Aussie couple promotes quality education

Writer: Wang Jingli  | Editor: Vincent Lin  | From:  | Updated: 2019-08-05

Pete McLean

Quality is a word used frequently by Pete McLean when talking about education, and it is also the major reason why he decided to settle in Shekou with his wife and family - to offer kids a quality education.

“Many foreigners are teaching English in China. However, many of them don’t hold a university teaching degree or are under qualified. They can speak English, but they don’t know how to teach,” said Pete.

Pete witnessed this phenomenon when he was traveling in China with his bi-lateral sourcing business a few years ago and saw an opportunity to open a high quality English training center to teach Chinese children how to read and write English.

Pete’s wife Sheren, whom he met at a university in Australia, has been a teacher for over 25 years. Upon moving to China last year, Sheren McLean did a lot of research and was fascinated by a program called Speech Sounds Pictures (SSP), which was developed by experts from the U.K. and is the only program of its type in China.

The SSP program introduces children to the different sounds of the alphabet in a very unique way. “This program helps kids learn English much faster. For example, after studying the first six sounds, children can learn approximately 40 words,” said Mrs. McLean.

“Due to Sheren’s teaching experience, she is responsible for the teaching program, while I manage the operation and marketing of our business,” said Pete.

Aside from directly providing lessons for kids, they also provide teacher training and are licensing their education programs to other learning centers in Shenzhen and across China.

When asked about the environment and the city, Pete said that they chose their apartment in Shekou specifically for the view of the ocean, because their house back in Australia is also close to the sea. Also, Shenzhen is very convenient for going to Hong Kong and the other parts of China.

Their daughter Katie is living with them and helping with the business. They are not only family members but also business partners with a shared goal, which is to bring high quality English education to more Chinese kids.