Give yourself a competitive edge with a business Mandarin course at LSE
London School of Economics, Confucius Institute for Business London
Apr 26 | 5 minutes read
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s proficiency in Mandarin won him the admiration of Chinese-speaking communities in Australia. Professional wrestler John Cena made headlines when he spoke at a WWE press conference in Shanghai in Mandarin. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg left his audience at Tsinghua University spellbound when he spoke to them in Mandarin in 2014.
According to reports, Cena picked up Mandarin to facilitate WWE’s efforts to break into the China market. Rudd had developed an interest in the Chinese language and culture from a young age. Pundits believe Zuckerberg’s motive to master Mandarin lies, in part, in a plan to woo China, where Facebook is banned to its one billion citizens.
Regardless of their motivation for learning one of the most spoken languages globally, these situations raise questions about the benefits of learning Mandarin to facilitate one’s career. This could entail qualifying for a wider range of jobs to opening up new avenues for business collaborations thanks to the cross-cultural competencies gained.
China’s economic might strengthens Mandarin’s grip on the world
China is a rising global superpower. Its influence can be seen from an economic and political perspective in both developed and developing countries. A study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has found that within the Southeast Asia region, China is seen as holding slightly more political power and influence than the US in Southeast Asia today. This gap is expected to grow in the next 10 years, it said.
The country has morphed to become the world’s second-largest economy. According to UN figures, China overtook the US last year as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment. Its growing economy has led to the birth of some of the world’s most renowned companies, such as Alibaba, ByteDance, Huawei, and Tencent.
China’s potential means many companies abroad are eager to expand their business into the country. To successfully do so, an understanding of the country’s language and cultural nuances is an asset that can help establish trust, respect and facilitate business expansions or operations. Similarly, companies can no longer ignore the benefits of language training for businesses. For those who want to do business with or in China, expanding your language skills to include a business Mandarin language can enhance one’s competitive edge.
Master the language of business at CIBL
The Confucius Institute for Business London’s (CIBL) offers the Chinese Language and Culture for Business Programme (CLCB), a part-time executive programme for Chinese language learners with a global vision and an interest in China. CIBL was launched in 2006 and is a partnership between two globally renowned institutions: the London School of Economics (LSE) and Tsinghua University. The CLCB course is scheduled to be delivered both online and in person in March and October yearly. Students have two options to choose from — an online and on-campus version.
The online CLCB is a five-month online programme delivered using a blended learning approach. It empowers learners to communicate effectively within a Chinese business context. CLCB uses a mixture of standard textbooks and authentic materials designed by course instructors for each student in the programme.
The majority of their students are business executives, professionals, entrepreneurs and industry leaders who are looking to widen their arsenal of skills. The current top five industries that students come from are banking, consulting, investment, education, and government. Learning can also be tailored to suit students based on their industry and interests, making it an ideal course for learners across all backgrounds.
CLCB covers topics such as Business Mandarin, HSK Mandarin Class, Intercultural Communications, and Business Masterclass. It culminates in an optional China study trip that provides students with a well-rounded learning experience.
CLCB’s Business Mandarin is taught across 6 HSK levels, making it suitable for beginners and proficient speakers. The HSK system is used by Chinese educators and employers to measure foreigner’s ability in Chinese, with one being the lowest and 6 being the highest proficiency.
Upon completion, students can expect to engage in conversations in Mandarin and understand simple texts, with a focus on business contexts; and gain valuable insight into the challenges and opportunities in the Chinese market through a series of China Business Briefings, to name a few.
Alternatively, students can enrol in CLCB’s full course at LSE’s campus in London, which is a more comprehensive, 10-month long course delivered using a blended learning approach. The course covers the Chinese language and provides management and intercultural communication training to ensure you gain an in-depth knowledge of doing business with China.
There are also online catch-up sessions to make it convenient for students to learn anytime and anywhere. Students will have a personalised digital platform created by CIBL to find interactive learning materials and tailor-made content for students’ industry. Not unlike the online CLCB, the course also culminates with a funded study trip to China for two weeks.
CLCB taster sessions
There are many appeals to the CLCB programme. Alum Jamie Wace said he was first attracted to CIBL due to the level of detail in the language programme. “Other schools that offer similar programmes don’t pay as much attention to how you do business in China. Having lived, studied and worked in China previously for 18 months, I’ve noticed that a lot of the teaching often neglects the business element of the language and I find that the course has really taught me how to get to the bottom of these quite difficult conversations,” he said.
Italian Andrea Valente, who works as an analyst for Bloomberg, said he decided to study Chinese at the CIBL to gain an insight into the Asian culture and open himself to more opportunities.
CIBL is offering a free, intensive taster course for learners who are considering joining the CLCB programme for both the online and on-campus options. Among the components include a CLCB induction, which gives students an overview of the CLCB programme; a two-hour Mandarin class for beginners; as well as a one-on-one session with one of CIBL’s teachers to know more about the programme.
To find out more about the programme, contact Executive Education Advisor and Community Manager Martina Zuccarella at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a free one-to-one consultation.