[EDLING:1385] A quarter of Chinese study English: official

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Mar 27 14:17:52 UTC 2006

Forwarded from edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu

China View www.chinaview.cn


A quarter of Chinese study English: official

2006-03-26 21:47:43

    SHANGHAI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- More than 300 million Chinese people,
or nearly a quarter of the country's population, have studied English
either as a major course or as an elective subject, said a senior Chinese
education official on Sunday in Shanghai. Speaking at an international
workshop of foreign language teaching in Shanghai, Vice Minister of
Education Wu Qidi said that the number of people who have received formal
learning of the English language from primary schools to higher learning
institutes has added up to over 100 million.  Modern foreign language
teaching in Chinese schools started in the 1980s.  The systematic English
teaching program, which runs through primary schools to higher learning
institutes, was formally launched in 2000, Wu told experts and teachers
from a dozen world-famous language institutes from the United States, New
Zealand and Singapore.

    The ministry's statistics suggested that the current number of
students enrolled on Chinese campuses amounted to 23 million, which is the
world's largest group of foreign language learners.  "Foreign language
learning is a required course in all Chinese universities, which has been
rarely seen in the world's foreign language learning history," said Dai
Weidong, a foreign language educator from the ministry.  Experts with the
workshop pointed out that it is imperative that China improves the level
of English among its population to cater for market demand.  Language
teaching in China also requires more advanced methods and materials from
English-speaking countries. Enditem

 Editor: Yao Runping

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