Tuesday, December 4, 2007

English Corner

English corners are a phenomena found on campuses throughout Chinese universities in mainland China. They are often initiated by students from English faculties. Why, one may ask would English major students need the English Corner? Don’t they have enough of English in class? Yes, but in class, very often they are passive listeners. After class, most students revert to speaking in the mother tongue. Trying to speak English outside of class may not go down well among peers unless they are convinced of the advantages of being able to communicate the language spontaneously.

Oral English lessons account for the most two hours per week or less and students naturally want to have a chance to practice the language in a real environment and the English Corner seems to be the best place. Apart from that, the forum acts as a good place to meet up with students from other faculties.

Some of these clubs are quite well run. Foreign teachers are invited to share about their lives and experiences and to answer questions from the audience. Some times they want the foreign guests to sing as well –anything in English, would be welcome.

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