All change, please!
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The Chinese government can at times be one of more difficult “group of students” to talk to, and it’s here in China, more than anywhere else, where a solid track record and years, if not decades, of experience, will probably be much more in your favour than anywhere else. Having solid (but also legal!… as in “non-corrupt”) relations somewhere in the system will also work in your favour.
It took me over 10 years of Chinglish-gazing around the country to be shown the right people to that one classroom in the Foreign Affairs Office of Beijing’s most internationalised district, Chaoyang, where people came in the evening hours of 15 July 2014, to listen to me speak about Chinglish — and how to fix it. For around an hour, I briefed around 20 people, most of them quite visibly enthusiastic, on how these mistakes were made, where they were often made, and how they could be best corrected. To ensure learners were best versed into the English language, even the introduction by the district’s foreign office itself was in English.
This was my first go at teaching an “all-government” audience, but if you could hold a microphone in front of thousands of unknown faces, you could do the same in front of 20 mandarins without a mic. I was happy to have helped the district of Chaoyang, home to many expats and embassies, improve their English in the run-up to hosting the APEC summit later that year.
The Tuanjiehu community in the city of Beijing is noted for being one of the most active English-speaking communities in town. (Here’s hoping fellow expats living there actually get to know this…!) I’ll be here this weekend — joining both kids and seniors as we get the Tuanjiehu launch party of the recently-unveiled Handbook of Everyday English for Beijing unveiled.
The event takes place 09:30-11:30 on 31 May 2014, at Tuanjiehu, Beijing; the specific address is the Qiushi Vocational School. Here’s a map on Google: you’re closest by Tuanjiehu subway station (exit C) if you’re getting around by “underground dragon”, as Lonely Planet says it best.
Members of the media: There appears to be no separate media event, however I will arrive early by about 15 minutes or so; if you’ve questions, ask me then. Due to key appointments following the speech, I must depart at 11:30 sharp.
Join me and Alison Zhou onstage as we show off and keep locals excited about the new Handbook of Everyday English, which is your guide if you ever…
and need English that simply works.
Alison and I co-presented many shows, especially nearly all 2013 Wider World Waves shows, and we also did the VOs for the book. Oh — and if you’ve a copy and want one signed, just show it to us and let us add our John Hancock!
There appears to be no registration procedure needed; just turn up and “come to class” as usual. The language of instruction will mainly be in English. We welcome everyone, especially locals interested in English, or expats interested in either helping locals learn or are simply curious at what we’re doing.