Dear English lover,
My name is Johannes, a Chinese American and the Founder/CEO of Lucky English. It is my pleasure to introduce the value and logic behind the creation of Lucky English to you.
Where it all started:
My first job in China was an English teaching job at a renowned training school in Beijing.
The center charged students tens and thousands of RMB for a structured study plan between 1-3 years depending on the student’s current speaking level.
The deal was that the students were responsible to show up for classes and study sessions several times a week, which would help them make huge strides over months of persistency and hard work. Truth to be told, very few students were able to sustain regular visits to the training center for a long period of time. They would either eventually lose interest or give up on their language learning all together.
During that time, I too believed that language was just a tool that required hard work, persistency, and language environment, until one day...
A top student from our training center came up to me attempting to strike a conversation. (He was among the very few students who actually attended classes regularly for the past 2-3 years!) I noticed that the words which came out of his mouth was something that sounded like English, but wasn’t.
Student: Hi Johannes!
Me: Oh hi, how are you doing?
Student: Good, I had dumplings last night!
Student: Yea, it was really good, my grandmother makes the best celery dumplings I know! She buys fresh celery from the farmers supermarket and mixes it with the best ground pork. I think the sauce she makes is what makes her dumplings...
Me: “rolling my eyes”
Student: What’s the matter Johannes, something wrong with my grammar or pronunciation?
Me: Hmmm, what are you doing, why are you giving me all these details about your dumplings?
Student: Oh, I’m trying to have a conversation with you about food!
Me: But that’s not what you are doing.
Student: What do you mean?
Me: You were not trying to have a conversation with me, you were shoving a dumpling presentation down my throat. I never asked for a dumpling story in the first place, you never cared whether I wanted to hear about it or not. The way you were going about it was really disrespectful, and isn’t how a conversation should be held.
Student: Oh interesting! So, could you give me an example of a conversation held between two native speakers?
I was stunned, I didn’t have an answer for his question. I told him at the time it was a good question, and that I would get back to him asap.
Since the conversation I found this problem existed not only within the students, but in nearly every single Chinese individual I have met in China.
Looking at the poor outcome for the amount of time and money spent by the students, I believed a better and more efficient method of language learning was begging to be developed.
I quit my job not long after that, and dug deep for the answers to my questions.
I learned the way Chinese people spoke English was more presentational than conversational.
I learned that Chinese students focused strictly on the details of a certain topic, rather than sharing and expressing emotional aspects of themselves.
I realized the difference in the purpose of commencing a conversation vs. the expected outcome of a conversation between the two cultures.
I believed that the lacking in English proficiency in China is more related to lacking cultural understanding than in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
With my experience of having lived in three different continents for over a decade a piece, I had successfully created a unique approach towards English learning. My goal is for the Chinese students to at least gain a basic understanding of the western (American) culture. Some examples include, understand what it means to be a respectful person, know the purpose of holding a conversation, understand the true meaning behind speaking native English, along with how to approach people and make new friends. The goal is for the student to know exactly how conversations take place overseas, understand the expectations of the foreigner during a conversation, and then over time add vocabulary and grammar on top of the already established cultural foundation. I know for a fact that people here in China simply do their best to translate what they want to say in Chinese into English, and that method without any cultural understanding will take you no further than speaking Chinglish at a higher level.
Thus our slogan ”It’s what you say, rather than how you say it” which in Chinese is “不是怎么说，而是说什么“。
A decent start:
After having constructed my classes, it was time for me to start introducing and promoting them. My pitch was I would give ten 1 on 1 classes within a 2-months span, which would tremendously improve one’s English ability, in both speaking and listening. One would know exactly what to expect in a conversation, knows what to say at all times, and would forever hold the understanding and learning method towards speaking native English. Many people refused my offer saying my price was way too high and didn’t believe there was a way around long term dedication and hard work in the process of mastering a foreign language.
“In my mind I was thinking”: Yeah, the reason why I’m charging this kind of money is so that you could save precious time and energy Numb nut!”
But there were those who were extremely interested in what I had to offer as well. Most of them were CEOs, celebrities, and professional athletes. Each of them with their own special needs and pains, while being able to afford to pay for my classes.
I have helped CEOs who’s looking to promote his business on a global scale, he wanted to give English seminars, talk to foreign clients, and introduce their products in a fluent fashion. His demand was to be able to do all of those things in a short period of time. After our classes, not only was he able to give English presentations before a big crowd, he was even able to set up after hour meet ups with his foreign partners and customers all on his own. He went from a person who couldn’t open his mouth to speak a single sentence of English to a confident, professional, bilingual individual. This drastic change occurred not in several years, but just within a couple of months, 7 1/2 weeks to be exact!
I have helped tons of students who were planning on studying abroad, and were in need to score well on their IELTS exams in order to get accepted by the schools of their choice. They would usually come to me at around a 5 (oral portion) and be able to achieve 6.5-7 just after a couple of months of studying with me (no more than 2 classes per week, usually just 1) since my classes is catered to improve one’s English level as a whole, so not only are the students able to score well on the exams, they will have no problems making friends and fitting in with their classmates overseas. (The biggest improvements include a 5.5 to an 8, and a 6 to an 8.5 all within 7-8 weeks!)
I have helped an athlete friend of mine who literally couldn’t speak a word of English. At the end he was able to handle regular press conferences and interviews, and was able to make friends with athletes all over the world. I had to include vocabulary and grammar classes due to him being a complete beginner. The entire evolution took 3 1/2 months.
Then I helped a few stayed at home moms on their dreams of becoming strong English speakers. Their goals were to be able to go on trips independently, without the help from either a tour guide or an interpreter. The other reason would be to assist their kids with their English studies as well. Some of them asked me to teach them to write in English as well, which I have politely refused.
These are just some sample cases I have dealt with, and I’m proud to tell you that I haven’t had a single unsatisfied customer over the years.
My vision & dream:
I have always believed and valued my classes tremendously, and even more so now after seeing the results. I have always wanted to help more people but with no avail. The main reasons were:
1. I am only one person with limited time and energy to take on additional students.
2. Not too many people were able to afford my classes.
Today, together with my partner Cedric, we have decided to build this Online English Club in order to spread my theory and method to the rest of the country.
Not only will you receive our second to none theory classes, we will also provide you with live classes, periodic oral tests, cultural audio classes, games, and much, much more. All at a fraction of the price I charge for my one on one classes.
I want everybody to reach the highest level of English in the shortest period of time! So regardless if you are looking to go study abroad, getting that promotion at work, making foreign friends, or just for the hell of it. Lucky English is where it is at!
Become a native English speaker instead of your own personally Chinese-English interpreter! “不是怎么说， 而是说什么“
Thank for spending your precious time reading my letter, and welcome to Lucky English!
我们会定期为我们会员推送视频理念课程 （不是怎么说而是说什么）， 美国文化音频（由我们自己的Johannes老师录制的）以及对应的中英文对照， 线上直播课程 （Johannes 老师以及其他名师演讲）， 我们精心挑选的各种英文读物， 以及众多文化，留学， 发音写作等课程。