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May joins 'English is GREAT' campaign launch in Wuhan

Time:2018-01-31   Source:chinadaily.com.cn

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the launching ceremony of the "English is GREAT" campaign during her visit to Wuhan University, Jan 31. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May joined the launching ceremony of the 2018 "English is GREAT" campaign, which aims to support and encourage more people across China to learn to speak English, during her visit to Wuhan University in Central China's Hubei province, Jan 31.

Initiated by the British Council, the UK's international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, this year-long campaign sets out to promote proficiency in spoken English in particular.

"We want to encourage even more people to learn English and to support them in reaching a high level of spoken proficiency," Carma Elliot, director of British Council China and minister for Culture and Education at the British Embassy in China, said.

"English is truly a world language and a tool to unlock opportunities all over the world, whether it's for tourism, doing business, or for fun. I would encourage everyone to get involved in the campaign."

Prize-winning online competition

The launch also marked the start of an online competition, "My Favorite English Word". You can join by simply posting your word of choice on the China Daily app. The most popular words will be included in a draw to win a variety of prizes, including Kindle, Polaroid camera and Bluetooth speaker. 

English Teacher Award

The campaign establishes an English Teacher Award to recognize excellence in teaching among Chinese non-native teachers of English. Nominations will be made by students and English teachers.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Carma Elliot (fourth from left), director of British Council China, meet Zheng Jianwei, an English teacher and the first visually-impaired IELTS candidate in South China, at Wuhan University, Jan 31. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"It's a great honor to be a part of the launch of the 'English is GREAT' campaign today," said Zheng Jianwei, an English teacher and winner of the Social Impact Award at the British Council China 2015-16 Alumni Awards.

"From taking IELTS, studying abroad in the UK and developing my career as an English teacher, English has given me the chance to both develop myself and make a difference to those around me."

In order to recognize more inspiring teachers, monthly prizes will be presented and the winner of the grand final award will be announced later in the year. The winner will have the opportunity to undertake a four-week study trip to the UK-sponsored by the International House London.

Further events will include projects to support learners in achieving proficiency in spoken English and to train sector professionals using the UK's leading expertise in English Language Teaching (ELT) and assessment.

Throughout the campaign, the "English is GREAT" website will provide access to free online resources and a wide range of materials for English learners of all levels.

The exhibition area of the "English is GREAT" campaign at Wuhan University, Jan 31. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

UK-Mandarin Excellence Programme

The "English is GREAT" campaign will reciprocate the UK-Mandarin Excellence Programme, launched in 2016, which aims to have 5,000 secondary school pupils in the UK fluent in Mandarin by 2020.

Following an agreement signed at the UK-China People to People Dialogue in December 2016, the British Council, working together with the Confucius Institute, will bring 3,000 UK students to China by 2020 to take part in intensive Chinese language courses.

For more information about the English is GREAT campaign and related events, please visit https://www.britishcouncil.cn/en/EnglishGreat