From learning to teaching Mandarin

JOHOR BARU - Teaching Mandarin is the forte of a pair of Malay sisters, and it is no wonder why - they have been speaking the language since they were three!

Faiezah Ahmad Fauzi, 30, and elder sister Fazlieana, 31, picked up the language at that tender age due to their father's insistence.

Their father, who owned a plumbing business, had wanted all six children to learn Chinese to prepare them to take over his business.

Faiezah went the extra mile, receiving her early education at a Chinese school and later graduating from Johor's well-known Foon Yew High School.

She then headed to further hone her Mandarin skills while Fazlieana took up the challenge of helping out with the family business.

"At first, I was not that keen (to learn Mandarin). I wondered why my family was different from our neighbours, who sent their kids to national schools.

"But it was nice to be able to communicate with my Chinese friends in their language," Faiezah said.

Their love for the language flourished to the extent that both sisters teamed up to open a Chinese language training centre in Taman Seri Orkid, Skudai, last year.

"After my experience learning the language, I had a desire to teach others too," she added.

Faiezah said most of their students were Malay and Indian working adults who wanted to pick up an extra language.

Faiezah said they developed their own modules from books and education websites in China.