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中国的英语教育

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小编摘要:是什么让中国人对英语学习如此痴迷呢?主要是冲着非常实用的目的:通过考试、考取(国内和国外)更好的学校、找到更好的工作。






最近我关注了一下英语作为第一外语在中国的情况,发现英语教育市场的规模,就像中国很多其他事情一样,数字都大得惊人。
I recently took a look at English as a Second Language in China. Like so many things in China, the numbers relating to the size of the ESL market are somewhat staggering.
首先,一个普遍认可的估计值是,中国目前英语学习者总数有3亿之多,只比美国总人口数少1亿。
To begin with, the generally accepted estimate of the total number of people studying English in China is 300 million, which is just 10 million less than the total population of the United States.
这其中即包括教授英语的私立学校,也包括公立学校。还有一点需要特别关注的是,提供英语教学、辅导或是(SAT、托福、GRE、GMAT)考前培训的私立学校规模十分庞大,增速极其迅猛,使今年的市场规模达到了45亿美元,这个增长速度已超过了中国GDP。
This includes private as well as public schools which teach English. Looking specifically at the large and fast-growing sector of private schools providing ESL instruction, tutoring, or test preparation services (e.g. SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT etc.), this market is about US$4.5 billion in size this year, and expanding much faster than China's rate of GDP growth.
眼下在中国,大约有50,000所私立英语学校,其中大多数是小型或地方性的、区域性的学校。在竞争激烈的英语外语教育和应试教育领域中,占主导地位的是三家全国性机构:在纽约证交所上市的中国新东方公司、瑞典私人企业英孚教育、培生集团旗下的华尔街英语。这块阵地是英语外语教学的高端市场,它的消费者需要支付高昂的学费,参加由训练有素的英语母语教师执教的班级课程,并使用专业水平的教材。
There are something like 50,000 private English schools in China, most of which are small and either local or regional. Three national-level players dominate the highly competitive private ESL instruction and test-preparation field, NYSE-listed Chinese company New Oriental, privately owned Swedish company EF Education First, and Pearson PLC's Wall Street Institute. This is the premium end of the ESL market, where consumers pay high tuitions for a classroom-centered product with highly-trained native English teachers and professional quality curricular materials.
假如你觉得这个行业“看上去很美”,请一定要三思。2009年,有三家在中国颇具知名度的英语学校都遭遇了破产,空留众多中国学子预付了学费,却无学可上。其中的问题之一就是行业的市场准入门槛相对较低,吸引了各路人马参与,也包括一些由于资金紧张或其他原因缺乏持久能力的玩家。
If it looks like an easy business to succeed in, think again. Three fairly high-profile ESL schools in China went bankrupt in 2009, leaving lots of Chinese students without the lessons they had paid in advance for. Part of the problem is that market entry barriers in this sector are fairly low, which attracts all sorts of players, including some who lack staying power due to insufficient capital or for other reasons.
目前,在中国境内授课的英语母语教师仅有5,000人,导致师生比例达到骇人听闻的1:60,000。当然,这个数字还只是个假设,因为大部分学习英语的中国人都没有机会接触到以英语为母语的老师。
There are only 5,000 native speakers of English teaching English in Chinese classrooms, yielding a fairly daunting student-teacher ratio of 60,000 to 1. This is obviously a hypothetical number, because the vast majority of English learners in China simply do not have access to teachers who are native speakers.
如果你去中国的任意一家书店,都会看到在英语自学教材、教学项目和教学工具的柜台前聚集着大批消费者。而面向中国读者的英语学习杂志就超过了几十种,分别针对不同年龄段的人群。
Visit any Chinese bookstore, and you will see a large concentration of consumers in the sections offering ESL self-study books, programs, and gadgets. There are more than a dozen magazines specializing in English learning content for Chinese consumers, aimed at various different age groups.
在网络和手机上,也有很多花里胡哨的英语自学和提高产品,大多价格低廉,甚至是免费的。其中有些是中国产品,也有些来自BBC、美国之音、澳大利亚广播网等国际渠道。
In the online and mobile space, there is a dazzling array of self-study and ESL improvement products on offer, mostly at very low prices or free of charge, from domestic Chinese as well as international sources such as the BBC, Voice of America, Australian Broadcast Network, etc.
是什么让中国人对英语学习如此痴迷呢?
What's driving this extraordinary love affair with English study in China?
20到30年前,浪漫、热情和好奇三者交织也许是花钱学习英语的最大动因。但如今的消费者主要是冲着非常实用的目的:通过考试、考取(国内和国外)更好的学校、找到更好的工作。
Romance, passion and curiosity probably loomed large in the consumers' motivation towards ESL study 20-30 years ago, but today's consumers are mainly driven by very pragmatic goals: passing tests, gaining admission to better schools (at home and abroad), and getting better jobs.
想一想,这倒也不足为怪。因为无论是在教育市场还是就业市场,中国现在的机会都比20年前要多得多,但有实力抓住这些机遇的人也在增多,导致竞争十分激烈。
This is not surprising when you think about it, because whether in education or the job market, there are vastly more opportunities in China than there were 20 years ago, but also a hyper-competitive rush by more and more qualified people to seize those opportunities.
这种趋势的攀升也让越来越多的富裕家庭父母开始送孩子出国念大学、甚至念中学。而就在不久以前,中国留学生出国就读的还大多是研究生。
Some of the trends this has given rise to include more affluent parents sending their children overseas for undergraduate, and even secondary studies; whereas until recently the vast majority of overseas students from China were at the graduate level.
近几年,就业市场出现了严重的断层。入门级岗位有太多的大学毕业生竞争极少的合适机会,但高级人才岗位又难觅合格的人才。
In the job market, serious disconnects have emerged in recent years. At the entry level, far too many college graduates are chasing too few appropriate jobs. At the higher level, there is a serious shortage of qualified staff.
有一点可以肯定的是,无论潜在的雇主是国企还是外企,都要求员工具备良好的中英文水平,企业也愿意为这类人才支付相应的报酬。所以年轻的中国白领,或者希望成为白领的人才会缴纳高额的学费,去高档私立英语学校学习。对他们来说,这是一种只赚不赔的个人投资,比买股票或是存钱回报都更高。
One thing is for sure, whether prospective employers are Chinese companies or international ones, they all want employees with good English and Chinese skills, and are willing to compensate such people accordingly. That's why young white collar Chinese, or white collar wannabes, are able to justify paying high tuition rates for premium level private ESL instruction. To them, it's a personal investment with almost sure-fire returns, much more so than buying equities or putting funds on deposit.
我觉得这个投资策略很高明。
I think that's a smart investment strategy.
往后看,从现在的报名入学趋势推算,以及对未来中国高级英语学生总数进行一番预测,都不难看出,在不久的将来,这一群体的数量将超过澳大利亚的人口总数(目前为2,150万)。
Looking down the road, extrapolating from current enrollment trend lines and forecasting the future size of China's population of advanced learners of English, it's not difficult to foresee the day in the not so distant future when the size of this group will surpass the total population of Australia (current population: 21.5 million).
标签:中国 英语教育
15
2011-03-04 13:10 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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  • juliatt 说:

    想知道文章的作者是谁?

    2011-03-04 13:21 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 沙发
  • I don't know whether it is proper for some parents sending their childrens study aboard. Comparing to the popularity of English in China,Chinese learning is on the way to become less impressive. It is sad for a real Chinese man,isn't it?

    2011-03-06 18:43 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 板凳
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