Chinese elderly hooked on English language at local library


It has turn into a routine for Su Min, 63, to take a 20-minute stroll to a local library and attend an English membership every week.

In a room of Anhui Provincial Library in Hefei City, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, Su and dozens of elderly individuals sit in a circle, speaking freely in English.

“We have promised to speak English instead of Chinese during this hour and a half,” mentioned Su, including that although they don’t have customary pronunciation and fluent expression, they really feel relaxed and assured at this English membership.

Just like Su, a lot of the members listed here are retirees from all walks of life. With a mean age of over 60, they collect right here because of their ardour for English.

“I have been working at the library for nearly 40 years and have affection for English. After seeing the English club for the youth and the middle-aged in the library, I wondered why not get one for the elderly?” mentioned Zhou Qingping, 69, founding father of the membership.

This concept was swiftly changed into observe after she talked along with her mates and staff at the library.

“A worker at the library majoring in English volunteered to be our teacher, and we held the first session one early morning in 2018,” recalled Zhou.

The first step is all the time troublesome.

“The topic of the first session was greetings. Though it seemed simple, for older beginners like us, it remained difficult. It took us a long time to remember the words and speak correctly,” mentioned Zhou, including that persistence and dealing laborious are key to studying a brand new language.

Besides this offline membership, in addition they arrange a web based group the place they may share their studying experiences and their trainer would provide assist at any time.

The growing variety of volunteer lecturers together with center faculty lecturers and foreigners additionally present sturdy help to the membership.

Li Dazhong, 74, an English trainer with almost 50 years’ educating expertise, has been providing assist to the silver-haired college students.

“I mainly teach them phonetic symbols and grammar. They are quite passionate about learning English. Personally speaking, to teach is to learn,” mentioned Li.

Mei Xinhui, 38, a librarian and a volunteer trainer, was impressed by their ardour to study. “I never expected their persistence and diligence. Through learning English, they have more colourful lives after retirement, and they can learn about the world from different perspectives,” mentioned Mei.

Over the previous years, the group has grown from a dozen members to just about 120, they usually have step by step realized the way to speak about varied matters together with purchasing, going to the hospital and travelling confidently. Thanks to the membership, many can use English of their day by day lives.

“Previously, I felt worried when traveling abroad because I couldn’t understand English, let alone speak it. Now, I am much more confident as I can easily go through customs, go shopping alone, and talk at ease with people my age abroad,” mentioned Su.

Zhou mentioned that studying English not solely helps them to enhance their oral English, but in addition gives them a chance to study completely different cultures and purchase knowledge.

“The Western mindset differs from ours a lot. By learning this new language, we can open our minds and know the world better,” mentioned Zhou. – Xinhua/Asia News Network

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