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China Daily Website

Chinese, US companies team up in English-training

Updated: 2012-06-04 11:06
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chinese and American English-training companies have signed a deal to hire more local teachers in the west State of Wyoming to answer Chinese surging demand to learn spoken English.

New Channel International Education Group Ltd, a leading English-training company in China, signed an agreement on Saturday with Eleutian Technology based in Cody, Wyoming, to create a bridge which links state-certified English-language teachers in the United States to thousands of thirsty Chinese students via broadband telecommunication.

According to the agreement, Eleutian will hire 50 to 100 new teachers mostly in Wyoming in the next year who will teach real-time courses in language centers or at their homes for Chinese students.

A 14-hour time difference between Wyoming and Beijing gives an exact match between the American teachers' daily time schedule and Chinese students' peak time for study, according to Kent Holiday, president of Eleutian.

For instance, a Wyoming teacher might sit in front of a HD camera at 7:00 pm after dinner with family when his Chinese student awaits an oral English course to be shown on his computer at 9:00 am Beijing time.

"It is impossible to physically deploy enough American native speaking teachers to satisfy the demand among Chinese students to improve their conversational English," said Hu Min, chairman of New Channel who was former CEO of New Oriental, a New York-listed provider of private educational services.

China has seen a rapid growth of English-learning demand due to its booming international economic exchanges and more students who seek studying abroad or take English language as an advantage to find a better job.

"The cooperation with Eleutian is the first of its kind in China to allow Chinese students to receive live courses from authentic and certified American English teachers," said Hu.

New Channel currently operates 66 learning centers which serve more than 100,000 Chinese students in 21 cities throughout the country.

Robert Grady, chairman of Eleutian, told Xinhua that all of the teachers the company hires in the US are accredited by the government and every class they provide for Chinese students will be recorded for quality review.

Eleutian now has about 1,100 certified English-language teachers in Wyoming who could provide full-time or part-time courses for overseas English learners through the company's video conferencing system TeachCast.

Holiday said he has believed that China will become the largest market around the world for English learning since he started the company seven years ago, and the Internet technology could help China resolve the English-learning problem in the country.

Matt Mead, governor of Wyoming, told Xinhua at the signing ceremony held in Beijing Saturday that the cooperation between the two companies will be an opportunity for his state to participate more fully in the global economy.

For a state with a traditional advantage of energy, the cooperation not only means more new jobs, but also will be an example for Wyoming to diversify the economy, said Mead, who came to the ceremony after attending an international conference for coal technologies in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.