DHAKA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- There were hardly any private institutions in Bangladesh's capital to study the Chinese language in the past.
Even a decade ago, students only had the opportunity to learn Chinese at a handful of private and public universities with a limited number of spaces.
But now things are changing as students who went to China a decade earlier upon returning home started teaching Chinese at their own institutions.
Mohammed Sady is one such student.
He first learned Chinese at the Confucius Institute in Bangladesh's top leading North South University in Dhaka.
In 2009, he got a scholarship to study the Chinese language in China. "I went to the Southwest University in China to learn Chinese," said Sady. Later on he went to China again to study for a doctorate.
Upon returning to Bangladesh in 2016 finally, along with likeminded friends, he established an institute called the "Chinese Academy" that now has more than 300 students, he said.
Students planning to study higher education in China as well as service holders who are with Chinese companies especially come to the academy to study the Chinese language, said Sady.
"Students attend six classes three days a week. The classes focus on listening, writing and reading.
The students are also encouraged to learn new vocabulary, he said, adding they teach their students Chinese through various easy innovative methods and organize events that help them practice speaking and listening.
Sady said there is a general perception that it is very difficult to learn the Chinese language.
"We tell people here that Chinese is not as hard as they think. We teach them Chinese using easy methods and encourage students to visit China for higher study."
He said more and more students come to their academy as they think the institute can better support them in learning Chinese and assist their efforts to go to China for higher study.
Al-Adnan Parvez, a student at the Chinese Academy, said he has come to Dhaka from the Nilphamari district, some 360 km northwest of the capital of Dhaka, just to learn Chinese.
"Some Chinese companies are working at an EPZ (export processing zone) in Nilphamari. If I can speak Chinese, I might be able to work for a Chinese company. I could also work as an interpreter."
Since his childhood, Parvez said he was interested in learning a second language and that is why he finally entered the academy to learn the Chinese language.
Another Chinese Academy student, Yasmin Akhtar who comes from Khulna, about 140 km southwest of Dhaka, said, "I have a very special feeling towards Chinese people. I really like them and so I have come to learn their language. I also want to go to China for study."
The Chinese Academy has some quite experienced teachers who studied Chinese in China and returned to Bangladesh and took up teaching Chinese as a profession.
Mohammad Manzur Alam Bappi is one such teacher at the Chinese Academy.
He studied Chinese at Wuhan University and successfully completed the HSK5 qualification.
Bappi used to work for a Chinese company after studying sociology at Bachelor's and Master's levels at Dhaka College, under the National University.
"I got a job in a Chinese company and noticed that of my colleagues that spoke Chinese there was a demand to study more."
It was then I too decided to learn Chinese. I was admitted to this academy and after learning here I went to China for higher study, Bappi said.
Another Chinese Academy teacher Sweety Khatun who studied mechanical engineering in 2014 and worked for a company, said she realized that learning Chinese would help her to develop a bright future.
"I received the opportunity to conduct dummy classes while studying at this academy. Teaching is an opportunity for further learning. I fell in love with the Chinese language," she said.
"Now I teach Chinese here as my profession."