Hi from Shanghai

Hi everyone, I’m Emily, a Taiwanese Canadian living in China.

I’m the managing director of my company, we develop English learning education tools for English as second language learners 3-15 years old, such as textbooks, teacher’s manuals, flashcards, music, etc. We also have direct owned language schools and kindergartens, and provide service to a chain of franchise schools under our brand name in China. I am specifically in charge of overseeing the team that does curriculum development, and provides teacher’s training, academic administration support, and quality control of our school’s academic performance.

This is my 3rd/4th course in the MET Program, I am also taking ETEC 524. Since the beginning of 2020, when COVID-19 first started in China, our team has been challenged to innovate and respond quickly to a change in learning demand. Prior to February 2020, we had no online learning options, and with no prior experience in this area, we’ve had to over the 10-day Chinese holiday in February, find an online learning platform, digitize our learning material, train our teachers across the country, convince our parents to continue taking online classes with us so we stay in business, and most importantly, make sure that our 3-6 year old learners are still getting a good English education and producing language to the level of the expected learning outcome.

2020 is a year of innovation, and a year of challenging ourselves to face change with a positive attitude. My husband and two daughters are unable to return to China due to a new government policy which temporarily disabled foreign national’s visa into the country. Though it’s meant to be temporary, they have not been able to return since January of this year. Last night I flew back to Taiwan, and I will be under home quarantine for the next 14 days. I am happy because I’m home with my family for the next 2 months before I go back to Shanghai, China again.

The English language learning business has been thriving for many years in China, but this is the year which eliminated many companies, and the ones left standing are all looking for innovative ways to merge online with offline learning. I find myself in the position of coming up with ways to cut down the cost of operating a school and at the same time still upholding our motto of providing quality English education to children 3-15 years old. I’m looking forward to this course and working with everyone to explore what the future holds for learning.


Emily Chen

( Average Rating: 0 )

8 responses to “Hi from Shanghai”

  1. Erica Hargreave

    Hi Emily,

    Sound like you’ve been busy. I’m curious, do you have a link to any of the English learning education tools that your company has created?


    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. EmilyChen

      Hi Erica 🙂
      Unfortunately I don’t have a link. All of the tools we create are used in our direct-owned schools or franchise schools, not open for the public. Selling textbooks and other teaching materials to our franchise schools is an important source of income for my company, and they are competitive because the teaching materials are used exclusively in schools under our brand name.

      ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
      1. Erica Hargreave

        That’s quite a different approach to education, to what we have in Canada. Is that typical in China?

        ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  2. adrian wheeler

    Hi Emily,

    Nice to see you again! Sounds like you have had a very busy and exciting summer!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  3. Michael Saretzky

    Hi Emily,
    That is very cool that your company is developing tools for ELL students. I teach at a school in Red Deer, Alberta and about 65% of our students are ELLs. It has been a great learning experience and I love that my own children are getting the opportunity to meet and make friends with students who come from all over the world.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  4. Vijaya Jammi

    Hi Emily, good to know about your company and your work in the field of English language teaching. Look forward to learn with you!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  5. Alexandra Scott

    Hi Emily,

    wow quite an amazing outlook and your spirit is so positive and refreshing, especially during a time when many people are negative and struggling to come to terms with the changes. I am sorry you have had so many struggles in China but sadly it does seem as if China is using COVID as a way to keep foreigners out of the country, which has also affected the climate of English learning and jobs there. I have also had my sad blows from China this year where the school I was first at closed and then they would not allow me to return for a job, which is sad as I did enjoy living in China but now new opportunists are open.

    I look froward to learning alongside you and from you in both modules this term.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  6. tara davis

    Hi Emily,
    I’m thinking of you and your family during this time. Thank you for sharing. It is very honest and I truly appreciate that.
    Your company sounds really interesting. What is it called?

    I’m sure you’ve heard of VIP Kid? It is interesting to learn about their success story:

    I’ve taught ELL for there years, but I am now a French Immersion teacher. I’ve also been a Spanish teacher. All in all, I love learning languages and am really interested in online language learning platforms.

    Of the MET courses you’ve taken, what would you say would be the most valuable to your learning? I’m planning my course and I would appreciate your advice.
    Fingers crossed you see your family soon!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.