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problems of learners in ChinaWith over 5,000 years of history, China is the country of a thousand faces. From the Great Wall to Shanghai?s silhouetted skyline, Tibetan monks to Sichuan pandas, serene deserts to urban centers, teaching english in china seems like more than just a job. It is rather a chance to expand personal boundaries and engage on of the world?s most ancient civilizations as a true insider. Nowadays, China plays an increasingly significant role in the world economy, politics and cultures integration. In an effort to promote internationalism, China is learning english. In the next 5 years, all state employees younger than 40 years old will be required to master at least 1,000 english phrases, and all schools will start teaching english in kindergarten. Parents, who can afford it, send their children ? some as young as 2 ? to private language schools. By the time they turn 10 years of age the children will be fluent. For the adults, learning the language is more of a struggle. What makes this task so difficult are the large differences between the english and chinese languages. Understanding such differences can make teaching chinese students much easier. ? As teachers we shouldn?t attempt to teach chinese students by first reading and writing; chinese uses a different writing system (symbols represent the entire word), and it?s crucial to allow some time for learning the Roman alphabet; ? The indefinite nouns in english are ?a? and ?an?; in chinese they don?t exist ? that?s why chinese speakers often find the usage of articles very confusing; ? chinese is a tonal language, while english is not. Words such as ?ma? could mean several different things (in standard Mandarin with first tone ?ma? means ?mother?, but ?ma? with third tone means ?horse?). english uses tones to express or emphasize emotion (intonation doesn?t change the meaning of the word); ? chinese speakers generally have problems with pronouncing ?l? or making a difference between ?l? and ?r? (they may mispronounce rice as lice, rope as lope, feel as feew, and pill as piw); Southern chinese have a similar problem with distinguishing ?l? and ?n?; ? The final consonant is not very frequent in chinese and often results in adding an extra vowel on the end of the word or failing to produce the consonant; ? english expresses shades of meaning with modal verbs, chinese modals do not convey wide ranges of meaning, that?s why chinese learners may not use modal verbs sufficiently and may sound categorical while requesting or suggesting something; ? Phrasal verbs don?t exist in chinese, which can cause serious problems with comprehending texts and avoiding using phrasal verbs in oral english. What would be a solution to the difficulties mentioned above? A patient and understanding teacher, certainly. Plenty of examples, exercises and repetitions, for sure. Proverbial chinese diligence. As China pushes to become the world?s next great super power, education - including english knowledge - will play a deciding factor in the amount of success the nation can expect to achieve. ?Education can lead to success, you must always study hard,? chinese people keep repeating. And as China opens more and more to the western world, contact with native speakers and real language should become easier. More ESL trainers, foreign TV channels, maybe one day free internet will decrease chinese struggles with learning english. References: 1. www.doctormikeenglishcenter.wordpress.com 2. www.middlekingdomlife.com 3. www.omniglot.com