English Classes to Start from Third Grade

Primary school students in Beijing will begin learning English in third grade from this autumn, according to the Beijing Education Committee. By autumn 2003, English classes will be given from the first year of primary school.

At present, primary school English teacher training programs are underway in all districts and counties in Beijing. According to officials from the local Education Committee, a survey conducted by the Committee at the end of last year shows there is not a big gap between the current demand for and availability of primary school English teachers. That is, the number of English teachers is basically sufficient to meet the demands of teaching English in the lower grades of the primary schools. However, some individual schools may need to make up their shortage of English teachers by employing or training their own teachers.

Since 1993, English classes have been given to students in Grade Four and above at primary schools in the city proper and the central primary schools in the suburbs. At that time, there were two different points of view held by education specialists. Some maintained that English classes should be offered to students in the lower grades of primary school, as younger children are generally better able to learn a second language. Others argued that teaching English too early could result in the children’s confusing Chinese pinyin and English.

(People's Daily 06/04/2001)

In This Series

Tsinghua Offers 57 English Courses

Shanghai Leads in English Education

China to Start English Teaching in Primary Schooling



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