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The niche of teaching Chinese

06-21-2010 11:27 BJT

Before starting a business, one needs to choose the right project. The success of Ha Yue’s company lies in her ability to identify a unique product. In the seemingly saturated Chinese-teaching market, Ha Yue discovered the niche of teaching professional Chinese.

Unconventional teaching method

Ha Yue makes her living teaching Chinese, but today she's also teaching the art of making the perfect Chinese dumpling.

However, Ha Yue wanted more from this dinner. She wanted to have her foreign friends learn Chinese through preparing jiaozi and knew about Chinese food culture.

"A good environment will definitely help them learn faster. What's the point of coming to Beijing if you only learn the language in the classroom?" Ha Yue said.

Making dumplings is just one activity included in their special curriculum. Other popular activities are trying on the facial makeup of the Peking Opera, practicing Chinese calligraphy, learning TaiJi, or visiting temple fairs, and so on.

How did such an idea occur to her?

In Beijing there are hundreds of companies of all sizes engaged in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. They are all seeking a competitive edge through lower tuition fees, or in the practicality and value of their curriculum. Ha Yue's company is just one of these hundreds of companies. The 2008 Beijing Olympics offered these firms a good opportunity to compete for new enrollment. Ha Yue came up with a simple plan - to send her overseas students a traditional Chinese knot braided by her grandpa. This was surprisingly popular among the students, many of whom came to her wanting to learn how to make the ingenious knot themselves.

So Ha Yue started many new courses tailored for her overseas students to experience Chinese culture on their own. This sparked the students' enthusiasm for Chinese and also brought her company no small profit.

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