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Exam change won't dampen English fever

By Bai Ping | China Daily | Updated: 2013-10-26 07:54

If you're an English teacher in China and have heard about plans to reduce the role of English in the all-important national college entrance examination, or gaokao, don't worry, be happy! Chinese people's affinity for the language isn't about to wane, if anything it'll become stronger.

As part of a nationwide drive to overhaul the gaokao system, Beijing said on Monday that starting 2016, the score of English would drop from 150 to 100 on its plan, while the total marks for Chinese would be raised from 150 to 180. Currently, gaokao weighs English, Chinese and math equally. Even before the Monday announcement, Jiangsu province had caused a national stir by reportedly mulling the idea of excluding English from the provincial-level college entrance exam.

But I'll not read too much into such shifts, not even as the beginning of the end to a decades-long obsession with English, despite the fact that gaokao sets the direction for formal education across the country.

Exam change won't dampen English fever

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