City embraces English language ahead of event

Updated 2016-04-28 17:58:45

City embraces English language ahead of event

A member of the English Service Team of the traffic police brigade in Hangzhou's West Lake area provides assistance to foreign visitors.

City embraces English language ahead of event

A traffic police officer on the English Service Team wears a special armband while working.

Residents of Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province are honing their English language skills ahead of the G20 Summit being held there later this year.

English learning activities have been organized across the city as part of efforts to better serve the summit, which is scheduled to open in early September.

In March, the team behind local mobile app Xiangfu Community, based in the city's Gongshu district, started a campaign to get residents speaking more English by providing free language learning content and encouraging users to learn a new sentence each day.

Once a week, a lesson with a senior English language teacher is organized through the app, and English-themed discussion activities are held once a month.

Elsewhere, residents are being encouraged to share their learning experiences via a discussion group on the social media WeChat, and traffic police in the city's West Lake area have also been learning English to better communicate with international visitors during the summit.

"Fluently mastering English is one of the best ways for each police officer to better serve the summit and the West Lake area," said Zheng Hangfu, head of the area's police team.

West Lake attracts a large number of foreign tourists each year due to its renowned natural beauty, yet visitors often commit traffic violations. Having traffic police who can speak fluent English helps maintain order and ensure the safety of tourists, according to officials.

Improving conversational English has been a key component of the West Lake police team's training over the past year. They have made a specialized implementation plan, which assigns forms of English language training based on the officer's age and learning stage.

All officers are given a book titled Summit English to facilitate police self-learning and practice, while common phrases are sent through a WeChat group called "Everyday English". English teachers also provide on-site oral English training at regular intervals.

An English Service Team has also been established and is providing English service to visitors. Its membership grew from six officers to 28 in a short time.

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