Irene Coeny


Founding Director

I am Irene SauKing Coeny, founding director of Planet Han. I am Chinese-American and a parent of two wonderful girls. I want to share my motivation and journey with you in setting up this program.

I grew up in Hong Kong and attended an education college majoring in Chinese Literature and History. My hope was to become a teacher working with young children. I achieved my goal and had the pleasure of teaching in an elementary school in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, everyone studies English so I did not appreciate the benefits of being proficient in a second global language until my parents decided to move the whole family to New York City. I was forced to give up teaching for financial reasons. But life is full of surprises and my fluency in English opened many doors for me. It allowed me to complete my college education and embark on a career as a CPA. Most importantly, it helped me to meet my wonderful husband, Matt, with whom I have two beautiful daughters.

I want to give my children the same gift my parents gave me – fluency in a second global language. My choice of Mandarin Chinese is not because of my ethnic background but because it is the most practical second language for young children to learn today.

As parents, we must prepare our children for the future. Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world and the third in the United States. As our global cultures become more intertwined, helping your child gain proficiency in Mandarin Chinese will give your child a competitive advantage for the future.

When I was first introduced to the MAT (Model.Action.Talk.) approach, I observed, firsthand, how effective and engaging this method is in teaching young children Mandarin Chinese. This technique has been proven to help children regardless of ethnicity.

Life has come full circle for me and I am back in education after all these years. I hope you will join us in fulfilling the mission of Planet Han by allowing us to teach your child Mandarin Chinese. We place our children first and I am confident you and your child will have a blast on Planet Han.