which makes resource allocation more efficient through the internet. Over the past year, we saw a 50 percent monthly growth of registered students,” said VIPKID founder Mi Wenjuan.
“Such rapid growth shows the great demand unleashed for native English education and international communication for Chinese students, and how complementary the China and US markets are in the education sector."
With such a huge potential market and great growth momentum, VIPKID has won over investors. And this could be the tip of the iceberg of cooperation between China and the US.