Related News

Home » Metro » Education

College students prompted to practice English for lunch at 'Dare to Speak' event

ABOUT 100 college students lined up to get free meals given out by “foreign chefs” at the Minhang Campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University today, on the condition that they speak English as part of an activity that encourages students to practice English in daily life.

The “Dare to Speak” activity, held by the Cultural and Education Section of British Embassy, arrived in Shanghai after a tour that took them to a high school in Beijing and a university in Chongqiang.

Students who wanted to get hamburgers, spaghetti or other food had to talk to the “foreign chefs” played by two international students as if they were in the cafeteria of an overseas university.

“It is so fun and interesting to get food through this way,” said Christina Chen, who is in her first year studying mathematics.

Chen said she seldom has the opportunity to use English in class. “Even in English class, we don’t have much time to speak because there are too many students and only one foreign teacher,” Chen said.

Many students said they were very sincere in their willingness to speak to foreigners but they were afraid to start the conversation.

“Since Chinese students usually feel shy about talking to foreigners, we created a real situation for them which they would also experience if they go abroad to work or study,” said Tracey Lu, National IELTS Product Manager with the British Embassy. IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, a standardized test of English language proficiency.

Lu said the oral band score of Chinese test-takers of IELTS was stable at an average of 5.3 points out of a total of 9 points between 2010 and 2012. The score is considered lower than the usual entry requirement for overseas schools at about 6.5 points.

In the past several years, the number of IELTS test-takers in China has grown steadily every year by more than 10 percent. The increase has been largely from young Chinese students, mainly high school students, due to the large numbers seeking to study abroad, according to Lu.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend