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September 10, 2013

Native English teachers in bilingual kindergartens in China

ef-china-adele-bai.jpgThe demand for a Western-style kindergarten grows dramatically in China, which usually features a "lao-wai" teacher, or a native English speaker, in the classroom.

As China becomes more international, domestic parents are starting to favor foreign approaches to educating their children.

As a result, English language classes have become a key part of today's curriculum in China, particularly for younger children, as Adele Bai, General Manager of Kids and Teens Education First, explains.

"Why there're more and more kindergartens providing the English courses is because people knew that the best age for a child to learn a foreign language is between three and six years old. Like EF, we have a lot of students, and the parents have already accepted this kind of knowledge about sending their children to study English at a very young age."

The increasing demand for a Western-style kindergarten has caused bilingual kindergartens to boom in China. Likewise, a native speaker or foreign teacher in the classroom adds value to these kindergartens, which usually charge parents high fees for enrollment.

However, according to Sun Ruiling, a pre-school education expert with the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, a native English speaker without any background in preschool education might not be even able to motivate students to take interest in their English studies.

Read the full article from CRI English.

Related story: EF China changes name from English First back to Education First.

Photo: Adele Bai, General Manager of Kids and Teens China-owned Education First schools. File Photo:

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