Yudan Deng joined the Lab in 2019 after taking part in Ingenuity19, winning a Santander Enterprise award for her Follow the Orient business idea. Since then, she has gone on to publish two Chinese language textbooks and was recently appointed as an Ingenuity Lab Ambassador.
Originally from China, Yudan studied BA Chinese Language and Literature at Sichuan Agricultural College before moving to the University of Nottingham in 2017 to obtain a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
Her experiences as a language teacher inspired her to start her business, informed by research carried out for her Master’s dissertation on teaching phonetic Mandarin.
“I’ve been teaching Chinese as a Second Language for a long time, and I’ve found it is not very fun for most children, so I wanted to combine play and learning to really bring the language to life,” she said.
“Mandarin is not an easy language to learn, so I wanted to help my students master a second language by creating more engaging textbooks, making learning exciting and fun.”
Her business, Follow the Orient, is a Chinese language teaching resource which aims to introduce children to new language and culture via storytelling.
On top of the tutoring offered by the business, Yudan has created her own textbooks which follow the tales of Hou Yang the monkey, helping children learn new words and identify basic Chinese characters through language games and illustrations.
The business is commited to developing a variety of learning materials in different formats and has recently launched a YouTube channel, creating video content for young language learners, with educational songs aimed at teaching phonetic Mandarin.
“The Ingenuity Lab is an amazing place with brilliant people, and a friendly working environment that brings out the best in me and my business.”