As I have trav­eled around China, I can say that Shang­hai is def­i­nitely the most cos­mopoli­tan city in Chi­nese main­land. Be­sides English pro­fi­ciency, there are also a fair num­ber of French, Ger­man, and Span­ish speak­ers as well.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Don­ald Forst,

from Chicago who is liv­ing in Shang­hai for two years

“Be­fore col­lege, my big­gest mo­ti­va­tion to learn English was to get good grades. Now I think one’s English pro­fi­ciency level is very cru­cial for his work. This is es­pe­cially true for those who work for a for­eign com­pany,” said Yao Yankun, 22, a Shang­hai res­i­dent who grad­u­ated from the China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity in Bei­jing.

Yao is cur­rently do­ing a sum­mer in­tern­ship at an Amer­i­can in­vest­ment bank’s branch in Bei­jing be­fore head­ing to Hong Kong in Septem­ber for grad­u­ate stud­ies. She had started learn­ing English since her third year in pri­mary school and has been tak­ing part in English con­tests and read­ing ex­ten­sively as well.

Tang Kai­hua, a 22-year-old IT grad­u­ate from Shang­hai Jiao Tong Univer­sity, said that while 30 per­cent of his class­mates take tests such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a For­eign Lan­guage) be­fore they fur­ther their stud­ies abroad, about 20 per­cent of them ac­tu­ally take these tests just to main­tain their lan­guage skills af­ter their col­lege English cour­ses were over af­ter the sec­ond year. This also helps them to bet­ter com­pre­hend pa­pers writ­ten in English and browse fo­rums.

Tang said that en­ter­tain­ment is another mo­ti­va­tion for him and his fel­low class­mates to con­tinue learn­ing the lan­guage.

“We want to watch YouTube and play for­eign games. Un­der­stand­ing English helps a lot,” he said. Wang Qi­fan con­trib­uted this story.

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