Tag Archives: English proficiency

Water sports

Or, The Duck Olympics.

The word on the street yesterday afternoon was that we’d be teaching today. It started raining last night and while it was not so bad first thing, the rain has increased since then. Thus I came into school expecting to be facing classes, but about morning exercise time, there was a hubbub of voices outside and students from the main school came streaming out of the big lecture theatre.

We were then told that the sports days were back on although this announcement was greeted with some scepticism, and the rain, which did ease briefly, has since got heavier. Nonetheless, the little darlings are out sitting in the school stadium, sheltering under their umbrellas; but as far as I can tell from the silence, nothing would appear to be happening, and I’m reluctant to go because someone might just see sense and cancel the entire business.

Also, on a more practical level, I’d be sparing myself at least one outing if I stayed here until lunch­time.

In other news, I read an article online about the rating of Chinese students’ proficiency in English, which placed them quite far down the international rankings. If I had to estimate the average proficiency of Chinese students once they reach the 高考, I’d guess it’d be IELTS 3 to 4, perhaps buoyed up by their writing. As I’ve mentioned before, for most students here, English is a book language which is soon forgotten once students have left school.