Young professionals in Shanghai learn English at EF, a popular English-training institute. Jun Ying / for China Daily
Such was the case with two institutes in 2009: Real Life English and Linguaphone English. Following the closing of these training schools, many trainees felt cheated and had to abandon their studies, and many of them did not get their tuition fees back.
"The entire English-training market still lacks an improved supervision and guarantee system. English-training institutes and schools should deposit 20 percent or 30 percent of the tuition fee that is received in advance to a certain account that the government assigns as a security deposit. Therefore, if an institute goes bankrupt, trainees can still get some of their fees returned," said Xu Wei, president of New World Education Group.
Setting up a strict supervision mechanism and self-discipline within the industry are the keys to healthy development of the English-training market, he added.
The development of the English-training industry also has drawn the attention of the Ministry of Education. According to Ji Mingming, vice president of the Chinese Association for Non-government Education, the Ministry of Education along with some experts are thrashing out the national standard for English education and training.
An education and training services national standards committee is still working on the regulations. The committee will assess various institutions and release the ratings to the public regularly, which will help protect consumer interests, he added.
"Though English plays a more and more important role in modern society, the study of English should follow the law of language. We have to admit that some of the private English-training schools are pretty good in working out new effective ways of teaching English, but still people need to discover their own learning style," Han Baocheng, a professor from the National Research Center for Foreign Language Education.
"Do not trust the ads too much, because what is suitable for others may not work for you," Han said.
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