What do you think of when you hear the word “mania”? Beatle mania, sports mania, or religious mania?
There is a new mania called “English mania”. There are now two billion people studying English around the world. On the TED website, there is a video about Chinese students practicing English by screaming ambitious words. They shout “I want to speak perfect English.” “I want to change my life!”
I was overwhelmed by the video. Tens of thousands of students repeating these ambitious words after an English teacher in a big plaza is just amazing.
China has become the world’s largest English speaking country since they have started learning English in the third grade. “English mania” seems just the right word to describe their great zeal for learning English. Better English skills mean a better opportunity for work, and a better life for them. Chinese students have to take a test that determine their future. 25% of the test is based on English. English proficiency is a matter of life and death. In the video, a girl was introduced as having been studying for 12 hours a day for 3 years to prepare for the test.
On this TED video, Jay Walker says English has become the world’s common language that will solve its “common problem”. I think it will be nice if I can speak with anyone I want to regardless of their nationality. As for me, English has enriched my view of the world. In this regard, I think English mania is good. As the Chinese government has decided to make their students learn English as an international language, I’m relieved that I don’t have to learn Chinese as a new world common language!