Chinese Approach to English Language

Plainly, the Chinese have determined that ability in the English language is going to be one of the most important drivers of economic progress for the country in the future. However they are now also far more aware of the size of the challenge (and a need to start early with children).

Around 10 years ago in their uniquely organised and disciplined way the Chinese government announced an intention to have 1 million of their citizens speaking English to international standards within 5 years, despite the fact that they were starting from a very low base. In order to implement this plan they recruited large numbers of English Language specialists from UK, USA, Australia, Canada and other English speaking countries. One of their hopes was that by the end of that 5 year period they could largely dispense with the external faculty and inpuit as they would have a critical mass of high level teachers to carry forward their plans.

This was one occasion when it turned out they had overstretched themselves – 10 years later large numbers of the ELT teachers are still there. Now, clearly, despite a great deal of progress, the emphasis is going to be more long-term, with focus on the younger children who can pick up new languages far easier:

Yahoo News on Chinese English

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