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EF: China inferior to Latin American countries in English proficiency

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China is losing ground to other emerging markets including Brazil in the drive to learn English, according to a study ranking worldwide proficiency in the international language of commerce.

外媒称,一份考察世界各国掌握英语这门国际商务语言熟练程度的排名榜显示,中国的名次已落后于包括巴西在内的其他新兴市场国家。

English proficiency is at a premium as the balance of power between China and English-speaking countries such as the UK and US shifts and Beijing seeks to carve out a more powerful leadership role on the world stage.

随着中国与英美等英语国家的实力对比发生变化,以及中国寻求在世界舞台上扮演更强大的领导角色,英语能力变得重要起来。

Despite this, some regional governments in China have recently opted to cut the time spent teaching and testing English in Chinese public high schools, lowering the weighting of English in the national university entrance exam, the gaokao.

不过,中国一些地方政府近来决定减少公立高中花在英语教学和考试上的时间,降低了英语在高考中的权重。

The study, due for public release on Tuesday, shows China fell 10 places to 47th in a ranking of 70 countries compiled by EF Education First, which based its rankings on test data from more than 900,000 adults sitting online tests.

将在11月3日公布的调查结果显示,中国在上述排行榜中的名次下降了10位,降至70个国家中的第47名。排行榜是由英孚教育(EF Education First)编制的,以90多万名成人在线考试的成绩为基础。

EF said most of the countries that moved ahead of China this year were from Latin America. "These Latin American countries have kicked off ambitious national initiatives focused on English-language training, including Brazil's English Without Borders programme and Mexico's Project 100,000," EF said in a statement.

英孚表示,今年名次超越中国的大多是拉美国家。该机构发表声明称:“这些拉美国家启动了雄心勃勃的聚焦英语培训的全国性计划,包括巴西的‘英语无国界’(English Without Borders)计划以及墨西哥的‘Project 100000’。

"The Chinese government, on the other hand, has questioned how much emphasis should be placed on English training in the public education system."

“而中国政府却提出了一个问题,即应在公共教育体系中给予英语培训多大的重视。”

The education group said China had initially scaled the top ranks by devoting plenty of class time to English instruction, whereas continued improvement would require "more sophisticated approaches focused on communicative mastery rather than testing abilities".

这家教育集团表示,中国最初为英语教学安排了大量课时,从而跻身英语熟练程度较高国家行列,而英语能力的持续提高需要“更先进的、注重沟通理解的教学方式,而不是注重考试能力的方式”。

But some would-be students are also querying the value of studying overseas, hitherto a popular choice. Employees bearing postgraduate degrees from overseas command similar salaries to their peers who stayed home, according to Jennifer Feng, chief human resources expert at 51job, the leading Chinese employment agency.

但有些潜在的求学者也对赴海外留学的价值产生了怀疑——迄今为止,赴海外留学一直是个流行的做法。中国领先招聘机构前程无忧(51job)首席人力资源专家冯丽娟表示,从海外拿到研究生学位的雇员与待在国内的同龄人相比,薪酬水平差不多。

That may explain the slowdown in growth of the number of Chinese enrolled in US higher education. Last year, the expansion in their numbers was the slowest in seven years, according to the Institute of International Education and the US state department. China remains the biggest country of origin for international students at US universities.

这或许解释了为什么报名在美接受高等教育的中国学生人数增长放缓。国际教育研究所(Institute of International Education)和美国国务院的数据显示,去年是7年来上述数字增长最慢的一年。目前在美国的大学,中国学生在国际学生中仍是占比最高的。

The US Council of Graduate Schools said late last year that the number of Chinese first-time enrolments at postgraduate level had fallen for the first time in at least a decade.

美国研究生院委员会(US Council of Graduate Schools)表示,去年,首次报名在美接受研究生教育的中国学生人数出现下滑,这是至少10年来的头一次。

2016-06-23

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