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Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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Giving Chinese Kids a Better Start in Life    

By Paul Fox
3673 Views | 11 Comments | 4/16/2014 3:49:35 PM

We all want what is best for our kids as they grow up - we all want to do our best to give them a good start in life in order to make certain that they are strong enough and well-educated enough to stand on their own two feet long after we have departed this earth

Little wonder then that the Chinese 'one-child policy' has put families in a situation where 'protection' of their child is paramount. Their one and only child is the centre of their lives and as such grows up to be the centre of attention.

As they grow into adulthood, get married and have their own 'one-child', it is easy to see how their own childhood experiences may become echoed in the up-bringing of their new-born baby

In the west we often hear about 'spoilt brats' -  often the children of Hollywood celebrities etc, children of Rock-Stars, famous business people etc etc - but what about the ones we don't hear about?

Try this one..........

The head of a Japanese bank (based in Sydney, Australia) spent no less than $5MILLION Australian Dollars on an inner-city apartment for his 19-year old daughter

She was sent here to study and her father wanted her to be 'comfortable'

As an 'only-child' she had been used to getting her own way all of her life

After Daddy bought the apartment for her - and she moved in, she started to complain that she could not use the cooker. the bathrooms, the theatre-room etc etc, simply because SOMEONE HAD USED THEM BEFORE! - They were not BRAND NEW! -  So instead of being grateful to Daddy for buying her a water-front apartment worth AUD$5M, she complained that everything in it was 'second-hand'.

To my mind that is totally pathetic, but Daddy was even more pathetic because he spent a further AUD$1million ripping everything out and replacing it all with new stuff! - Simply because he had so much money and a stupidly spolit daughter - that he had obviously had a hand in raising and who was essentially a product of his own making.

So this brings me onto the point of this weeks blog. Most of us do not have bottomless pockets or bank accounts the size of Guangdong, yet we still strive to do the best that we can for our kids as they grow older

Since 2009 when I first went to China, I have been asked on so many occasions if I would ever consider teaching English. On my last trip in January this year, I was asked the same question no less than 14 times in different parts of China! I have looked into the idea and done some research over the last few years, but I have never given it what I would consider to be SERIOUS THOUGHT - until now......

In our ever-changing world there is fast becoming more and more opportunities for foreign students to study and work in western countries, and as such, the need for English language skills increases year upon year.

Many of my Chinese friends who know English well have been taught by a teacher who's English is their second-language. Yes, there are native English-speaking teachers in China, many of whom are young people backpacking or travelling in China for a short time.

My gf is an "Enrolled Nurse", but to become a 'Registered Nurse' she needs to study for 1 more year and would like to do so in Australia. A pre-requisite for being admitted into a college or university is that she passes the IELTS test. For those of you who do not know, IELTS ( International English Language Testing System) is a test that examines a persons proficiency in the English language. It is usually required for study, working or migrating to a western country

I have a friend in Nanjing who has a son wanting to study in Canada - but he also must pass IELTS first

I am a qualified ESL teacher (English Second Language) and I have several friends here who are university-qualified English teachers with a bachelors degree

So I am now looking at setting up an English Language Coaching and Mentoring organisation in order to help foreign students pass the IELTS test and dramatically improve their own life potential for the future

Initially it will be based in Perth, Australia and will involve intensive training for between 4 and 13 weeks. Although Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world, it has recently hit the headlines in China as being the possible final resting place for MH370 - so those who had never heard of it before are now well-acquainted with the name of our city

I am looking for some feed-back on this idea. I want to know if it is an idea worth pursuing. Each course will have a limited number of students mainly due to such factors as accommodation and manageable class sizes etc, but I want to offer it as a combination of study and travel where students can immerse themselves 100% into an English speaking environment where they are living, eating, sleeping and breathing English!

This is not really one for the western men to give feedback on, I am more interested in hearing what the Chinese lady members have to say - so come on girls, please tell me your thoughts.....

This is as important to me as the well-being of non-western kids looking for a better life for their future, and the opportunity to study, work or migrate to a western country.

