This company needs little introduction, having collaborated with more than 500 international publishers since its inception in 1979. It is also China’s largest foreign language publisher and its third largest in terms of sales.
“We have been inviting international authors to write for us for some time now. Uncle Craig’s Phonics by Craig Wright and Julia Chang—one of our feature products—is a title that has become a brand of its own over the years,” says Xu Haifeng, director of the children’s publishing division and its four segments: English-language readers, cartoon books (mostly bilingual), picture books, and children’s literature. “Each of our branded products has its own platform and subscription model and an annual roster of programs. For Uncle Craig’s Phonics, for instance, our team conducts more than 50 seminars and holds two major training sessions for about 20,000 teachers each year.”
The downloadable and fee-based LiSheng (or listening) module of these products is very popular. “There is a definite increase in the demand for English-language reading and listening materials, such as with our graded reader programs, including Bob Books, Little Critter, Mother Goose, Oxford Reading Tree, and Usborne. And the corresponding increase in the sales of LiSheng English readers is an obvious result,” adds Xu, whose team has introduced English phonics and reading courses to primary and high schools and training centers across China. “We conduct numerous training sessions for English teachers and teacher trainers throughout the year so that they are able to fully utilize the books in the classroom.”
Reading services is an integral part of FLTRP. “Most of our translated picture books come with a teacher/parent guide, which we supplement with reading services, activities, and downloadable kits. We work with social media platforms specializing in educational materials for children—Michael Qianer Pindao, for instance—to broadcast WeChat-based talks to hundreds of thousands of subscribers and offer story-reading activities. Korky Paul’s Winnie the Witch series is one good example that uses multiple platforms to reach Chinese children,” explains Xu.
Books aside, FLTRP also organizes China’s premier English-language debating and public-speaking tournaments. According to Xu, “when it comes to English-related programs, there is no better companion than FLTRP.”■