Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Pitch

This is for all you teachers out there that have shaped my life-- God bless ya'll.

Feedback encouraged. DEMANDED!

I love you guys.

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Across America, the demand for Chinese language teachers is on the rise. In China, a generation of qualified Mandarin teachers dreams of going abroad. The supply of and demand for quality Mandarin education are both at record levels—so why are so few teachers making the move?

This article will examine the challenges faced by schools in hiring Chinese language teachers amid a “Mandarin craze” driven by China’s growth, and document the obstacles faced by those Chinese teachers seeking to work abroad. How these challenges are affecting the progress of Mandarin education in America—and how these challenges can be overcome—will also be explored.

The article will include interviews with American school administrators and Mandarin teachers on both sides of the Pacific, recent statistics relevant to Mandarin education in America, and information about the Chinese Language Council International— the Chinese government office responsible for dispatching Mandarin teachers abroad. I expect the finished article would run 1,000-1,400 words long, and could be accompanied by photographs if needed.

As a journalist based in China—and with numerous contacts at Chinese studies departments both here and in the States—I believe I’m uniquely qualified to report on issues of intercontinental Mandarin education. With experience writing for newspapers and online publications—both domestic and international—I am confident I can produce the interesting, informative, and engaging content your readers expect.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

hey bro,

long time reader first time poster.
This is the type of article that should be written. Don't bother with the economic articles, because someone at the Economist will write them. Basically, you've got to find what is not being reported on. What about the role of Bhutan in India/China relations? How about an among-the-people report on the new property laws just implemented? There are a million Olympics stories, what about profiling a javelin-thrower from Xiaocun, Zhongguo? Don't go for the big story of today, go for tomorrow's interesting feature.

My advice is write the article, don't bother with a "pitch". Do the work first. You'll be surprised by how much you learn in the experience and in doing so, you will often find a much better story than the one you were looking for!

Best of luck, if done well, 20's is like one hugely sweet adventure that pretends to be work but is really about the mad rush of new experiences, knowledge and yes, danger.

-your 30 year old buddy Wen Jiang

MWScranton said...

This one I like a lot more. No criticism to offer. If you had the article written, I'd read it. Go forward on this one.

赵晨威 said...

Ya'll make me squiggle with pleasure.

I am absolutely serious when I say that your comments, criticism, suggestions, and support give me the confidence I need to pursue this.

Thank you so so much.

Jon

dl said...

ok, here is a couple of thoughts.

-Avoid weasel words. " I am confident, I believe" do not reassure, it begs doubt

-Using words like "unique" "unparalleled" "on the ground" "first hand perspective" - these are your true strengths. Your buddy Wen Jiang does have the twenties right!

There is certainly nothing that stops you from writing anything, but pitching specific story ideas is what will give paid commissions to write. And when you get paid to write - paid anything - you go from being an amateur, to being a pro.