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#2014-04-18 08:06:42 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Just as a follow-on to the above article -

I have been thinking about ways to improve this and to help the poorer Chinese families help their kids - so here is my follow-on -

The IELTS training in Perth is going to be aimed more at the kids from rich families. Mummy's and Daddy's who can afford to send their child here to study English for 3 months at a time

I was going to limit the class size to 20 students, but on reflection I think we can manage 25

Therefore, each 3-month course will offer 5 FREE PLACES to kids from POOR families. Yes, they will need to find the airfare and spending money, but we can squeeze them into the accommodation and they can study English for 3 months totally FREE - essentially subsidized by the paying (20) students

They would need to demonstrate reasons WHY they should be admitted to a free place on the course, but I think this is an excellent way to make 5 families very very happy every 3 months
That's 20 families per year that have the opportunity to give their kids a better start in life - something they never thought they could afford to do!

#2014-04-18 21:30:01 by Grace172 @Grace172

Well, only getting ten dollars can make a beggar feel happy all day. But even thought 5 million dollors can not make a rich man's daughter feel happy. Because she gets money so easily. She has never tasted bitter, how can she feel happy when she eat sweet all the time.
I am glad to hear that you want to set up an organisation to help foreign students pass the IELTS test and dramatically improve their own life potential for the future. Like many Chinese students who have learned NCE2 (New Concept English), I hear of Perth. the name of the city Perth is appeared in one lesson in this book. There are so many schools offer the course to help students pass the IELTS test in Guangzhou. But they can not help students to prepare their own life in Australia. So I think your idea may work well. Good luck.

#2014-04-19 23:20:23 by Chicano @Chicano

China is the envy of the whole world, when it comes to the educational system.

Our USA, like other countries, just throws money at the problem of the failing school systems. Yes, student seek university in USA, but with-in two generation, the USA students will be seeking university in China.

The USA has way to many self-perceived intellectual educators that are, in reality Idiots and the USA has way to many illegal alien parasites with parasites children, that only want "Free-bies". These human parasites are the down-fall of our once great USA.

#2014-04-20 11:53:47 by sandy339 @sandy339

Yes indeed
In China we have a saying: “How pathetic are parents!”
We all want what is best for our kid and potentially we want to give our kid the way we want, so there would be many conflicts, maybe I am pushing my daugher too much, anyway after so many tryings we finally know it clearly where is her passion. That is a relief for me. What I am expecting my daughter could live a passionate and meaning life not only make a living.

Ok back to the IELTS test, yes I think there is a large and competative market for that, but there are already some mature training organizations in China, for example, New Oriental School (it is run by many Chinese clever heads, kind of elites , many teachers graduated from top universities and very good at exams )and “EF Education ( There are a lot of native English speaking teachers.) So if you are serious about that, you need to know which pie you could eat in this competative market. Chinese students go abroad to study are increasing, you could share a piece of cheese in it, I think , only if you coud figure out a suitable way.

Oh ok you want some Chinese students to go abroad to study at Perth? You know for many universities abroad they have language training before for enrollment, and if kids studies at New Oriental School in boarding way, it works well, why do they want to send kids there expensively and not sure about that place, it is just my way of thinking, I am not sure how the rich parents think, but I know 1% people have 99% money in this world, and EF education have such programs and check to see how it works. Good Try and Good Luck:)

#2014-04-20 21:22:27 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Thank you very much for your opinion, it is noted and well received
You said

You know for many universities abroad they have language training before for enrollment, and if kids studies at New Oriental School in boarding way, it works well, why do they want to send kids there expensively and not sure about that place

I have researched the New Oriental School and I fully understand what you are saying here

However, my own thoughts are like this -

Studying in China - even with native English speaking teachers is NOT the same as studying in a western country
In China, after class, the students go home, they go out to play with friends or go out for dinner - they are immersed back into their own native language

In a western country they are living, breathing, eating and sleeping ENGLISH
They are 100% immersed in the sights sounds smells as well as different dialects
They have no CHOICE but to speak English every waking hour
OK, so they could perhaps communicate in Chinese with fellow students, but that is strictly forbidden
The whole point of doing this is to immerse the student 100% into western civilization and western culture

Things that cannot be taught in the classroom, Things that need to be EXPERIENCED in order to learn and get a good grasp on western surroundings

From experience, I have been studying Mandarin since 2009. I go to "school" and immerse myself into Putonghua for an hour each week. Afterwards I am communicating in English and continue to do so until my next lesson

When I am in China I have no choice but to speak Chinese. Ordering food, booking a hotel, a taxi - just everyday normal things need to be done in Chinese
Therefore, do you think I learn more when I am in China or when I am sitting in the home of my Chinese teacher for my weekly lesson?

