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Will changes in English test of Chinese gaokao hurt US interests?

Photo: edu.youth.cn

According to the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, the unified English test of the gaokao (Chinese college entrance exam) will be canceled, and the full marks for the English test in Beijing will be decreased from 150 to 100 from 2016. Experts say this reform will probably have negative effects on the Sino-US relations.

China is one of the few countries that emphasize English learning as much as the learning of mathematics and its native language. Experts say the most important aspect of the Sino-US relations is the exchange between the people of the two countries.

Some people believe the reform of the gaokao will damage the interests of the US. Now more than 95% of Chinese overseas students are studying in English-speaking countries such as the US, Canada and Britain. If the emphasis on English learning is weakened, the US will suffer an inestimable loss of talents from China.

Learning English is not a bad thing. Most non-English-speaking countries in the Western world also learn English as their second language. Learning English has laid a solid foundation for the communication between China and the rest of the world since the start of the implementation of the reform and opening up. However, some people think setting English as the students’ only choice of foreign language is not suitable in today’s plural world. For example, Spanish is spoken by 500 million people in nearly 20 countries around the world. The communication between China and the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America will become more frequent, so more people who can speak Spanish will be needed.

The fact that students treat English as the only choice of foreign language will make China more dependent on English-speaking countries such as the US, and limit China’s communication with other countries.

(Edited by Billie Feng)


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