I was in for quite the surprise during my first day of exhibiting at the Beijing International Book Fair this year.
Carole Ji of FLTRP (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press) stopped by to show me the brightly colored Phonics Series, which FLTRP was about to launch during the fair. The most amazing thing about this series was that it was really our series that FLTRP had licensed earlier in the year with the help of Wanda Chou of Big Apple Agency. Carole had told me about the very high quality of their work, but now I could see it for myself!
Not only did the series look beautiful, but each of the pages had been chemically treated so that if touched by one of their â€śtalking pensâ€ť all of the actual words, phrases and songs could be heard aloud (coming out of a speaker built into the pen).
Later in the week, FLTRP held a special event to launch their new titles. Of course I was invited where I proudly posed with the series and with Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Zhang Siying.
It was at Siying’s invitation that I was able to visit the headquarters of FLTRP. I have many, many photos. All I can say is that itâ€™s a beautiful building which, besides housing meeting rooms and offices for 1500 employees, also offers 2 complete floors of lodging for international visitors as well as private dining rooms for important meetings and several cafeterias to feed the 1,500 employees who eat in shifts.
Apparently, FLTRP also owns another even bigger building which is used as a training center for teachers in China. The second building boasts an indoor pool, lodging and meeting rooms for all of the teachers as well as hot springs which are located on the property.
During my visit to the FLTRP headquarters, I was shown all around their building, from the impressive lobby, to the many meeting rooms, the recording studio, and even a television studio which is sometimes used by the government to produce television shows.
Colleagues Lang Song and Tang Zhihong joined Siying, Carole and me for a six course luncheon which was cooked onsite and served by female servers wearing crisp white and red uniforms.
If you ever have the chance to do business with China, it makes visiting the country much more meaningful. Over the past two years, besides licensing our Phonics Series to FLTRP, we have also produced over 100 curriculum-based songs and chants to be used with various FLTRP series. I found it wonderful to meet and chat with the people Iâ€™ve been working with. Everything seems to come together and the world seems much smaller!