Some observations on the possible indigenization of English in mainland China. China boasts the largest English-learning population in the world. ‘It seems there are more people learning to speak English in China than there are English speakers in the whole of the United States’. Over 200 million children, about 20% of the total in the world, are learning English in schools, and about 13 million young people at university. The Chinese government has decided to offer English as a compulsory course nationwide from the third year at primary school. While schools in rural areas are trying to find qualified English teachers, those in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai have begun to do so as soon as the children start school at the age of six.
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