Kristina Klausen was looking for a way that her two daughters could get extra practice conversing in Mandarin outside of Ohlone Elementary School’s Mandarin immersion program, in which they were enrolled in. Klausen herself doesn’t speak any Mandarin, and though her children’s father is of Chinese heritage, he doesn’t speak much either.
So naturally, she turned to the Internet. She found a woman in Beijing willing to tutor her children via Skype. The woman had tutoring experience and was interested in moving to the United States, but other than that the arrangement was “completely random,” Klausen said.