Headline News


2008 & Beyond: Olympics spurrs English-learning frenzy among Chinese


Source: | 07-29-2008 13:50

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Beijing's successful bid for hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games has spurred an English-learning frenzy among many Chinese. Liu Ying shows us what's behind this enthusiasm about learning English and what changes it will bring to the country.

For 65-year old Wang Xiuqin and her husband, 72-year old Lv Baoli, studying English has become one of their major enjoyments in their retired lives. 
For 65-year old Wang Xiuqin and her husband, 72-year old Lv
Baoli, studying English has become one of their major 
enjoyments in their retired lives.

For 65-year old Wang Xiuqin and her husband, 72-year old Lv Baoli, studying English has become one of their major enjoyments in their retired lives. The elderly couple have been diligently learning English for five years.

Wang Xiuqin, Resident in Dongsi Olympic Community said "Beijing is going to host the 2008 Olympic Games. I think I should learn some English. Because foreigners are interested in our Chinese traditions, I think I can communicate with them about that in English. I can also give directions to them when they are lost."

Lv Baoli, Reisdent in Dongsi Olympic Community said "It's extremely interesting for me to learn English. I did not like to study when I was young. How I wish I had studied hard back then!"

But the studying process has proven to be quite challenging. The elderly couple is determined to persevere though and refuses to give up. Wang Qiuqin has even made the effort to memorize the English names of many historic sites in Beijing, hoping she will be able to recommend these places to foreign tourists.

Wang Xiuqin said "Beihai Park, Lama Temple, Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Changan Avenue, Dongsi Olympic Community."

The husband and wife are just two out of many other enthusiastic students who have signed up for the chance to learn English. Since 2003, as many as over two hundred local residents in the community have enjoyed the benefits of free regular classes.