An interesting article in China Daily provides a snapshot of English language teaching and learning in China today.

The authors state there is no progression for students learning English as it is not linked from school to college. Whilst many Chinese people study English, and it is compulsory at university, the language is rarely used in social situations.

Another issue is the test-based curriculum, with one teacher saying:

“The (CET-4) test puts the students in a state of war and makes them nervous,” Xu said. “After passing the competitive gaokao, they expect lively and interesting English classes in college. But I’m afraid CET-4 may disappoint them.” (English is a core subject in gaokao, the national college entrance examination.) (Source: China Daily)

What a sad situation – language learning should be a fun activity (at least sometimes!) and not a chore to be undertaken. As the former chairwoman of the English club at Qigihar University says,

“People’s interest in the language itself is our most cherished asset”.

So next time you’re fed up and feeling unmotivated, just think of the Chinese students and their anxiety about the CET-4 test!