It is surprising why China, a country proud of its culture and language, would put weight on a foreign tongue. The pinyin script in Chinese computer and mobile applications demonstrates the Red Dragon’s sovereignty.
Suddenly, you have 6-year-olds talking to parents in English before they recite ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ in front of a huge audience. Something has definitely changed, following the year 2000. It was the Year of the Dragon, which according to many astrologers signaled a positive change. Primary schools made English a compulsory language in 2003. Following that decision, many elite schools made English a prerequisite for admissions.
This sudden necessity was brought forth by the booming Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) market. China is known for its economic electronics, especially a rapidly proliferating mobile components market. China realized that it needs to play along with the West and embrace globalization. After English, Chinese students are picking up language guides to French, German, and Spanish.
Now, 70% of the parents want their children to learn English. It’s not just the syntax that they want their children to master. They want the children to use proper pronunciation and speak English like an Ivy-league American or a Cambridge graduate. Luckily, several educational infrastructures have popped up to meet this requirement, including companies like Hudson Recruitment Agency, Footprints Recruiting, and Haida HR China.
Haida HR China started the trend of inviting foreign teachers to live in China and teach young students. Haida HR believes that in order to teach ‘authentic English’, the students need to be put in an environment where the language is the only channel of communication. Roping English-speaking teachers proved to be a great solution to the above.
Another solution widely adopted by Chinese parents is online tuition. After school, children are given interactive lessons by English teachers on an online telecommunications platform, such as Skype. It’s not as efficient as a foreign teacher, but it does give the child ample exposure.
The diligence China has shown will be reflected in their superpower status. The Chinese economy may surpass the US by 2020, but it still needs an environment that is friendly towards Western professionals. They need to view China as a land of opportunities.
A lot of state-sponsored and private organizations like Haida HR are attracting foreign nationals by giving them a flurry of advantages. They’re being given free TOEFL training, cozy accommodations, and free paperwork management. It’s a small step towards a globalized environment, but an effective one. This, along with easier immigration rules, can bring the empirical change China wants.