About Janie Chen
Originally from Xiangtang (Changsha), Hunan, she was attracted by
the beauty and clean air in Yangshuo like so many others.
After only a month of studying and improving her English in Yangshuo, she was offered a job
as a Chinese teacher in the biggest local language school.
That was in 2007. She fell in love with teaching, and started teaching one-on-one independently a few months later and has been teaching. Janie has been teaching ever since 2007, except for her study year at BLCU.
Janie the Mandarin teacher
Since she started teaching Mandarin, she has always strived to improve her skills. She took one year off of work after being admitted to a special one-year teacher training course at Beijing's Language and Culture University (BLCU, reputably the best university in China for training Chinese language teachers).
Many expats living and working in Yangshuo have had lessons with Janie at one point or another. While living in Yangshuo, she enjoyed an excellent reputation with local hotels, tai chi schools and the like, who relied on her for offering an immersive language course and learning experience to their customers and students.
Janie has taught students young and old and from various backgrounds: businessmen aiming at a promotion or better deals within China, couples on a honeymoon trip, motivated young university students as well as adventurous teenagers and retired language enthousiasts.
Janie was lucky to attract students who were highly motivated
to acquire very good speaking and/or reading skills
in Mandarin Chinese and often decided to study with her in
Yangshuo for several months at a time, several hours a day.
Others came back regularly (when money or holidays allowed for it) for an extra couple of weeks lessons.
Many of those long-term students become good friends, and on a few occasions Janie was even invited to teach abroad. Thanks to this, Janie has had the chance to teach abroad for several months (group lessons with teenagers in the Netherlands; private lessons in Singapore).
Others continue to take occasional or regular Skype lessons to keep up their speaking skills and continue to improve their grammar and vocabulary.
Janie’s courses focus mainly on listening and speaking (since this is what most students need or prefer).
Students can choose to learn how to read and write Chinese as well.
Learners’ personality traits and varied needs will be considered so that the course(s) are customized.
course(s) are customized. The full advantage of having a private teacher is not "being the only student"
but having the teacher adapt constantly to the difficulties the student experiences.
This sets Janie Chen apart from other Mandarin teachers. Depending on the type of course you select, Janie will accompany students to practice with local people after the lessons and/or give you short homework to help you retain the knowledge learned in class.
Janie usually teaches one-on-one, because she is
passionate about finding the right study method for
each of her students. Though textbooks are very
useful (offering exercises, a clear overview of
what's been done and what's to come, and helping to
structure the lessons), Janie adjusts the material to the student's needs
and makes custom material where useful.
She does not follow textbooks blindly; also, if students have previously studied Mandarin, Janie will have no problem using the student's textbook as she has experience working with several of the most widely used study materials.