This is the whole point. In China I am living, breathing Chinese. The sights the sounds, the people chatting over coffee in the local restaurant....just EVERYTHING!

So of COURSE my Chinese language skills become better and better as my ears become more accustomed to the language and the FEELING of the language

By giving students of English the opportunity to FEEL English all around them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week surely MUST be better than studying in a Chinese school?

Incidentally, I dont want you to get the impression that I am proposing just another English school here

Students who enrol must already have a good grasp of the English language. Our job will be to polish them into DIAMONDS and help them take their English to a whole new level that they never thought they would achieve

Personally, I do not think that this could happen in China - at least not as quickly as it could happen here

Waiting for your comments - thanks again for your valuable input, it is much appreciated

#2014-04-20 22:54:48 by Barry1 @Barry1


"These human parasites are the down-fall of our once great USA."

Interestingly, there's a considerable body of opinion suggesting that CHINA may well become the dominant world power before 2050, overtaking the USA.

I don't necessarily subscribe to this view myself, but suffice to say, China is scaring the hell out of some countries, the way it's forging ahead economically.

This is assuming its financial bubble doesn't burst dramatically around the end of this decade, as described elsewhere on this website.


"why do they want to send kids there (to Perth) expensively and not sure about that place, it is just my way of thinking"

I agree with you, Sandy. I think a market would exist for rich kids being sent to Australia to study, but it would take a lot of advertising and much effort to promote this.

In theory, it's a good idea. Yet I think it'd be in the "too hard" basket for an individual trying to promote such an idea.

This brings up a proposition though that IF Paul could somehow link himself with other English teaching universities or colleges already based in China who could then promote the concept to their students, this would be a goer. Maybe Paul could offer some sort of commission or kickback for every paying student they referred to him?

So that's my final view on the subject, Paul. As an individual, I think your plan would unfortunately be too expensive to promote or advertise. But see if you can associate yourself with organisations there already doing this who could refer candidates to you. Offer them a ten per cent kickback or whatever it takes. The whole place is so riddled with graft and corruption, this idea isn't as outrageous as it sounds.

Good luck, mate. (y)

#2014-04-21 23:11:21 by sandy339 @sandy339

OK Paul now I understand a little bit better what you want,
You know in China, in general the kids' English proficieny is increasing, and in our Gaokao (similar to SAT) English will be cancelled to another form, (two times per year).
And in my university there are no such overseas programs only for language training, what I want to say is maybe you need to explore some training fields linked with certain kinds of majors,like accounting, nursing or some universal ones?
Barry's proposition:"This brings up a proposition though that IF Paul could somehow link himself with other English teaching universities or colleges already based in China who could then promote the concept to their students, this would be a goer." I know some education agents they could bring and introduce your training program to some relevant schools and universities. It might be one way for you to get some business. Good Luck!

#2014-04-22 19:43:45 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Thanks again for your comments
We are looking at running a FREE seminar in Shanghai to let people know what we are doing
People who are looking to come to Western Australia for business, study, work etc will be invited to attend - free of charge
The training fields you describe (nursing accounting etc) are easy to do - it's difficult to consider a universal one since the IELTS test comes in two types - Academic or General
They are different courses with different tests depending on what is required by the university, workplace etc that the students wants to apply to
The Academic test is much more difficult than the General test but is often required for nurses, medical people, accountants etc
I am happy to link with other teaching facilities based in China, but obviously I need help to get in touch with them in the first place!

#2014-04-25 03:40:20 by bmccull @bmccull

Once they have learned Australian, wouldn't it be difficult to transition to English?

#2014-04-25 14:23:11 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot


You said: "Once they have learned Australian, wouldn't it be difficult to transition to English?"

I cannot possibly express to you how much I wish I had said it first!

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