Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Dumbing Down English in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 11, 2010


In general China does a decent job with English, they study it for 12 years, so they have decent skills. The funny thing is that they are so disconnected from the world that they have litle appreciation for good or normal English.
Thus, when a Chinese comes back from the west, irrespective of their actual English skills, the Chinese assume that the person is an expert. To expose the idiocy of this fact, look at me, I have been here 2.5 years and my Chinese is like that of an infant, case closed.
But, I have seen countless one child policy Chinese who come back from Europe and who have worse English skills then those Chinese who have never left. I have been told that this phenomenon is due to the level of those students who go abroad(ie. they did not score well enough to get into the good universities and thus are poor performers and their English skills show this). I am not sure of the reason, but find it interesting to hear someone with awful English skills lecturing another about English word usage.

One Response to “Dumbing Down English in China”

  1. Don Tai said

    A Chinese graduate arrives here in Toronto, Canada. S/he lives in a predominantly Chinese neighbourhood, shops at Chinese stores where all the staff are from Mainland China. All his neighbours and friends are Mainland Chinese and speak Mandarin. S/he subscribes to Mandarin TV, borrows Mandarin DVDs from the local library. At work s/he socializes with mostly Mandarin Chinese speakers. The economy wanes, he returns home.

    Learning English in an English speaking country is a life choice that some people choose not to do. It’s their choice. Frankly I welcome Mainland Chinese people to my city, as this is how I keep my Mandarin sharp. Huan ying Nimen lai Jianada!

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