In 2001, when Beijing was bidding for the Olympics, Tuanjiehu citizens realized for the first time how important it is to learn English. Accordingly, in 2005, the Tuanjiehu Olympics English Association was founded in order to make it easier for citizens to get acquainted with the language. Later on, the organization changed its name to Tuanjiehu Foreign Languages Association.
The association consists of an office, a Teaching Department, a Foreign Affair Department and the Party Branch with 10 leaders. The number of members now exceeds 1,500 language fans, which includes community leaders, residents and even many people from other districts. Not only are we dedicated in learning English, but also studying French, Korean and Spanish.
With the support of the Tuanjiehu Sub-District Office and the efforts of association members, we have set up 24 classes and an English Corner where we meet in to improve our English conversation skills. The classrooms are located in the six communities of Tuanjiehu, Tuanjiehu Park, the army camp and some other communities like Balizhuang, Hujialou and Liulitun. The lectures range from beginner level to higher level of improving already existing language skills. Students, between the ages of 20 to 84, attend our classes from all over Beijing. Apart from our English Corner, we also participate in another English salon called “Golden Years English Salon” in Chaoyang Library.
Our association's work has been met with great interest on an international level as well as a local one. Groups of students and older citizens as well as teachers from all over the world have visited and helped us, whereas many domestic and international media have interviewed us. Mr. Zhang Daozhen, a celebrated expert of English education, praised Tuanjiehu as a good example of citizens speaking English in the Beijing speaks Foreign Languages Committee. In 2008, when we received the award from the State Council of P.R. China, Mayor Liu Qi, the liaisons of the Human Resource and Social Insurance Department paid us a visit as well.
During the period of Post-Olympics after 2008, we have participated in a lot of volunteer activities. Among these there were the language volunteer guides in Tuanjiehu Park during May Labour Day and service for the 60th anniversary of China. We are, however, especially proud of a donation, we were able to offer to students coming from poor families. We try to serve as good examples for the fellow residents and for society as a whole, hoping to live up to our motto: Unity, Friendship, Contribution and Happiness.
We warmly welcome language fans and volunteers to join us in building a bright future with the Tuanjiehu Foreign Languages Association.