What's the buzz

Updated: 2013-10-21 07:11

(China Daily)

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What role should English play in China's college entrance exam (gaokao)? This debate has been going on for some time. The Jiangsu provincial government's new reform plan has reportedly excluded English from the total score, with the performance in "English" being used only as a point of reference by colleges to admit candidates. People from across society have voiced their opinions on the issue. Following are the views of China Daily's mobile news readers:

The craze to learn English is evident across China, with some children starting in primary schools or even kindergartens. Many students have to attend special English classes because their parents don't want them to fall behind in the academic race, especially because English tests are compulsory both in undergraduate and postgraduate entrance exams. English has come to occupy a prime position in academics at the cost of Chinese. That's why we should applaud the Jiangsu provincial government's reform plan.

Dongdong, Ji'an, Jiangxi province

After working in the fields of technology, marketing and management for several years, I have realized that a good grasp of the English language is an advantage and can create more opportunities. I think English should be part of gaokao, so that students have the motivation to learn the language. English scores, however, should not be the deciding factor for success in gaokao.

A Reader, Beijing

I don't agree with the Jiangsu reform plan under which colleges will use English scores as a reference point to admit students. Thanks to globalization, interdisciplinary talent is in great demand in almost every field. In such a situation, English has greater practical use than, say, mathematics. The gaokao reform will make the system even more complicated. What is a good enough reference score in English to get a student admitted to college? And how does one decide it?

Qiancao, Beijing

I disagree with the reform plan because the English language has become an indispensable tool in academics and the job market. What we need to reform are the form and content of gaokao by giving more importance to the practical use of English. Besides, we can choose to increase the levels of difficulty in Chinese tests because many students ignore the language just because it is their mother tongue.

Xiaolinzi, Shanghai

I think excluding English from gaokao is a good idea. More time and attention should be paid to the study of the Chinese language. As for English, it is just used as a tool to communicate with foreigners. Moreover, the fact that English scores will be used as a reference point for admission to colleges will encourage students to learn the language without being under unnecessary pressure.

Viver-li, Changsha, Hunan province

(China Daily 10/21/2013 page9)