A Glance at the Chinese ‘English Learning Frenzy’
by Mike Lee
English language training was declared to be the second most profitable business in China at the end of 2005.
I suppose native English speaking students can never imagine six English classes every week, not including sounded reading sessions in the mornings, but this is the fact. And most Chinese students find English exceptionally difficult, and fear English tests as much as Judgment Day.
Therefore, extra lessons are arranged at school, and anxious parents determined to help their kids make them go on training courses provided by various people and organizations.
Those kids who are better at English are not much more fortunate: they are made to take tests and/or enter competitions. Some competitions promise the prize of extra points in the High School Entrance Examination. These competitions often start with about 10,000 competitors, more if they’re national.
Organizing these competitions is a great method to measure pupils’ abilities. Prize winners most probably won’t be the usual high-scorers and ‘test-machines’, but those who possess conversation skills and knowledge about English culture, which are not taught properly in most schools.
Students who have had the opportunity to study in English speaking regions mostly do very well in English at school. They are asked questions such as ‘How do you memorize words just after a glance at it?’, ‘How could you spell a word according to its pronunciation?’, etc. Well this is probably because they study English in a natural way, unlike the craming method in most schools.
Some schools, the High School affiliated to Renmin University of China (RDFZ) for instance, produce fully-qualified multilingual students with appropriate methods. Qualified teachers of English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Korean, Japanese and Arabic are empolyed by the RDFZ, which actually out-performs many universities with language departments. Elective subjects taught in English are also available. Many delegations from overseas schools and educational agencies come to visit the school every year. And students get to practise their language and diplomatic skills.
Unfortunately, such teaching is currently available at only a few schools in large cities. Well, if schools did their work properly there won’t be as much business for English language schools. Let’s give our best wishes to English learners in China.
About the author
Mike Lee (李达健) is a high school student at The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (人大附中) in Beijing. He’s currently learning English and German at school, and Japanese and Latin at home.
ll My Love /Led Zeppelin
Should I fall out of love, my fire in the light?
To chase a feather in the wind
Within the glow that weaves a cloak of delight
There moves a thread that has no end
For many hours and days that passes ever soon
The tides have caused the flame to dim
At last the arm is straight, the hand to the loom
Is this to end or just begin?
I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS POEM – PLUS IT’S AN INTERESTING IMAGE…
Has anyone been on Dave’s ESL Cafe lately?
You might be surprised at how little it has changed.
Click below for one blogger’s thoughts:
Prepositions of time are very simple to remember! We use:
- at for a PRECISE TIME
- in for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIOD
Here are some examples: I wake up early in the morning I am going to have a great lunch in the afternoon Jack likes to have a nap in the evening Shall we go to the bar at night?
. . . when you have a break from teaching, planning, scheduling, managing students’ online webpages, marking writing notebooks for JOURNALs, preparing/viewing/grading constant assessments, invigilating quizzes and exams, handling record-keeping and meetings for student advisory responsibilities, preparing graded rubrics, organizing/photocopying/distributing handouts for weekly lessons, supervising student teachers’ assistant trainees, etc.
This will help English learners to understand American stand-up comedy.
Please remember to click on “captions” as the video has English subtitles.
Bill Burr- Stand-up Comedy
Bill Burr is an American stand-up comedian from Massachusetts.
Watch his stand up set above, which has been subtitled in English for English learners. It also has some explanations of terms or phrases that may be new.
Feel free to use this dictionary for any other unknown words you hear. Enjoy!
If the video does not load above, click here to play in on youtube.