Crazy English: How China’s language teachers became big celebrities

“Where are you from? Do you speak English?” It’s a familiar phrase near the Forbidden City in Beijing, or along the capital’s Nanjing Road, as Chinese people try a standard opening gambit to spark up a conversation with a foreigner. Many visitors baulk at being approached so baldly, and are worried that it could be a scam. Very occasionally it is a con – and tourists should be wary when some nice young people offer to bring them to a tea house – but mostly the youngsters are desperate for access to real live Anglophones who can help them improve their conversational English. Independent, 29 August 2009. Read the whole article…

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