Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beijing Making Locals Speak English

The Chinese government has stated that it wants most residents living in Beijing to be able to speak English as it wants to convert the city into a "World City."

The government program was first launched in 2002 in preparation for the Beijing Olympics and has been recently renewed. All kindergartens in the city are to introduce English courses within the next five years. A minimum of at least 60 percent of shop assistants, receptionists and hairdressers under 40 years old will also be required to pass English tests by 2015, as will 80 percent of police officers, the report said.
Every civil servant under the age of 40 with a Bachelor's degree will also be required to master a minimum of 1000 English sentences. The program aims to bring "greater convenience to foreigners working or studying in the capital and enhance international relations and cooperation."

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