How important is learning English in China?

It was when China's economy began to expand outwards that a desire to learn English, the so-called new global language, arose among the population. In today's China, English is an important part of the educational system.

The fact that China places an emphasis on English does not mean it neglects other areas of study in favor of learning English. The importance of math, science, and Chinese literature can't be overstated in the classroom. In addition, the quality of English instruction varies considerably throughout the country. Educating students in rural areas is quite different from educating students in large urban areas, for example.

The fact is that today's China is teeming with individuals who need English to do business, pursue further education overseas, or for other personal reasons. English-speaking expatriates have benefited greatly from this.

An Overview of English-Language Learning in China

As a result of Deng Xiaoping's "reform and opening-up" policy, which began in 1978, English education in China has grown significantly. In other words, Deng hoped to increase the flow of foreign capital into the Chinese economy, so benefiting the Chinese people.

People in China no longer have to learn Russian, the language of their former communist ally. Instead, Chinese citizens would have to acquire the new global language of English in order to communicate with foreign investors and the increasing number of foreign visitors visiting China.

The English-Language Education Sector

China's private English education business has grown significantly in tandem with the country's public education initiatives. Statistics show that the market was worth $41.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $75 billion by 2022, according to Statista. If you take into account all the private teachers who are paid in cash, I'd say the genuine worth is much greater.

The following are broad categories into which the market may be divided:

Children and adolescents

Chinese teenagers love to enroll in English lessons at public and private institutions. Alternatively, it may be more appropriate to state popular among parents, given they are the ones who often make such selections. Parents want to give their children an advantage. Even three-year-olds take English instruction. Students up to the age of 18 are often enrolled in children and adolescent programs. The Gaokao tests, which decide a student's position in university, might cause some students to drop out between the ages of 15 and 18.


Students from a variety of backgrounds may be found in this section of the market. For those in their twenties who are eager to advance in their careers, taking additional English lessons may serve as a springboard. Older students, on the other hand, may be motivated only by the desire to improve their English language skills. My acquaintance, who taught at an adult education center, remarked that he sometimes saw retirees who were looking for something to do with their time.

English for business

The second category has a lot of overlap with this one. For individuals who desire to enhance their communication skills in the workplace, this course is for you. Learning fundamental administrative duties in English for beginners to mastering important phrases and terminology for business negotiations for more experienced students are examples of this kind of course.

Preparation for an Exam

A simple explanation is all that is needed here. Students who want to study abroad have a lot of options in this sector. Those for American colleges will need to take the TOEFL, while candidates for British universities would need to take the IELTS exam. Students and teachers alike are under a great deal of stress as a result of the high stakes of these tests.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Some careers in the field of English teaching may overlap with others, while others may branch off into whole new categories.

Possibilities for Foreign Nationals

The need to improve one's English isn't going away any time soon in China. This indicates that foreigners, particularly native English speakers, will still be able to teach English in China in the short and long term. Public institutions, colleges, private language schools, and a slew of others employ a sizable workforce. Before you arrive in China, make sure to follow all the requirements and regulations, such as obtaining a work visa category-Z.

Starting your own company may be an option, as well. They've opened their own English language schools, educational consulting firms and more. Then again, be sure you adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. It might be difficult to do business in China. Do your homework in advance.

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