Expat Chinese is the only Chinese Language Center in Guangzhou founded and led by a foreign Chinese teacher, Sara from Finland. In this interview over on YouTube, she shares her story of learning Chinese language and becoming a Chinese teacher.
YouTube video is embedded in this post or click here to see it.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did you start learning Chinese?
Sara: I’ve been interested in Chinese language since I was a child as my parents used to live in China right before I was born. In high school I participated in a one week courses on Chinese language and taiji, but it wasn’t until 2008 when I started regular Chinese lessons at the university. In 2010 I moved to Guangzhou to study Chinese full time.
When did you become fluent in Chinese?
Sara: Fluency means different things to different people. After studying Chinese in Finland for 1.5 years 2 hours a week, I was around HSK Level 1 or 2 when I arrived to China in 2010. In 2011 I passed HSK Level 5 and in 2013 HSK Level 6 which is the highest level at the moment.
How did you become a Chinese teacher?
Sara: During my bachelor degree I chose to specialize in education and teaching Chinese. After graduation I got the opportunity to apply for my masters degree in teaching Chinese and started teaching students while doing my degree. My students proved me that a non native speaker can also become a Chinese teacher, even in China!
Can anyone become fluent in Chinese?
Sara: Yes, if you have the passion and put in the work! I don’t have any hidden talents for learning languages, I always got very average or even below average grades in English and Swedish. The reason why I could become fluent in Chinese is because I was and still am super interested in the language and I will willing to put in hours and hours. So I truly believe as long as you put in the time you can become fluent.
Should I learn Chinese even I don’t have a lot of time?
Sara: Yes! If you live in China, absolutely! Even knowing basic everyday Chinese will make your life and experience here so much better. Local neighbors, friends and business partners will all appreciate the effort you put into learning their language and their culture.
How can I learn Chinese with you?
Sara: Sign up to our group courses or book private lessons with me! At Expat Chinese we recommend having a non native teacher for beginner and elementary Chinese, changing over to a native teacher when you reach intermediate and advanced level. We offer both!