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Chinese for Effective Professional Engagement is a unique Chinese language course focused on helping you further hone the linguistic and cultural skills essential for career success and advancement. 

Course Introduction

This course focuses on practical workplace skills that are not addressed in academic language study, yet are critical for professional effectiveness. It was designed by and with consultation from experienced Chinese language experts from government, academia, and the private sector to address important gaps in current Chinese language education.

The origins of the course were a series of roundtables held between experts from government language training centers, universities, think tanks, and the private sector where participants discussed gaps in current language education, such as

“What are the key skills your employees are missing but that you wish they had?”

“What linguistic and cultural mistakes do you see even among experienced ‘China hands’?

The key lessons identified were subsequently designed into this course by some of the top language experts in the country.

FOSHAN CITY-JANUARY 20: Foshan city hall held to celebrate Chinese New Year dinner at the hotel in 2013, more than 1000 of the industry people attended the banquet January 20, 2012 in Foshan, China


Chinese for Effective Professional Engagement is a self-paced online course designed for busy working professionals.

It is structured around a number of key skills that are critical to effective professional engagement, organized into 28 lessons. The curriculum is designed to enhance Chinese-language skills needed to communicate clearly and professionally, including:

  • Speaking at meetings, delivering formal public remarks, making an argument, interviewing, and more.
  • Writing emails, WeChat correspondence, and handwritten greetings.
  • Reading primary source texts spanning a variety of professional topics.
  • Cultural awareness in the global workplace, covering situations such as giving and receiving gifts, navigating a reception, hosting meetings, discussing sensitive topics, expressing compliments or condolences, and more.

Our Team

Based on input from a number of Chinese language experts, lessons were developed by Professor Lu Li (李璐), Chinese language professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Video lessons are led by Claire Zhou (周海祺), a Washington D.C.-based teacher trainer and language consultant focusing on executive education, who has worked as a member of the Mandarin faculty for the U.S. Department of Commerce and as a member of the cross-cultural communication faculty for the Department of State in China. Our curriculum was designed and developed with additional input and advice from a number of top Chinese language experts, including Robert Daly (former diplomat and American Director of the Hopkins Nanjing Center, now Kissinger Chair at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars), Christopher Beede (retired U.S. diplomat), Thomas Madden (retired, Foreign Service Institute), Rita Min Rui, Jeannette Dai-Wang, and Sha Zhu. A number of others who wish to remain anonymous also provided valuable feedback.

Special thanks to the Albright Stonebridge Group for providing our filming location, to the fantastic film and production team at I Know This Spot Productions, LLC, and to Carnegie Corporation of New York for project funding.
Presentation team in Hong Kong Office Area
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