TouchChinese, a China-based online Chinese learning service, believes in two things most Chinese always do when it comes to education: good teachers and teaching one-to-one. Agree or not, TouchChinese offers online Chinese language lessons with that in mind.
Learning with TouchChinese is easy. A teacher will be assigned for a student after the latter signs up to a program. The student can schedule lessons at his/her convenience so long as the teacher is awake and free. One-on-one live lessons will be conducted through video messaging software like Skype.
TouchChinese said they’d focus on one-to-one teaching so far. With tools like Skype, teaching one to one is easy no matter how geographically far a teacher and a student are. One of the reasons, however, that online education is regarded as disruptive is that one live or recorded course would benefit numerous people. Also, since it’s one-time cost, such a course cannot be very expensive if it’s consumed by a considerable number of people. Considering time limits and costs, one-to-one education may still be a luxury to many people around the world. Hope $15 or less charged by TouchChinese for a lesson isn’t expensive to everyone who wants to learn Mandarin.
Only those who have received professional training in “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language” have the chance to become TouchChinese teachers. When asked about whether it’s hard to acquire a large number of teachers with such a strict requirement, TouchChinese said that actually the market is oversupplied with professional Mandarin teachers. TouchChinese teachers are from across China with most working on a part-time basis.
TouchChinese started as a part-time project in 2009 and the team went on full-time in 2011. In 2012, the team moved into Media Dream Works, the incubator ran by Zhejiang Daily Media shortly after it had been established in Hangzhou where TouchChinese is based.